This article explores the ways in which the expectations of clients and referrers can impact the music therapy process. The setting is one of a self-employed music therapist working for a music therapy provider. The referrals for this therapist come from the community via the provider’s website. A room in a community centre is used for sessions. Three case studies are presented, through which the relationship between the client’s or referrer’s expectations of music therapy and the actual outcomes of the work is explored. The first case study illustrates a scenario in which a client’s expectations were different from what the therapist could offer, but an informed decision to continue music therapy on the part of the client was reached. The second case study considers how the communication between the therapist and referrer about the referrer’s expectations enabled a client’s needs to be met through a challenging therapy process. The third case study looks at how a previous experience of therapy for the referrer may have led to high expectations of the therapy for a client she referred. The paper examines how these expectations influenced the therapy process. The author argues that the expectations of the person referring a client can have a significant influence on the therapy process and must be accounted for.
Copyright (c) 2021 Susannah Wettone
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