Music therapists working in hospice encounter deep emotional experiences due to
the many aspects of the music-therapist-patient relationship, affecting the ability to
maintain self-care strategies. Quality self-care, as well as the self-awareness of selfcare needs, is essential to provide effective services to patients, however limited
research exists about hospice music therapists’ perceptions of their experiences of
self-care and their self-care needs. Four hospice music therapists took part in
phenomenological interviewing exploring a high quality self-care experience and a
poor quality self-care experience within the patient care setting. Interviews were
transcribed and analyzed using phenomenological analysis methods. Results show
fourteen high quality experience themes and nine poor quality experience themes.
Participants’ experiences are presented in reconstructed narratives based on the
themes found. The lived experiences of self-care, perceptions of self-care needs, and
perceptions of self-care for music therapists in hospice care provide further
knowledge about the implications and needs for research, education, training, and
self-assessment for music therapists working in end of life care.