Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music
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Music therapy in treatment of eating disorders

Ingvild Stene’s PhD project address and discuss possible effects of utilizing music therapy in promoting health for young people - who are suffering from an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are psychiatric conditions where medical complications are common. Despite its prevalence and devastating effects on those suffering, there is still no clear consensus on how to best understand and treat these multifaceted conditions.

Stene’s study will build on empirical data gathered through a pilot study and a main study. She will base the project on interviews, test results and group observations. The main objective is to investigate the possible effects of receptive music therapy in 10 group sessions with eight participants. The researcher has the role of being music therapist in the group sessions, collaborating together with a clinical psychologist.

The receptive methods are described as an exploratory process, which includes music examples initiated by the group members. The music examples chosen by the music therapist are influenced by the Guided Imagery and Music method (GIM).

The results of the Stene’s study will present and discuss how music affects bodies and bodily experiences. It is likely that the participants describe music as a way of getting in touch with their body and emotional states. Positive and negative experiences of the body discusses within a mentalization-based framework. Simply stated; mentalization can be understood as the ongoing process of understanding ourselves from the outside and others from inside.

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