Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Expressive Therapies


ABSTRACT The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore the use of musical interventions borrowed from music therapy in a family therapy context. Furthermore, the study aimed to move beyond current application of family-music therapy that focuses on a child, a member with special needs, or families with additional diagnoses to non-clinical families seeking therapy, focusing on the family as an entity. This research was based on the premise that engaging in musical activities is a natural, common endeavor that does not require special musical skills. This does not replace the immense body of knowledge needed for conventional music therapy; rather, it intended to add a musical tool to the family therapist's toolbox, based on the family's natural playful activities. Thirty-five certified family therapists received a single workshop on implementing a structured musical intervention addressing family roles. Eighteen therapists implemented 38 musical interventions and offered insight into their experience concerning the applicability, the value for the families and therapists, and future implications for family-based music therapy. The findings demonstrated that incorporating musical interventions within a family therapy context offered family therapists (a) A practical and applicable musical intervention, (b) A potent family assessment opportunity, (c) New opportunities for families to find new possibilities, feel hope, and work toward change in a nonthreatening and playful experience; and (d) an intervention, which addressed diverse family objectives. These findings shed light on the benefits in the collaboration of music and family therapy and demonstrated the value of incorporating family-based music therapy interventions in family therapy practices, training and education.

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