Areas of concern in psychiatric music therapy: A descriptive analysis

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Psychiatric settings remain a large area of clinical practice for the music therapy profession. However, the percentage of psychiatric music therapists has remained relatively constant and music therapy students seem to be increasingly interested in other clinical areas. The purpose of this descriptive study was to survey psychiatric music therapists and identify their potential areas of concern for the future of psychiatric music therapy. The researcher emailed a brief survey to all members of the American Music Therapy Association listed in the " mental health" section of the 2009 Member Sourcebook. Fifty-three respondents participated for a response rate of 18.40%. There were significant main effects in areas of concern and theoretical orientations and there was a significant interaction between these two variables. Results indicated that outpatient care was the highest concern, followed by healthcare reform, brief treatment, and evidence-based practice. Participants rated job security as the lowest area of concern. Participants who identified themselves as having cognitive behavioral, eclectic, and humanistic orientations rated the importance of qualitative research and quantitative research equally. To corroborate data, themes from participants' free response comments were coded. Participants most frequently indicated that research, training, employment, and licensure/credentials/reimbursement were areas of concern. Overall, results seem to be congruent with contemporary trends in the literature base and clinical practice. Limitations of the study, implications for clinical practice, and suggestions for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-378
Number of pages5
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Concern
  • Descriptive
  • Mental health
  • Psychiatric music therapy


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