A Case Study In Adapting Nordoff-Robbins Improvisational Approach To Childhood PTSD

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The Nordoff-Robbins Creative Music Therapy approach is based on the notion of the ‘music child’, the inherent musicality inborn in every child.

This case study follows a seven-year old girl diagnosed with PTSD and the use of Creative Music Therapy in her therapeutic processing of trauma. It tracks the adaptation of musical communication to address emotional numbing and exploring trauma-specific re-enactments in play. Clinical improvisation became a catalyst for verbal and non-verbal client-therapist interaction.

Sessions were analyzed for co-activity in play, self-regulation, and functional communication. The client shows increasing readiness to engage in co-active play and increased verbal communication.

About the Speaker

Chanelle Henderson, MCMT, is a music therapist at Nordoff-Robbins in Western Sydney, Australia. She has experience in early childhood, child and adult disability, and family therapy. Chanelle has presented twice at the Australian Music Therapy Conference and enjoys working clinically with children and families.