Exploring the Music Therapist’s Use of Mindfulness Informed Techniques in Practice


Brooke Medcalf


The Australian Journal of Music Therapy




Despite the extensive research that demonstrates the efficacy of a mindful approach when working therapeutically, to date, there is limited literature that investigates its integration into music therapy. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the experience of four music therapists who incorporate techniques informed by mindfulness into their music therapy practice. Data was collected via one-on-oneSkype interviews with each participant. These interviews were analysed using the method of phenomenological microanalysis from which, five global meaning units emerged capturing the fundamental elements of the participants’ experience. These included (1) the integration of music and mindfulness,(2) client empowerment, (3) the benefits of the practitioners’ personal relationship with mindfulness, (4) positive client outcomes and (5) the parameters of a mindful approach. These findings illuminate how mindfulness-informed techniques might be applied in music therapy, as well as potential benefits to the client and practitioner alike. Furthermore, they highlight the importance of maintaining an awareness of the technique’s limitations with relation to the client’s unique circumstance. Additionally,formal training regarding the facilitation of mindfulness in a clinical setting is advocated so that music therapists may be best positioned to communicate a mindful approach, develop therapeutic skills and enhance the therapeutic encounter.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Chronic Pain; Interviews; Music Therapy; Music and Mindfulness; Pain; Pain Management and Control; Patient Satisfaction; Receptive Music Methods; Self-Efficacy

Indexed Terms

Handbooks; Quality of life; Psychotherapy; Psychology; Empowerment; Chronic illnesses; Pain; Cognitive therapy; Mental depression; Addictive behaviors

Study Type

Phenomenological Study; Qualitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type