Music Therapy Interventions for Deaf Clients with Dual Diagnosis


  • Anna Johnson Ward Cherry Hospital, NC, United States



Deaf, language-dysfluency, vibrotactile feedback, music therapy, mental health, dual diagnosis, intellectual disability


The current music therapy literature addresses the use of music with the Deaf population, particularly those with cochlear implants. However, few studies or descriptions of music therapy with Deaf individuals who are dually diagnosed with an emotional or behavioral disorder and an intellectual disability have been conducted. Given that music therapy has been found to be an effective intervention for both Deaf individuals and individuals with emotional or behavioral needs, ideas and resources for music therapists working with this population are needed. These case examples provide a description of music therapy for individuals who were dually diagnosed in a residential mental health facility. Music therapy experiences and their effectiveness for Deaf patients with dual diagnoses are presented as well as cultural aspects of music within the Deaf community and their implications for creating music therapy interventions.

Author Biography

Anna Johnson Ward, Cherry Hospital, NC, United States

Anna Johnson Ward was born in Louisiana and raised in North Carolina. Upon graduating from high school, Anna attended Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC where she earned a bachelor’s degree in sacred music in May 2010.In the fall of 2010, she entered the equivalency/master’s program for music therapy at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Her internship at Fraser School in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2012 marked the completion of the Equivalency in music therapy. Anna returned to Appalachian State University to complete her master of music therapy degree, and became a board certified music therapist in January of 2013.After working as a subcontract music therapist for a year and a half, Anna accepted a position as a Creative Expressive Arts Therapist at Cherry Hospital, an inpatient state run psychiatric facility in NC, where she is currently employed.




How to Cite

Ward, A. J. (2016). Music Therapy Interventions for Deaf Clients with Dual Diagnosis. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 16(3).