McCaffrey, Carr, Solli and Hense

Music Therapy and Recovery in Mental Health: Seeking a Way Forward

Tríona McCaffrey, Catherine Carr, Hans Petter Solli, Cherry Hense


As recovery is a prevailing vision for modern mental health services internationally, it is timely to consider its current state of play in relation to music therapy practice. This paper offers a theoretical perspective of this topic, by presenting the views of four music therapy researchers situated in Australia, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Each of the four authors completed doctoral research in music therapy in the past three years that is explicitly about, or related to, recovery in mental health. Collectively all authors have considerable experience of providing individual and group music therapy services in acute and community settings with adults and adolescents within recovery-oriented services. This article aims to elaborate on the implications of music therapy as a recovery-oriented practice, while presenting recommendations as to how music therapy can maximize support for recovery for our patients and service users. It draws on our respective doctoral study findings and lived experience of offering music therapy in recovery-oriented services, so as to present a collective theoretical perspective to other music therapy practitioners who are interested in this growing area. By doing so we hope to encourage discussion and response from music therapists practising in various mental health contexts in the service of developing the best possible music therapy services to our patients and service users.


Mental health, well-being, recovery, music therapy.

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