Title

Responding to Emotions in the Field of Play

Document Type

Presentation

Presentation Date

2010

Conference Name

Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association

Conference Location

Pittsburgh, PA

Peer Review

Yes

Abstract

Over the years there has been a good deal of discussion about the need for a language that describes music therapy which does not come from the theoretical framework of some other discipline. Kenny made large strides towards this goal with her development of the field of play theory. Recent research exploring the way music therapists experience and respond to client anger has identified models of response that describe therapists’ actions outside of the framework of more traditional theories that have been borrowed from other disciplines (e.g. psychology or education), and unrelated to the orientations that music therapists often use to describe their practice. These models include the Redirection Model, the Validation Model, the Containing Model, and the Working-Through Model. Instead of being specific actions that are prescribed as responses to client expressions, the models provide a framework for thinking about the client’s need in the moment, and a freedom of choice of action based on the therapist’s intent in responding to that need. This research supports the field of play theory as a comprehensive theory of music therapy, and suggests the beginning of a more specific theory describing the intervention process of the music therapist. The models of response will be presented and described, and parallels will be highlighted between the models of response and other related theories.

Keywords

music therapy; anger; therapist responses; theory

Disciplines

Music | Other Music

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