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I don’t think of you as a ther­ap­ist, you know”

In his dissertation, Gisle Fuhr explores how adolescents and music therapists in the Norwegian Child Welfare Services experience and talk about their relationship.

Six adolescents in out-of-home care and their music therapists are interviewed in dyads. The interviews are analysed with a dual-focused approach: first, a hermeneutic phenomenological thematic analysis examines the informants’ experiences of their relationship, and second, a discourse-oriented thematic analysis explores discursive patterns in the informants’ descriptions.

Among the findings of the two analyses are that the adolescents identify feelings of realness, understanding, acceptance, and respect for privacy in the relationships – feelings that are described as lacking in other relationships in the adolescents’ lives. Other findings show that over the course of time, the adolescents and music therapists develop their own shared ways of talking about and understanding their shared practice. However, they also differ in how they describe aspects of their relationship, especially in discussions on concepts like ‘music’, ‘therapy’, and ‘therapist’.

Combining the findings of the two explorations, Fuhr finds that the adolescents and music therapists of the study experience and talk about their relationship as one the unique possibilities. He suggests that music therapists can be a part of larger networks of support for adolescents in out-of-home care and possibly, provide forms of support that the adolescents do not experience elsewhere.

Gisle Fuhr (d.o.b. 1991) has studied music performance and psychology and is a trained music therapist. His main work has been with refugees and adolescents in the child welfare services.

NMH Publications 2022:1

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Published: Jan 26, 2022 — Last updated: Aug 15, 2022