Music therapy skills used in songwriting within a palliative care setting

Music therapy skills used in songwriting within a palliative care setting

Abstract

 

This paper describes music therapy skills used in facilitating patients receiving palliative care to write songs. In sessions the music therapist should provide enough structure to allow patients to be as creative as possible. Methods used vary according to the patients' physical and neuro-psychological impairments and their needs. The author has found songwriting a valuable medium through which extremely disabled patients may ventilate pent-up feelings, gain support, send messages to special people and feel that they are contributing something unique to this world, thereby gain much pleasure and self-esteem. A music therapist should have the skills to aid patients in realising their songwriting potential.

Key words: Music therapy; palliative care; songwriting


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Date published: July 1990