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Music Therapy and Autism Across the Lifespan: A Spectrum of Approaches

by Henry Dunn, Elizabeth Coombes, Emma Maclean, Helen Mottram and Josie Nugent Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Pub Date:
Pbk 400 pages
AU$54.99 NZ$57.39
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The use of music therapy is long established with people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions. The combination of using music and relationship work in person-centred approaches supports the three main areas of difficulty people with autism often experience; social interaction, communication and imagination. Current research supports the positive psychological benefits of music therapy when people with autism spectrum conditions engage with music therapy. This book celebrates the richness of music therapy approaches and brings together the voices of practitioners in the UK. With a strong focus on practice-based evidence it showcases clinicians, researchers and educators working in a variety of settings across the lifespan.

FOREWORD Professor Adam Ockelford, University of Roehampton, United Kingdom

INTRODUCTIONHenry Dunn, Music Psychotherapist, Arts Therapies Service, Devon Partnership NHS Trust

PRELUDE: The Unanswered QuestionAuriel Warwick, Retired Music Therapist

PART 1 - IMPROVISATIONAL APPROACHESChapter 1 Clinical Trials.... Are Music Therapists Deluding Themselves?Amelia Oldfield, Music Therapist NHS, Laura Blauth, Freelance Music Therapist, Johanna Finneman, Cognitive Neuroscientist, +├┤rla Casey, Head of Music Therapy, Cambridgeshire Music, Cambridgeshire County Council.

Chapter 2 Evolving a Contemporary Psychoanalytically-Informed Relational Music Therapy with Children with High-Functioning Autism in Specialist School PlacementsJoy Gravestock, Freelance Music Therapist

Chapter 3 "Fight it Jake, Fight it!" The Ethics of Encouragement with Clients with anAutistic Spectrum ConditionRobin Bates, Music Therapist and Supervisor, Cornwall Music Therapy Trust

Chapter 4 Musical Interaction Therapy (MIT) For Children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASCs): Underlying Rationale, Clinical Practice And Research Evidence.Dawn Wimpory, Consultant Clinical Psychologist - Lead for ASD (NHS) and Lecturer (Bangor University, joint appointment) and Elise Gwilym, Freelance Music Therapist

Chapter 5 Group Clinical Improvisation as a Practice of Ritual and Connection for Young People with Autistic Spectrum Conditions Becky White, Associate Lecturer University of the West of England and Freelance Music Therapist

Chapter 6 Shared Experience; Learning from Other Modalities in Therapeutic Work with an Adult with an Autistic Spectrum ConditionAlistair Robertson, Music Therapist in the NHS and Voluntary Sector, Scotland

PART 2 - COLLABORATIVE APPROACHESChapter 7 Music Therapy with Children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions and Their FamiliesJosie Nugent, Music Therapist for Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, Derry, Northern Ireland and Freelance Music Therapist.

Chapter 8 How Do Music Therapists Share? Exploring Collaborative Approaches in Educational Settings for Children with Autistic Spectrum ConditionsEmma Maclean, Lead Music Therapist, NHS Lothian and Lecturer in Music Therapy, Queen Margaret University, Scotland and Claire Tillotson, Freelance Music Therapist

Chapter 9 Finding a Place: Context-Based Music Therapy in a Transitional Centre for Children with Autistic Spectrum ConditionsKate Fawcett, Freelance Music Therapist and Musician

Chapter 10 A Team Approach in Supporting Mark's Journey to Increased Social Engagement - Music Therapy Work with a Young Man with AutismCindy-Jo Morison, Senior Music Psychotherapist, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

PART 3 - MUSIC THERAPY APPROACHES CONNECTED WITH AUTISTIC IDENTITY AND CULTUREChapter 11 Voice and the Autistic Self: An Exploration Into How Non-Verbal Voicework in Music Therapy Can Support Intersubjective RelatednessTina Warnock, Freelance Music Therapist, Director for Belltree Music Therapy CIC and Vocal Psychotherapy UK

Chapter 12 Valuing Neurodiversity: A Humanistic, Non-Normative Model of Music Therapy Exploring Rogers' Person-Centred Approach with Young Adults with Autism Spectrum ConditionsBeth Pickard, Senior Lecturer University of South Wales, Wales, Freelance Music Therapist

Chapter 13 Self-Realisation in Music therapy: Assessing the Young Autistic Person's Sense of Self in the Quest for Wholeness through a Synthesis of Music Therapy, Psychosynthesis and a Developing Sense of Self Peter Whelan, Senior Music Therapist, Whitefield Schools, London

POSTLUDE: Music Therapy and Autism across the LifespanElizabeth Coombes, Course Leader, University of South Wales MA Music Therapy and Freelance Music Therapist and Supervisor, Wales and Emma Maclean, Lead Music Therapist, NHS Lothian, Lecturer in Music Therapy, Queen Margaret University, Scotland CONTRIBUTORS TO THE BOOK



This book brings together an impressive range of perspectives on music therapy practice in the UK, with authors offering reflective insights to their work across the autism spectrum and the lifespan. The writing is deeply respectful of the lived experience of people on the autism spectrum and highlights how music therapists can contribute to celebrating autistic identity and culture. Highly relevant critiques are made about best practice for defining and measuring outcomes in therapy that challenge clinicians and researchers to intensely reflect on their practice.

Henry Dunn is a Music Psychotherapist with Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

Elizabeth Coombes is Course Leader of the MA Music Therapy training at the University of South Wales.

Emma Maclean is Lead Music Therapist, NHS Lothian and Lecturer in Music Therapy, Queen Margaret University.

Helen Mottram is Music Therapist with Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Josie Nugent is a Freelance Music Therapist, Northern Ireland and Teacher and Supervisor on MA Music Therapy Training course, University of Limerick, Ireland.