A Music-Based, Insight-Oriented, Online Group Process for Early Career Researchers During the Global Pandemic
Keywords:Guided Imagery and Music; online music group; early career researchers; global pandemic; flourishing
This report describes a music-based, insight-oriented, online group program for supporting the wellbeing of early career researchers during the global pandemic. A substantial body of research illuminates the wellbeing challenges faced by university students, notably PhD researchers. This context, coupled with the author’s significant experience and leadership roles within a tertiary research and teaching environment, and with a key responsibility for student wellbeing, led to the opportunity to conceive of a novel online program designed specifically for PhD researchers. Students were invited to engage in an 8 week, online group program, incorporating a range of theoretical perspectives and disciplinary approaches influenced by the author’s specific experiences as a music therapist, Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) therapist, lecturer and transformational coach. The use of self-revealing storytelling, alongside guided, creative, experiential activities, with a strong emphasis on music listening was fundamental to supporting participants in recognising both the shared nature of the external conditions they were grappling with as early career researchers, as well as the internal barriers to personal flourishing that they might benefit from understanding. Evaluation of the group involved narrative feedback through participant self-report in week four of the program, with typical feedback including descriptions of how the group afforded reconnection with their research aspirations, perspective and insight into their current personal challenges and strategies for better supporting oneself. Although this program was created specifically to respond to unexpected conditions, some aspects may be useful for future program design.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Katrina Skewes McFerran
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