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Journal of Music Therapy


The primary purpose of this study was to gather information in order to understand if and how various modalities of personal therapy are employed with undergraduate music therapy students in the United States, AMTA degree program coordinators were asked about 3 therapy modalities, in particular: verbal therapy, music therapy, and expressive arts therapy (excluding music therapy).

It was predicted that less than a quarter of the respondents would indicate that personal therapy of any modality was required in their undergraduate curricula, but that a larger percentage would indicate that it was encouraged. Both hypotheses were supported, with just over 14% of the respondents indicating that they require some form of personal therapy and 32% indicating that they encourage it, with 73% of this latter subgroup encouraging verbal therapy and 46% encouraging music therapy.

It was further predicted that, when therapy was required or encouraged, it was most often provided by an individual who was associated with the college or university and that therapy was usually provided in a group format. Respondent comments related to these two questions revealed considerable confusion between experiential exercises and personal therapy, leading to dubious validity of some of the numerical data.

Qualitative treatment of narrative responses illuminated four salient issues regarding personal therapy for undergraduate music therapy students, as follows:

  1. the legal and ethical feasibility of making personal therapy a requirement;
  2. the cost and availability of qualified professionals;
  3. the benefits of personal therapy as an integral facet of undergraduate music therapy training and education;
  4. the appropriateness of personal therapy at the undergraduate level of training.

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The document available for download is the authors' accepted manuscript, posted here in compliance with the publisher's policy on self-archiving. Some differences may exist between this version and the publisher's version; as such, researchers wishing to quote directly from it are advised to consult the version of record, available at many libraries or from the publisher.

Permission documentation is on file.


American Music Therapy Association





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