What are the factors of effective therapy? Encouraging a positive experience for families in music therapy — Rachel Swanick

First View – Article (published on 9 November 2019)

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What are the factors of effective therapy? Encouraging a positive experience for families in music therapy

Rachel Swanick

ABSTRACT

This article discusses the impact of trauma on cognitive development, linking this to a review of some of the literature available on the factors that enhance the therapeutic experience. Although the literature reviewed concerns general psychotherapy, further discussion is offered on the impact of the findings on music therapy. In response to the findings and the author’s continuing clinical music therapy work in the field of the impact of trauma, a pilot project is proposed using the Swanick-Chroma Assessment of Supportive Factors (S-CAF) questionnaire, which is based on Lambert’s four main factors of effective therapy: relationship/alliance, client characteristics, model of therapy, and expectancy. The S-CAF questionnaire can provide opportunities for professionals and the referred family to reflect on the levels of emotional and practical support available to them before and after the therapeutic process. It is proposed that the more the family feels emotionally supported, the greater the chance of success during and after therapy. A pilot research scheme is proposed to test the effectiveness of the S-CAF, with the creative arts therapists associated with Chroma (a creative arts therapies agency in the UK) undertaking the questionnaire as part of the therapeutic process (during assessment and evaluation). The results from the questionnaire will be used to inform the goals of the therapy, providing support to the family where needed.

KEYWORDS

trauma, therapeutic alliance, assessment

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Rachel Swanick is Senior Clinical Therapist at Chroma, UK. She uses theories from neuropsychology, behavioural and psychodynamic models for music therapy in attachment, trauma and wellbeing. Rachel’s work encompasses clinical work and assessments with children and families, the supervision and line management of therapists, as well as presenting and writing about music therapy. [rachel@wearechroma.com]