Integration of music therapy and theology: A preliminary approach

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Integration of music therapy and theology: A preliminary approach


The notion of collaboration between music therapists and the clergy comes to us supported by several different perspectives within the music therapy literature – philosophical, theoretical, practical and developmental. The process of collaboration, however, has yet to receive the attention it deserves, being hindered primarily by the lack of a framework within which such a relationship can be described. The purpose of this paper is to present such a model, deriving it of necessity from the field of psychotheology. The model uses prayer – a concept compatible with both fields – to integrate music therapy and theology. Examination of its usefulness finds support for the premise that there is much to be gained from such an approach, including potentially improved therapeutic outcomes. The paper concludes that collaboration with the clergy is a likely prerequisite for improved spiritual health care by music therapists and clergy alike and that, as such, is required of both professions in their work as members of the holistic health care team. It recommends that further study be made of this relationship in general, and of the model of “compatibility” as it applies to the integration of music therapy and theology, in particular.

Keywords: Music therapy, theology, collaboration


Nickles, R. (1992). Integration of music therapy and theology: A preliminary approach. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 3, 52-56.

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Date published: July 1992