A survey of music therapists' experiencing seeking therapy



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The purpose of this study was to investigate therapy-seeking behaviors of board-certified music therapists, specifically regarding the rate of past and present therapy attendance, type of therapy utilized, the reason(s) music therapists seek therapy, and the role of gender or theoretical orientation on rates of therapy-seeking. Music therapists were examined as both professional musicians and allied health professionals, potentially exposing them to both areas of occupational risk relating to psychological stress or illness. This study was cross-sectional and descriptive in nature. A survey was created and sent to 8,493 board-certified music therapists, using an email list purchased from the Certification Board for Music Therapists. The survey contained questions that collected data on demographic information, professional characteristics, and information related to the research questions. Of the 8,493 email recipients, 945 individuals completed the survey. Qualitative and descriptive statistical analyses were used to organize and interpret the data. Several findings were generated from this study. The majority of participants indicated that they have attended therapy or counseling at some point in time during their career. The most commonly utilized form of therapy was talk therapy or verbal counseling. Common reasons for therapy attendance were to seek personal insight, address a mental health concern, address feelings of stress from work, and to address a mental illness. There was no apparent difference in therapy-seeking dependent on gender, but participants with theoretical orientations that emphasize the important of personal insight may have higher rates of therapy utilization. Implications from the findings of the study and recommendations for future research were discussed.



Music therapy, Therapy-seeking, Mental health, allied health personnel