Music Therapy as Grief Therapy for Adults With Mental Illness and Complicated Grief: A Pilot Study

Y. A. Iliya

Abstract

This randomized, controlled, mixed-methods pilot study examined the effectiveness and experiences of grief-specific music therapy, in addition to standard care, with adults (N=10) who have complicated grief (CG) and mental illness, as compared to standard care alone. The study tested Worden's (2009) theories of grief therapy as well as a new grief-specific music therapy intervention, based on Shear, Frank, Houck, and Reynolds' (2005) imaginal dialogue intervention and Austin's (2008) method of vocal psychotherapy. Results demonstrated that participants in the experimental group had a greater decrease of grief symptoms, as measured by the ICG-R, as compared with the control group.