Music Therapy as Preventative Mental Healthcare with the Oceti Sakowin Oyate

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Donahoe, Ellyn
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
Indigenous populations in the United States have an alarming rate of mental health concerns compared to other populations of similar ages in their geographical locations (Freeman et al. 2016; O’Keefe et al., 2018). Music therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment in mental healthcare. The growing trend in mental healthcare is preventative medicine (American College of Preventive Medicine, 2019). Central to preventative mental healthcare is the identification and utilization of protective factors; a key factor of these is sense of identity within one’s culture (Coll et al., 2012). This project was developed as a guide to a community music therapy approach to preventative mental healthcare that highlights the connection to traditional music and healing practices performed by experts within the community. An 8-session music therapy program plan includes music therapy interventions that are designed to focus on the strengths of the community and their leaders while providing psychoeducational factors communicated by board-certified music therapists.