Adapting practice during the Covid-19 pandemic: Experiences, learnings, and observations of a music therapist running virtual music therapy for trafficked women — Lorraine McIntyre

First View – Report (published on 17 March 2020)

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This report describes a 10-week, hybrid face-to-face/virtual pilot project that was run in a safehouse in the south of England for women who had been rescued from human trafficking. Due to the implementation of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, the final three sessions of the pilot project were run online via video conferencing technology (Skype). Outcomes of the project suggested that, while there were challenges, running online sessions was beneficial and better than not offering any music therapy at all. Continued contact and the provision of a safe, therapeutic space was highly valued. This report explores the benefits and challenges of running music therapy in a virtual environment versus music therapy in a face-to-face environment.


virtual music therapy, trafficked women, covid-19, therapeutic presence, communication, interaction, language barriers, containment, musical holding


Lorraine McIntyre graduated from a music therapy MA at the University of Roehampton, London in summer 2019. She has successfully completed a music therapy pilot at a London safehouse for women who have been trafficked and following this, has been developing an arts therapy service at the safehouse together with a dramatherapist. Lorraine additionally delivers music therapy for a national adult mental health charity alongside her other work in the area of adult mental health and is in the process of setting up further projects with a particular focus on trauma and addiction in adolescents and adults. []