Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Elizabeth Kellogg


This paper initiates filling the gap in the literature by utilizing NMT, which addresses trauma through understanding and assessing how it has impacted a child neurodevelopmentally with music therapy. Children in intensive residential care are referred to treatment with a unique range of challenges resulting from their traumatic experiences. Of these challenges, included are a wide range of traumatic experiences such as physical/emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, homelessness, witnessing violence or domestic abuse, adjustment issues, attachment issues, or trauma while in utero. The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) is a newer framework for working with developmental trauma. Current research around the effectiveness of music therapy with children with trauma diagnoses tends to focus on the DSM definition, which encompasses witnessing a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, an accident, terrorism, war, or sexual violence (American Psychiatric Association, 2020), rather than the clinically accepted, but still unofficial diagnosis of developmental trauma (Malchiodi, Crenshaw, & Robarts 2015). This paper focuses on the practical application of music therapy within a framework intended specifically for children with developmental trauma. The question “What music therapy interventions are most beneficial to use in conjunction with NMT with children who have experienced trauma?" is addressed by presenting music therapy methods that correspond to a child’s state on the arousal continuum.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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