Music Therapy: Building Bridges Between a Participatory Approach and Trauma-informed Care in a Child Welfare Setting

Viggo Kruger
Dag Ø. Nordanger
Brynjulf Stige


Despite a growing interest in music therapy within child welfare practice, music therapy practices within these contexts are still under-researched in Norway. The present study takes a collaborative community music therapy practice as its point of departure. We interviewed nine social workers aged 30-55 from four different child welfare institutions about their ideas on the advantages and disadvantages of music therapy as an approach to promote mental health and development. Informants’ ideas about the benefits of music therapy circled around four main themes: a) safety and well-being, b) relationships and mastery, c) dealing with complex emotions, and d) continuity and stability, across situations. Findings show that the social workers’ reflections around music therapy correspond with child welfare issues such as trauma-informed care and participation.