• A PHENOMENOLOGICAL INQUIRY INTO INTER MUSIC THERAPY: AN “EXPERIENTIAL MEETING PLACE”

      Magee, Wendy; Shoemark, Helen; Parker, Elizabeth Cassidy; Pedersen, Inge Nygaard (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
      Analytical Music Therapy (AMT) is an advanced model of music therapy practice in the United States. Inter Music Therapy (IMT) is one of four required training stages to becoming an analytical music therapist. IMT is an experiential process where two AMT trainees take turns being therapist and client to one another, while under the direct supervision of the AMT trainer. Music is an integral component throughout IMT. All clinical material addressed and processed in IMT is lived experience, rather than role-play. To date, there is limited research documenting the experience of IMT for the AMT trainee. This study describes the IMT experience for AMT trainees, reveals the most significant experiences of IMT, and identifies how IMT shapes the clinical skills of music therapists who experience it. Findings from this study may add value to the training of music therapists in general. This study implemented the qualitative interpretivist research approach of Transcendental Phenomenology to explore the lived experience of IMT from the perspective of persons who have participated in it. Six participants were interviewed, interviews were recorded and transcribed, and the data were analyzed in two phases. Phase one resulted in a synthesis for each participant. Syntheses are rich descriptions of each participant’s IMT experience. The final step in phase one resulted in a global distilled global essence describing what it is like to experience IMT. Phase two was a cross participant analysis resulting in six global themes, and some of these themes were further developed through sub-themes. The self-experience of IMT provided multiple learning opportunities for AMT trainees. IMT shaped AMT trainees’ clinical skills in the following ways: increased capacity for empathy, enhanced therapeutic presence, recognition of how personal material influenced the therapy session, further developed self-awareness, and expanded musical creativity. The supervisory process enhanced AMT trainees’ appreciation for supervision, and the value of trust in the therapy process. Log writing was instrumental to integrating learning. The following recommendations are suggested to strengthen music therapy training and supervision in general: opportunities for music making while in the role of self to increase self-awareness in training and supervision, with an emphasis on creativity; opportunities for live or recorded observation of clinical work in supervision (in academic settings and professional supervision); and training opportunities for music therapy supervisors along with improved clarity in the competency of music therapy supervisors.