Current Trends in Music Therapy for Adolescents with Behavior Disorders

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Koch, Bethany
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
A survey of music therapists working with adolescents with Behavior disorders was essential to evaluate current trends in the field of music therapy. The researcher utilized a survey to investigate what music therapy interventions are used in both individual and group music therapy sessions with adolescents with behavior disorders. Music therapists also reported reasons that interventions are used in individual and group treatment. Music therapists who participated in the survey reported to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) that they worked with adolescents with behavior disorders in AMTA’s annual report supplied to all members for 2008-2009. Results of the survey indicate that music therapists work a small number of hours per week with this population. When working with individuals, music therapists often select interventions that engage the client in active music making. When working with groups, music therapists report using music interventions that are active and receptive. Interventions are selected by music therapists for a variety of reasons, including a focus on the needs of the client, and those of the therapist. The study shows inconsistencies of therapists’ rational for intervention selection when working with individual clients versus groups of clients. Additional data is needed to accurately depict current trends in the field of music therapy regarding adolescents with behavior disorders.