Double the Challenge: Working with Persons with Dual Diagnoses (Intellectual/Psychiatric Disorders)

Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC


Working with a person with developmental disabilities is challenging. Music therapists help clients focus on developmental and habilitation goals. Working with a person with psychiatric disorders is also challenging. Music therapists focus their clients on diminishing the symptoms of the disorder as well as understanding the life patterns of the disorder. Music therapy treatment is compounded when a person enters the music therapy clinic with both developmental and psychiatric concerns. This presentation will provide an overview of the use of music as a therapeutic medium in a facility for children and adolescents with co-morbid diagnoses on both the developmental and psychiatric spectra.

Learner Objectives:

1. Participants will identify at least two possible challenges and two possible strengths of persons with dual diagnoses in music therapy treatment(CBMT Scope of Practice: I. A. 4. a. b. d. e. f. 7; I. C. 6. 12)

2. Participants will be able to develop at least one example for each of the three levels of goals for persons in treatment Рprimary, secondary, and tertiary (CBMT Scope of Practice: I. C. 6).

About Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC:

Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC is the staff music therapist at Lakemary Center, Inc. in Paola, Kansas. Throughout her career, she has worked with persons with developmental disabilities and psychiatric disorders. She is the owner of