Caring for the caregiver: A case study of the effect of music therapy on stress of a parent of a child with disabilities

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Walters, Abby
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
This thesis is a quantitative case study examining the effect of music therapy on stress in a parent of children with disabilities. The participant, referred to using the pseudonym Sue, participated in four music therapy sessions specifically tailored to address stress. Interventions used included improvisation exercises, verbal processing, and music-based mindfulness and relaxation exercises.A pre-test and post-test were administered to examine the effect of the music therapy sessions on Sue’s reported parental stress. The scores indicated a reduction in reported parental stress, though these results are not meant to be generalizable to the population due to case study design. The author asserts that the therapeutic techniques of validation, nonjudgement, and the incorporation of Sue’s own concepts into future music therapy interventions led to the reduction in stress. The researcher recommends further research could be focused on which specific therapeutic techniques are most effective in reducing stress in parents of children with disabilities.