Clinical Applications Of Feminist Theory In Music Therapy: A Phenomenological Study

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kendra Bodry (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Melody Schwantes Reid, PhD, MT-BC

Abstract: This phenomenological study sought to discover music therapists’ clinical experience with feminist music therapy. Specifically, this study questioned how the feminist theoretical frame manifested clinically in music therapy sessions with clients and what types of music therapy experiences feminist music therapists utilized in the clinical setting. Numerous themes in the existing literature were apparent including valuing diverse voices, the need for intersectionality, and the importance of egalitarian relationships. Four board-certified music therapists participated in semi-structured interviews with the researcher. From these interviews ten themes emerged related to the research questions and were grouped into four categories: Implicit feminism, collaboration, feminist informed goals, and musicking. Other findings were included as well. It was found that feminist theory influenced the participants implicitly and they valued collaboration. Their implicit feminism informed clinical goals and they used music to address those goals. Participants encouraged others to work on self-discovery as a first step into feminist music therapy. They also called for more development in the theory in the form of best practices, continuing education opportunities, or trainings. These findings provide some beginning ideas about how feminist music therapy practice is possible. They also illustrated a need for further development and concrete clinical practices.

Additional Information

Bodry, K. (2018). "Clinical Applications Of Feminist Theory In Music Therapy: A Phenomenological Study." Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Music therapy, feminist theory, social justice, collaborative music, implicit feminism

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