Factors that Influence Music Therapy Inclusion in Adolescent Residential Treatment in Utah

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Whyte, Mary
Master of Arts in Music Therapy
Utah houses a significant number of adolescent treatment programs, but many do not offer music therapy services to their clients. Music therapy has been not only effective with adolescents (Gold, Voracek, & Wigram, 2004) but also important in their psychological development (Laiho, 2004). This thesis explores the question, “What are the factors that influence music therapy inclusion in adolescent residential treatment in Utah?” The researcher conducted interviews via phone or in person with seven clinical directors at adolescent residential treatment centers in Utah. Three of these programs were already implementing music therapy. The researcher then transcribed the interviews and coded the data into factors that stood out in each interview question, as well as overarching themes across multiple questions. Several of these factors include client need, evidenced-based practice, review through facility leadership, music therapist qualifications, the importance of music with adolescents, connecting with decision makers and insight into the current understanding of music therapy from the clinical directors. Three main themes were developed as well which included fitting in with the facility, cost effectiveness, and in-house music. Discussion of current research backing up these themes was addressed.