SURVEYING MUSIC THERAPISTS WHO WORK WITH AT-RISK FAMILIES
At-risk families remain to be a population in need of many services that most do not realize exist. Few studies have examined the practice and challenges faced when serving this specific population. In addition to that, there is little research that exists discussing how music therapy is implemented and how families are addressed during a session. The primary purpose of this study was to survey music therapists working with at-risk families regarding (1) educational and training characteristics, (2) clinical practices, and (3) challenges and limitations when serving this population. Participants included board-certified music therapists in the United States who reported currently working with or having worked with at-risk families in the past. The survey contained 27 questions about demographics, session structure, goals addressed, interventions utilized, challenges and limitations, as well as perceptions of effectiveness of music therapy practice. The most common setting for music therapy practice with at-risk families was private practice. The most commonly utilized interventions during assessment included interviews with the family, consultation with other providers, chart review, and re-creative music. The most commonly utilized interventions during regular reoccurring sessions included re-creative music and improvisation. The most common goal areas included communication, establishing rules, roles, and expectations, and behavioral issues.