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A Descriptive Analysis of the Educational Perceptions, Professional Identity, and Professional Practices of Dual-Trained Music Therapists as Counselors.

Abstract

Background

Given the rise in music therapy master's programs that offer dual degrees in music therapy and counseling or programs that satisfy state mental health counseling licensure laws, the professional counseling field is playing an increased role in the advanced education and professional practices of music therapists.

Objective

To identify factors that lead music therapists to pursue advanced education with an emphasis in professional counseling, perceptions about benefits and drawbacks for three advanced degree options (i.e., music therapy, counseling, and music therapy/counseling dual degree), and describe the professional practices and identity of dual-trained music therapists as counselors.

Methods

A convenience sample of music therapists (n = 123) who held board certification, and held a master's degree or higher that emphasized professional counseling, completed an online survey. We used descriptive statistics to analyze categorical and numeric survey data.

Results

Eligibility for licensure as a professional counselor was the most important decisional factor in selecting a specific master's degree program. Respondents also reported favorable perceptions of the dual degree in music therapy and counseling. With regard to professional practice and identity, respondents reported high use of verbal processing techniques alongside music therapy interventions, and dual-trained music therapists retained their professional identity as a music therapist.

Conclusions

The reported view of licensure in a related field as beneficial and frequent use of verbal processing techniques warrants future study into the role of counseling in the advanced training of music therapists. Given contradictory findings across studies, we recommend investigators also explore how a degree in a related field affects career longevity of music therapists.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education, Northern Illinois University.

    ,

    School of Music, Western Illinois University.

    Department of Educational Leadership and Counselor Education, Eastern Kentucky University.

    Source

    Journal of music therapy 54:3 2017 Nov 01 pg 300-335

    MeSH

    Adult
    Aged
    Career Choice
    Certification
    Counseling
    Counselors
    Female
    Humans
    Licensure
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Music
    Music Therapy
    Professional Practice
    Professional Role
    Surveys and Questionnaires

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    28992045