Rebecca Fairchild & Jennifer Bibb

Representing People in Music Therapy Research and Practice: A Balancing Act

Rebecca Fairchild, Jennifer Bibb


The process of representing people in academic writing and discussion is paradoxical. Drawing on our experiences of research in areas of child welfare and adult mental health, we consider whether the predominantly problem-focused language often used to describe and represent people in music therapy research and practice is congruent with the strengths-based way in which music therapists work. This article describes a "call to action" for music therapists to reflect on the language we use to represent the people we work and research with. We argue the need for a better balance in representing people in music therapy case studies, presentations and articles, by focusing on their strengths and resilience along with their challenges.


representation; language; resource-oriented; music therapy

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