Music Therapy for Adolescents Processing Bereavement: A Case Study of a Bereavement Camp for Youth
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This study explores a unique Canadian weekend camp for children and adolescents who are grieving the death of someone significant in their lives. The camp provides recreational activities such as campfires, horseback riding, and wall-climbing as well as therapeutic activities to help with grief such as music therapy. As part of a larger project on Canadian music therapy programming for youth (called “Meeting Youth In Music”), the present study’s purpose is to identify how music therapy interventions are applied and experienced in a particular program with adolescents experiencing bereavement. A case study research design was used and data collected from multiple sources. Primary data were generated by interviewing five stakeholders: the program director, the music therapist, a volunteer, and one adolescent and her mother (who were interviewed together). Thematic analysis was conducted on the interview transcripts, resulting in the identification of numerous themes about the application of music therapy practices. Identified themes characterize music therapy practices as fostering community connections, encouraging emotional expression, and supporting therapeutic practices for diverse populations. Findings of the current study suggest that music therapy interventions can provide benefit for bereaved adolescents. Future research can investigate the specific mechanisms of music which provide such therapeutic benefits.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramSchool and Counselling Psychology
CommitteeClaypool, Tim; Wilson, Jay; McIntyre, Laureen
Copyright DateDecember 2013