Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Dr. Jacelyn Biondo


This literature review explores and identifies essential aspects of songwriting with bereaved adolescents. First, it provides a description of grief and its processes with primary theoretical models. This is followed by a deeper look into adolescent grief, how it has been viewed in Western culture, along with and corresponding mental health needs. Expressive arts and music therapy approaches to grief and loss are explored, including a detailed of songwriting with bereaved adolescents. Improvisation and therapeutic relationship were found to be two crucial aspects to effective songwriting interventions with bereaved adolescents; person-centered approaches were used to develop authentic relationships with adolescent clients. There is a need for continued research on a Person-Centered Expressive Arts (PCEA) (Rogers, 1993) informed framework for songwriting with bereaved adolescents. Three established treatment protocols warrant further exploration with this population: Resilience Songwriting Program (RSP) (Myers-Coffman et al., 2019a; 2019b; 2020), Grief Song Writing Process (GSWP) (Dalton & Krout, 2005; 2006), and Automated Lyrical Songwriting Application (ALYSIA) (Cheatley et al., 2020; 2022). Each of these treatment protocols should be further researched with bereaved adolescents to determine efficacy, with particular attention to adolescents with developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as they are underrepresented in the literature. Lastly, the Grief Process Scale (GPS) (Dalton & Krout, 2005) was found to be a potentially effective measurement tool for client grief processes in music therapy. GPS should continue to be researched and reviewed with bereaved adolescents to further research in this area.

Creative Commons License

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




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