Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Expressive Therapies


Emily Marsick



Remediating the impact of trauma experienced by children and adolescents is a focus of psychotherapy treatment. Research in neurology suggests brain development of youths who have experienced trauma is impacted in negative ways. One impact noted is a delay of the development of emotional perception and regulation, where youths may demonstrate an inability to perceive and identify feelings within themselves or others and may experience inappropriate emotional outbursts or emotional withdrawal. Evidence-based practices (EBPs) with specific components and protocols are increasingly preferred by consumers and insurance providers due to research-supported results within expedient timeframes. Music therapy is an evidence-based practice, however literature of its use to treat youths who have experienced trauma is sparse. Using a recognized evidence-based framework, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT), this capstone thesis explores the use of music therapy interventions within the Affect Modulation Skills component of the framework. Two individual case studies are examined in which participants engaged in individually relevant music therapy activities designed to enhance identification and expression of feelings and emotions. Results included increased awareness and regulation of feelings and improved interpersonal connections with others as observed by the author and as self-reported by the participants.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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