Reflections on Practice


Relational music therapy
child welfare

How to Cite

Wilhelmsen, C., & Fuhr, G. (2018). Reflections on Practice. Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy, 18(4).


This article presents and discusses three examples of relational processes in music therapy collaborations with adolescents in care of child welfare services. Theory on relational work in psychology, child welfare, and music therapy will be presented in order to describe the theoretical foundation of our approach. We reflect on different aspects of the therapeutic relationship, such as the distribution of roles and responsibilities between the therapist and adolescent, the need for patience, and the value of the musical cooperation in the relationship. Bordin’s theory on the therapeutic alliance functions as a framework for the discussion. We conclude that music activities can be a beneficial approach for giving adolescent in child welfare positive relational experiences with adult caregivers.

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