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Collaboration and Assistance in Music Therapy Practice

Collaboration and Assistance in Music Therapy Practice

Roles, Relationships, Challenges

Edited by John Strange, Helen Odell-Miller and Eleanor Richards

Quick Overview

Looking at the challenges and benefits of including collaborators in a course of music therapy, this edited volume offers ways for music therapists to make the most of family members, medical staff, and others who may be present, but not recipients, in music therapy sessions.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2016, 8.98in x 6.30in / 228mm x 160mm, 344pp
ISBN: 978-1-84905-702-8
2016, ePUB, 344pp
ISBN: 978-1-78450-223-2
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Relating the innovative ways in which assistants and collaborators can become an integral part of a course of music therapy, this book explores how the involvement of a diverse range of individuals, such as family members, learning support assistants, caregivers and medical staff, can contribute to successful sessions. Illustrated by clinical examples, the book will help music therapists and students to make the most of opportunities to collaborate with individuals other than the client who may be present during therapy sessions. The book also takes into account the challenges that can arise in music therapy collaboration, and explores the relationships that can develop between music therapists, clients and collaborators.


'[This book] addresses a myriad of impacts of assistants and collaborators in the music therapy room. The authors write from a clinical, narrative and/or research perspective, while exploring both the roles of different professions co-working on an equal basis with music therapists, and those of parents or other family members present in the therapy room. A historical reflection on assistants and co-therapists in music therapy groups in adult mental health is included, as well as suggested ways forward in training, service development and research. The volume is a valuable resource as it documents a wide variety of possible ways of involving assistants and collaborators to gain as much as possible from the music therapy group or individual session. Whatever roles the assistants and collaborators in music therapy perform, they will always influence the session. As the book clearly states, 'it is not possible to simply be a fly on the wall.''
- from the foreword by Gro Trondalen, Professor of Music Therapy, Norwegian Academy of Music

'Much has been written about the theory and practice of music therapy, yet an area of practice not addressed often is the role of carers, staff, assistants, students, volunteers and family members as collaborators and "skill sharers" in music therapy sessions. This book, edited by three very experienced therapists and researchers, fills a large gap in our knowledge of how music therapy works, and is a very welcome addition to the music therapy literature.'
- Emeritus Professor Denise Grocke, AO, PhD, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne

'This thoughtful and elegantly researched volume demonstrates the rich benefits to be gained by all from collaborative and integrated cross-disciplinary work. International in authorship, with far reaching content, it will surely emerge as a go-to reference of music therapy practice for many years to come.'
- Rachel Darnley-Smith, Senior Lecturer in Music Therapy, Roehampton University, UK


This is a fascinating book and the first to explore the context of the use of collaborators and assistants in developing relationships with clients, enabling them to gain as much as possible from their music therapy sessions. John Strange sees collaborators and assistants participating fully as group members, something that has a significant impact on their music therapy. This book is especially interesting for music therapists who work with clients who are not able to participate in a physically or psychologically active way.
Experienced authors write from a clinical and theoretical perspective, intended to help both practitioners and trainees. All the contributions are written in a very clear and authentic way. I believe it is good that the material in this book is available for use in different therapeutic situations.

- Professor Dr. Jos De Backer LUCA, School of Arts, Campus Lemmens, UPC KULeuven, Campus Kortenberg