A Struggle Within: The Case Study of Kenneth


  • Joy L. Allen Loyola University, New Orleans




music therapy, cancer, pain, biopsychosocial


Music therapy is unique in its ability to address physical issues such as pain along with emotional and spiritual issues faced when living with a chronic illness.  This case study describes in-patient music therapy sessions with Kenneth, a 31-year-old man diagnosed with Burkett’s lymphoma and HIV. A biopsychosocial approach was taken throughout the seven months of recurrent music therapy sessions, focused on pain management, emotional and spiritual healing., and family dynamics.  Phases in the treatment process with Kenneth and his family are described along with personal thoughts and feelings of the therapist.  As working with medical patients is often supportive in nature, boundaries can become fluid.  The inherent parallel process became a powerful tool to facilitate awareness and healing for both client and therapist.

Author Biography

Joy L. Allen, Loyola University, New Orleans

Joy Allen, PhD, MT-BC is an Assistant Professor/Coordinator of Music Therapy at Loyola University, New Orleans.




How to Cite

Allen, J. L. (2015). A Struggle Within: The Case Study of Kenneth. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 15(1). https://doi.org/10.15845/voices.v1i1.783



Reflections on Practice