Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Rebecca Zarate


This capstone thesis aims to explore internal family systems and music therapy as tools for enhancing clinician reflexivity in community settings. Relational awareness is identified as a key skill within the broader definition of reflexivity. Various approaches in music therapy, internal family systems and the combination of IFS and the expressive therapies are described and connected to lift out common themes that provide greater understanding of how IFS and music therapy may complement each other to enhance relational awareness. Results indicated that embodiment is a key skill that is practiced within IFS and music therapy which could help develop relational awareness. Furthermore, musicking within an IFS framework provides a mechanism of organization to better support the therapist’s self-care and use of self. Lastly, the many roles played by the music therapist may indicate many parts of the music therapist, such as Musician and Wounded Healer. This way of viewing the music therapist identity provides a potential starting point for reflecting on relational experiences.

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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