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Merete Holme: Music therapy and emotion processes in adolescents with depressive disorder

The complete title of the project is "I've got the music in me". Music therapy and emotion processes in adolescents with depressive disorder: a mixed methods feasibility study.

Field of study: Music Therapy.


More than 50% of adolescents referred to BUP have depressive thoughts or suspected depressive disorder as a reason for referral. A large proportion of these adolescents are diagnosed with depression alone or in combination with other mental disorders. There are moderate effects of standard recommended treatment with different types of psychotherapy and possibly the addition of drugs. Supplementary treatments are requested.

Studies of music therapy in adults with depressive disorder show significant positive effects on depressive symptoms and daily functioning. There are very few clinical trials of music therapy for young people with depressive disorders, and more studies are needed. In this feasibility study, we will investigate whether a music therapy program can be applied to adolescents aged 14 to 18 years with a depressive disorder. In addition, we will study whether music therapy as a supplement to standard treatment can provide significant individual improvements in depressive symptoms, reduction of accompanying difficulties (including self-harm and suicidal thoughts), and improvements in quality of life and daily functioning. Since difficulties in regulating emotions appear to be central in young people with sadness, suicidal thoughts and self-harm, we will also survey adolescents' experiences and feelings related to music with the hypothesis that music therapy can provide better regulation of emotions. Music therapy should be based on a relational, humanistic and resource-oriented approach. Psychological theories of affect consciousness and emotional regulation will be central.

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Published: Jun 8, 2022 — Last updated: Mar 8, 2024