After the Music: A Workbook for Music Therapists Working with Terminally Ill Children and Adolescent Patients

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Love, Amy
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
Many music therapists are members of hospice and palliative care teams, supporting the physical and psychosocial needs of patients and their families. However, working in this type of setting, especially with terminally ill children and adolescents, may lead to risks of burnout, compassion fatigue and disenfranchised grief. Music therapists are put into a unique role, needing to be both open and supportive while remaining self-aware and professional in our positions. This author examined related articles, books and models that focus on the risks of working in this type of environment. In response to the existing literature, this author created a workbook designed for music therapists working with terminally ill children and adolescents. My hope is that this workbook will provide helpful information and concrete exercises to prevent burnout and address compassion fatigue, increasing the professional’s emotional intelligence and overall job satisfaction and retention.