Music therapy’s development in mental healthcare: An historical consideration of early ideas and intersecting agents.
Considering the history and development of music therapy in mental health is important in providing practitioners of the field with an understanding of the context in which the profession has emerged. The shaping of the discipline towards professionalization has involved multiple intersecting agents, ideas and processes over many years. This paper reviews some of the milestones and significant junctures that framed the practice of music therapy in mental health care whilst noting how some of these ingredients have been amplified or diminished over time. The author observes the numerous references to the ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’ along this trajectory and asks if such narratives are being lost in descriptions of contemporary music therapy practice in mental health.
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