Attrition in Music Therapy: Why are people leaving the field?

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Cook, Bethany
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
Surveys were sent to 99 individuals who are no longer board-certified music therapists. Materials included a 4-page survey, letter of consent and a stamped, return-addressed envelope. Of the surveys sent, 43% were returned. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to analyze the data. The present study suggests there are multiple reasons people leave the field of music therapy, which include but are not limited to the following: difficult or poor working conditions; lack of appreciation from staff and administrators; low compensation; family/personal reasons; and lack of understanding about music therapy from other professionals. Conclusions suggest the need for future studies in the areas of job stress, burnout, appreciation, professional identity and educational preparedness.