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Essay on Music Therapy and Child Abuse

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The purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between survivors of child abuse in music therapy sessions on reported self-esteem and perceived locus of control. Sawyer and Judd (2012) define child abuse as a “tragedy that harms children psychologically, emotionally and physically while disrupting healthy development.” Survivors of childhood trauma must live in fear of the accused perpetrator, go to numerous court proceedings, and manage complications associated with changes in family dynamics. Even though it is typically paired with abuse, because child neglect is legally separated, it will not be included in this study when referring to typical abuse (Sawyer & Judd, 2012). As cited in an article by Sawyer and Judd, there were close to3.3 million referrals of alleged child abuse in the United States of America (2012); this has profound implications on the field of music therapy because of the large amount of potential clients.
There are several domains that must be considered when treating a survivor of child abuse: the need for safety and trust, sense of belonging, protection from perceived or actual threats, facing the defendant in court, prevention of revictimization, and empowerment (Sawyer & Judd, 2012). Davis, 2005, states that “children terrorized through sexual abuse, neglect, physical abuse, or wartime atrocities may suffer from lasting wounds, nightmares, depression, and troubled adolescence involving substance abuse, binge eating, or aggression.” Victims of child abuse need to regain their sense of control over their lives. Experiencing healthy relationships, being nurtured by adults and helping them to learn resilience are all interventions that have been well-documented (Sawyer & Judd, 2...


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... and Development, 80(1), 77-85.

Myers, D. G. (2005). Exploring psychology: Sixth ediition in modules (6th ed.). New York, NY: Worth.

Rickson, D. J., & Wills, W. G. (2003). Music therapy to promot prosocial behaviors in aggressive adolescent boys: A pilot study. Journal of Music Therapy, 40(4), 283-301.

Sawyer, C., & Judd, R. (2012). Counselors and bikers collaborate to empower abused children. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 7, 35-48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15401383.2012.661243

Smith, L. (2012). Sparking divas! Therapeutic music video groups with at-risk youth. Music Therapy Perspectives, 30(1), 17-24.

Teague, A.K., Hahna, N.D., & McKinney, C.H. (2006) Group music therapy with women who have experienced intimate partner violence. Music Therapy Perspectives, 24 (2), 80-86 retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/199553887?accountid=33279




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