A theoretical music therapy framework for working with people with dissociative identity disorder

A theoretical music therapy framework for working with people with dissociative identity disorder

Abstract

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a debilitating disorder acquired due to severe ongoing neglect or abuse, characterised by the presence of two or more identities that frequently control the individual's behaviour (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). Literature pertaining to the wider spectrum of trauma outlines the benefits of various therapeutic interventions, including music therapy. With limited research into the field of DID and music therapy, the current authors identified a need for a systematic approach to the treatment of clients in music therapy programs. Through the use of Lev-Weisel's (2008) suggested four therapeutic goals of treatment: symptom relief, de-stigmatisation, increase self-esteem, and prevention of future abuse; an accessible framework is provided for use with dissociative clients. With a session example of the use of song parody, a practical use of the four-goal framework is outlined. As there has been limited research in the field of DID and music therapy to date, along with the theoretical framework, the authors provide recommendations for future music therapy practice with DID clients.

 

Keywords: Dissociative identity disorder, music therapy, trauma, cognitive behavioural therapy, song writing/parody


Citation

Gleadhill, L., & Ferris, K. (2010). A theoretical music therapy framework for working with people with dissociative identity disorder. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 21, 42-55.


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Date published: July 2010