Shared Humanity: Exploring Reflexivity in Collaborative Intercultural Music Therapy

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Image of music therapist Lisa Margetts

To what extent do our beliefs and attitudes, shaped from within our own cultural experience influence our positions and intentions as we approach music therapy consultation research in a different sociocultural context? What might be the impact of our presence on the study’s process and findings? Are we ready to relinquish the role of the expert in order to seek a sense of resonance with participants, within which deep, sustainable change may take place?

This presentation will explore these questions from within intercultural research undertaken with teaching staff working with students with complex needs in a special school in Belarus. Foregrounding positive collaborative relationships with participants based on trust and respect, this paper discusses the importance of engagement with a process of self-reflection in relation to issues of power and systems of unearned privilege and examination of assumptions and values in relation to both one’s own and the host cultures.

Learner Objectives

Professional Development and Responsibilities:

A. Professional Development

2. Integrate current research and literature in music therapy and related disciplines.
4. Engage in collaborative work with colleagues.

B. Professional Responsibilities

2. Conduct oneself in an authentic, ethical, accountable, and culturally sensitive
manner that respects privacy, dignity, and human rights in all settings including
social media, marketing, and advertising.
9. Maintain professional and effective working relationships with colleagues and
community members.
11. Examine one’s own assumptions, values, and biases.


Lisa Margetts is Honorary Research Fellow at University of Roehampton. She is a music therapist, researcher and author specialising in music therapy consultation overseas and in the UK.