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The role of music therapy for anxious adolescent school refusers: identity and the self
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 13:03 authored by Amy Shipley, Helen Odell-Miller
The specific role of music therapy for anxious adolescent school refusers is considered with particular emphasis upon identity and the self. Literature is examined covering areas of education theory, school refusal, psychoanalytically informed thinking, and music therapy. Two case studies with adolescents receiving music therapy at a large general hospital are discussed, and these illustrate new ways of thinking about music therapy and school refusal. The parallel processes between the student music therapist and her adolescent clients are discussed. Concepts of identity and paradox are explored, concluding that these multi-layered paradoxes can be experienced musically. They often manifest as a constantly changing balance between moments of chaos and calm, risk and safety, exploration and retreat. The case studies describe in-depth work where resistance and anxiety are addressed within the musical improvisations between therapist and adolescents in individual therapy. The authors point to the gap in knowledge in this specific field, and build on previous work, linking theoretical thinking to casework.
Publication titleBritish Journal of Music Therapy