1st Edition

Portraits of Everyday Practice in Music Therapy

Edited By Noah Potvin, Kate Myers-Coffman Copyright 2023
    294 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Portraits of Everyday Practice in Music Therapy is an edited volume of case studies providing music therapy students and new professionals with critical reflections on everyday clinical practice across a variety of treatment settings, theories, approaches, and cultural contexts.

    These case studies articulate the important foundational work occurring around clinical breakthroughs to illustrate less of what music therapy could be given extraordinary circumstances and more of what music therapy frequently is given realistic circumstances. Additionally, each author explores the impacts of cultural values, expectations, and roles on clinical contexts through examinations of their sociocultural identities and how they intersected with those with whom they worked. Discussion prompts at the end of chapters help readers engage in similar reflective practices and sustain engagement with introduced concepts and ideas.

    By providing ecological real-world contexts for practice and culturally reflexive lenses through which to understand how therapeutic processes evolved, music therapy students and professionals can be better prepared for the authenticity and complexity of everyday clinical work.

    Unit 1: Developing Clinical Readiness as a Music Therapist in Training

    1. Navigating Countertransference with Clinical Supervision 

    Kimberly Woodman & Katie Lahue

    2. From Culture Shock to Integrating Preferred Music by Youth: An International Music Therapist in Training's Journey Towards Cultural Reflexivity 

    Yiqing Xiang

    3. Cases From the Heart: A Journey of Vulnerability, Trust, and Growth for Intern and Supervisor 

    Sara Langenberger & Spencer Hardy

    4. Developing Adaptability and Bridging Authentic Relationships in Entry Level Music Therapy Training 

    Gabriela Espinal-Santiago and Kathryn MacGown

      Unit 2: Aligning Personal Values and Emerging Clinical Identities as a New Professional

    5. Discovering Self Through Reflexivity and Shared Social Identities with Clients

    Alex Peuser

    6. Finding Intimacy Through Supervision

    Joy Kaminski

    7. Expanding Practice by Exploring Clinical Limitations

    Cathleen Flynn

    8. How Much Giving is Enough?

    Yu-Ching Ruby Chen

      Unit 3: Attuning, Adapting, and Maturing in Practice

    9. Connecting, Disconnecting, and Reconnecting Through Changes in Therapeutic Context

    Crystal Luk-Worrall

    10. Regaining Trust in the Music: Music Therapy with Emily

    Conio Loretto

    11. The Ever-Changing NICU: A Journey Through Crisis

    Elisabeth Bombell

    12. Discovering Artistic Truth in Music Therapy 

    Cassandra Byers

    13. The Ebb and Flow of the Therapeutic Journey: Adjusting Theoretical Orientations in Clinical Practice 

    Katherine Myers-Coffman

      Unit 4: Embracing Complexity and Ambiguity in Practice

    14. The Extended Discharge: Relationship Building, Meaning Making, and Advocacy in Long-term Treatment

    Jesse Asch-Ortiz

    15. I Can Be With What She Brings

    Stephenie Sofield

    16. Sound, Silence, and Spoken Word: Music as a Holistic Aesthetic of Experience

    Noah Potvin

    17. Reconnecting Musicians with Music at the End of Life: Developing Musical Identity Beyond Performance

    Dalita Getzoyan

    18. "Luchando tu Estas": Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

    Gabriela Asch-Ortiz, Suzanne Miller, and Abby Patch

      Unit 5: Embracing Loss in Therapeutic Closure

    19. How it Feels to be Free: Reflections on the Relationship Between Music and Spirituality at the End of Life

    Jasmine Edwards

    20. Clinical Termination and Emotional Closure: Two Sides of the Same Coin

    Anthony Borzi

    21. It’s Time to Say Goodbye: Stories of Music Therapy Endings in Private Practice

    Lindsay Markworth

    22. Integrating Loss into Life: Termination in Bereavement Counseling and Music Therapy

    Molly G. Hicks


    Noah Potvin, PhD, LPC, MT-BC is an assistant professor at Duquesne University. His practice and scholarship focus on developing culturally reflexive, resource-oriented approaches in hospice music therapy that facilitate healthy end-of-life processes in response to individuals’ cultural traditions and social identities.

    Kate Myers-Coffman, PhD, MT-BC is an assistant professor at Molloy University whose work focuses on trauma-informed, resource-oriented music therapy for youth and families who have experienced trauma and loss as well as culturally humble approaches to music therapy practice, pedagogy, and research.

    "This deeply reflective volume is a timely, thoughtful, and holistic snapshot of contemporary music therapy practice from the perspective of a new generation of practitioners and is essential reading for aspiring music therapists and experienced practitioners alike. The editors’ transparency and compassion exemplify their commitment to humanistic, trauma-informed, and anti-oppressive discourse, and centering the voices of students and early-career practitioners and their internal processes spotlights new perspectives that significantly enrich the knowledge base. The accessible yet profound narratives provide intimate and poignant insight into everyday practices, and nurture and facilitate reader engagement with often challenging ideas."

    Dr. Beth Pickard, Senior Lecturer, Researcher and Music Therapist, University of South Wales, UK

    "Much of my music therapy training was filled with extraordinary stories of clients’ transformation through the power of music and the therapeutic relationships that developed through it. This book offers different narratives that are grossly missing in music therapy literature that are no less important - the everyday practice of music therapy. Drs. Potvin and Myers-Coffman have purposefully curated narratives from authors who have carefully considered their sociocultural identities, theoretical orientations, and current socio-political-cultural goings-on in the world, and how these elements have informed their everyday practice. These case studies beautifully detail examinations of clinical interactions and decisions, honor the music and lives of the everyday music therapy client(s), and invite the readers to do the same."

    Ming Yuan Low, PhD, MT-BC, Assistant Professor, Music Therapy, Berklee College of Music, USA