From Many to One: Challenges of Treating Individuals in Music Therapy Groups

Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC

As music therapy becomes more prevalent in health care settings, therapists are challenged to provide services in many different models. This presentation will present a format and philosophical foundation for providing group therapy to diverse individuals. Group therapy treatment is very different from individual music therapy treatment, and, as such, must be developed in ways that offer the most therapeutic benefit to clients. Attendees will participate in discussion about group dynamics as well as experience a group treatment protocol developed by the presenter.

Group therapy treatment is very different from individual music therapy treatment, and, as such, must be developed in ways that offer the most therapeutic benefit to clients. Music therapists increasingly face challenges of providing treatment to a diverse set of clients simultaneously. For a profession that emphasizes the individual nature of music, the amount of group sessions that occur require changes in how the therapist views both the clients and the group itself when planning treatment.

Attendees will participate in discussion about group dynamics including such topics as treatment planning, session flexibility, and setting up expectations. The presenter will share a philosophical and practical protocol for maximizing music therapy effectiveness in a group setting that is used with children and adolescents.

  1. Participants will discuss issues present in group session treatment that are not present in individual treatment formats (CBMT II.A.1.h)
  2. Participants will develop session planning formats that include consideration of all client treatment goals within the group setting (CBMT II.A.2)
  3. Participants will discuss the ramifications of group treatment for diverse clients in the areas of safety, documentation, and evaluation (CBMT II.B; III.A; III.B)

Mary Jane Landaker is the owner of www.musictherapyworks.com and is the staff music therapist at Lakemary Center, Inc. She is passionate about using online technology to benefit the lives of clients and her fellow music therapists.

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