Throwing out the rule book


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Final version of my presenation for the European Consortium of Arts Therapies Education (ECArTE) Conference 2011. It looks at the use of different art forms by a music therapist, illustrated by a case study. Audio excerpts available on my blog www.jazzmanhenry.blogspot.comt

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Throwing out the rule book

  1. 1. Throwing out the rule book? Using a variety of artistic forms to make our feelings intelligible Henry Dunn, Music Therapist
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Exploring the use of other Art forms in Music Therapy and other Arts Therapies. </li></ul><ul><li>Illustrated by a case study. </li></ul><ul><li>Will present the results of a questionnaire about the use of other Art forms in the work of Arts Therapists. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Additional media I use <ul><li>Moving to music </li></ul><ul><li>Art – in the session or as “homework” (an example of this will be in my case study). </li></ul><ul><li>Drama –usually working with Dramatherapist </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sandtray
  5. 5. Communicube
  6. 7. Case Study <ul><li>Woman, in 50s, with longstanding depression and anxiety. </li></ul><ul><li>Parents not interested in her in her own right, expressed disappointment. </li></ul><ul><li>Has always felt on the outside of groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Very intelligent, tends to intellectualise problems. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Referral to Arts Therapies Service thought appropriate as way to avoid overintellectualising and to help integrate thoughts and feelings. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Her story <ul><li>Father a free church minister and businessman. Loved by his congregation, ignored Amy. </li></ul><ul><li>Mother possibly had mental health problems, made Amy feel she was a failure. “You’ll never come to anything”. </li></ul><ul><li>Little sense of self. </li></ul><ul><li>Raped when travelling. Confirmed her feelings of worthlessness. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>Only at university did she feel that people were interested in her as a person – this came as a surprise. </li></ul><ul><li>Very involved in multicultural groups, enjoying the music in particular. </li></ul><ul><li>Parents both dead now. </li></ul>
  10. 11. The therapy room
  11. 14. The sessions <ul><li>Long conversations about past history and current problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Long improvisations – Amy surrounding herself with instruments (like a family?) </li></ul><ul><li>Amy brought in books and CDs to share. </li></ul><ul><li>Listened to her CDs – Tavener, Glass and others. </li></ul><ul><li>Mandala Journal – arose from group Amy attended. </li></ul>
  12. 27. <ul><li>Vocal Holding (Diane Austin). </li></ul><ul><li>This was a very intense way of working, providing containment and the safety to express deeply held emotions. </li></ul><ul><li>“ especially useful in working through developmental injuries and arrests due to traumatic ruptures in the mother-child relationship or empathic failures at crucial developmental junctures.” (Austin 2008, p147) </li></ul>
  13. 28. <ul><li>Concept of a Musical Mandala. </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt 1 - Vocal Holding leading to Free Associative Singing </li></ul><ul><li>Sings “Where are you? I am all alone.” </li></ul><ul><li>Excerpt 2 - I sing according to my countertransference </li></ul><ul><li>“ Come back Daddy” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I am somebody, I exist…I am your daughter” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Give me some attention” </li></ul>
  14. 29. Therapeutic relationship <ul><li>Had overtones of father – daughter relationship. </li></ul><ul><li>Very intense, strong projections onto me. </li></ul><ul><li>Bipolar in nature - either I was idealised or I was inadequate, not understanding her. </li></ul><ul><li>Reparative/Representational. </li></ul>
  15. 30. Summary <ul><li>Lack of good enough parenting led to underdeveloped sense of self. </li></ul><ul><li>Mother’s codependency with Amy didn’t allow her to become herself, distinct from her mother’s problems. Has led Amy to have her own codependency issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Range of containing art forms offered variety of ways for Amy to achieve sense of self. </li></ul><ul><li>Good enough therapeutic relationship started the process of reparation for early childhood experience. </li></ul>
  16. 31. Use of different art forms in the Arts Therapies - Survey <ul><li>Sent out to BAAT, ADMT, BAMT and BADTh </li></ul><ul><li>33 responses, 4 Music Therapists, 5 Dramatherapists, 14 Art Therapists, 10 Dance/Movement Therapists. </li></ul><ul><li>10 questions, on SurveyMonkey, 1 st question identifying type of Arts Therapist. </li></ul>
  17. 32. Survey questions <ul><li>Were you taught about the other Arts Therapies during your training? If yes, can you describe some of what you learned? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you work in a team with other Arts Therapists? If so, which Arts Therapies are represented? Does this affect the way you work? </li></ul>
  18. 33. <ul><li>Do you use other Art forms in your work? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you describe these briefly? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you feel they added to your clinical practice? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have skills/training in other Art forms? If so, what? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you co-worked with an Arts Therapist who uses a different Art form? </li></ul><ul><li>What was the rationale for this work? </li></ul><ul><li>How did you find the experience? </li></ul>
  19. 34. Overview of results <ul><li>General impression that Dramatherapists are more eclectic in their use of arts, as all arts can be part of dramatic performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Art Therapists generally less likely to use other art forms. </li></ul><ul><li>Music and Dance/Movement Therapists sit somewhere in the middle! </li></ul>
  20. 35. Sample comments <ul><li>Enriching / Different/ Challenging/ Inspiring </li></ul><ul><li>They bring additional possibilities in my work with people. They offer an alternative/complementary way for self expression and exploration </li></ul><ul><li>Working with other Arts Therapies brings a wider dimension to the therapy. </li></ul>
  21. 36. <ul><li>Music supports dance process. Use of voice helps mind/body integration. </li></ul><ul><li>Very enriching and rewarding. </li></ul><ul><li>Both Music and Art have given to my clients more options of expressing themselves, as a supplement to their movement exploration. </li></ul>
  22. 37. <ul><li>Between us, we were able to offer the client a calming experience that he indicated was acceptable. I felt supported and safe. Live music was flexible to meet changes that might be expressed in the moved interaction. I could focus entirely on the client without needing to deal with the music. </li></ul>
  23. 38. <ul><li>I think that the arts inter-relate and overlap so that it becomes very difficult (and somewhat pointless?) to try to be purist. I especially believe this about the link between dance/ movement and music. </li></ul>
  24. 39. Discussion? For a copy of the slides email me Visit my blog!