Keeping parents at the centre of family centred music therapy with hospitalised infants

Keeping parents at the centre of family centred music therapy with hospitalised infants

Abstract

Music therapy for hospitalised newborn infants is an emerging clinical field. While a clear picture is being built in the literature about effective methods for direct work with infants, it is more difficult to inform the clinical reality of providing services in a family-centred practice model. Beginning with a single case study, the authors engaged in lengthy discussion about the broader issues of providing effective clinical services to the families of hospitalised infants. The authors wrote their own narratives about working with families, using their practice wisdom as music therapists and their personal experiences of hospitalisation with family. These narratives were combined and framed into categories. After a rest period of several months, these categories were revisited and repetitious material was deleted and overlapping material was collapsed under major themes. Finally the authors sought validation of the content from a colleague with 15 years experience working with families in hospital. The themes include: The necessary character of the music therapist; music therapy is a triadic relationship; endurance--the long journey; parents experience joy during music therapy; music therapy acknowledges the "whole" developing child; the contingent relationship; a whole life.

 

Keywords: music therapy, NICU, neonatal, family-centred care, parent support programs


Citation

Shoemark, H., & Dearn, T. (2008). Keeping parents at the centre of family centred music therapy with hospitalised infants. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 19, 3-24.


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Date published: July 2008