Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Denise Malis


This thesis explores playfulness in the therapeutic relationship and in music therapy with adults in a partial hospital program. Playfulness is shown to be an effective tool in mental health treatment, aiding in the development of coping skills (Magnuson & Barnett, 2013). A method was applied in order to establish to what extent that playfulness is present and able to be accessed. Five music therapy groups took place with adults age eighteen and older in a partial hospital program that was being conducted in a hybrid (both virtual and in-person) format. Clinical observations concluded that playfulness can be accessed in music therapy for adults in acute mental health treatment, and may have an impact on the therapeutic relationship. Further research into how accessible playfulness is in this population, specifically in the context of music therapy, is suggested.

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