1st Edition

Music Therapy with Adults with Learning Disabilities

Edited By Tessa Watson Copyright 2007
    176 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Music Therapy with Adults with Learning Disabilities explores how music therapists work in partnership with people with learning disabilities to encourage independence and empowerment and to address a wide variety of everyday issues and difficulties.

    Comprehensive and wide-ranging, this book describes in detail the role and work of the music therapist with adults with learning disabilities. Many clinical examples are used, including casework with people with autism, asperger’s syndrome, profound and multiple learning disabilities and a dual diagnosis of learning disability and mental health problems. The book also explores issues of team work and collaborative working, considering how music therapists and their colleagues can best work together. The chapters are grouped into four sections; an introduction to current music therapy work and policy in the area, clinical work with individuals, clinical work with groups, and collaborative and team work. Guidelines for good practice are also provided.

    This is a thought-provoking and topical text for all those involved in work with adults with learning disabilities; it is essential reading for music therapists and fellow professionals, carers, policy makers and students.

    Wigram, Foreword. Watson, Introduction. Watson, Valuing People: A New Framework. Watson, Music Therapy with Adults with Learning Disabilities: Sharing Stories. Saville, Music Therapy and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Warner, Challenging Behaviour: Working With the Blindingly Obvious. Richards, ‘What Bit of My Head is Talking Now?’: Music Therapy with People with Learning Disabilities and Mental Illness. Fillingham, Friendship and Group Work. Watson, Community, Culture and Group Work. Watson, Working with People with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities in Music Therapy. Saul, Looking in From the Outside: Communicating Effectively about Music Therapy Work. Twyford, Watson, Multidisciplinary Working and Collaborative Working in Music Therapy. Appendix I: Guidelines for Good Practice for Music Therapists. Appendix II: Useful Organizations and Websites.


    Tessa Watson is a music therapist and music therapy trainer. She is convenor of the music therapy training course at Roehampton University. Tessa’s current clinical work is with adults with learning disabilities for Ealing Primary Care Trust where she is Principal Arts Therapist.

    "This book is well resourced, guiding, inspiring, and helps us to understand why people with learning disabilities find music therapy so relevant for them." – Professor Tony Wigram

    "[A] welcome addition to the music therapy literature... this book provides a substantial addition to the music therapy literature, and especially that of adult learning disability... I would recommend reading the book from cover to cover." - British Journal of Music Therapy, Vol 22, No. 1, 2008