Cross-cultural perspective: A thematic analysis of a music therapist’s experience providing treatment in a foreign country

Cross-cultural perspective: A thematic analysis of a music therapist’s experience providing treatment in a foreign country

Abstract

As more music therapists are travelling and moving to different countries and little has been written about cross-cultural treatment, the researcher sought to answer the following two questions: (a) What is the experience of a music therapist treating clients in a different culture? and (b) What issues arise in cross-cultural music therapy treatment? The research questions were explored using thematic analysis method. The experiences of a music therapist providing services in a different country were chronicled for one month. During the month of treatment, the participant wrote daily journal entries, processing her experience providing music therapy treatment in a foreign country and culture. Upon her return to the United States, the researcher interviewed the participant about her experience in Ecuador and her background prior to the trip. Data consisted of the therapist’s journal entries, responses to interview questions posed by the researcher, and responses to questions that arose during the coding of the data. Four overarching themes emerged from the data: allowing the music to facilitate, prominent role of drums, impact of differing views on therapy, and the music therapist’s uneasiness with the language barrier. Findings may assist other music therapists in their efforts to conduct cross-cultural treatment; results may also have implications for the training and education of music therapists.

Keywords: cross-cultural, music therapy, cultural norms


Citation

Gadberry, A.  (2014).  Cross-cultural perspective: A thematic analysis of a music therapist’s experience providing treatment in a foreign country. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 25, 66-80.


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Date published: July 2014