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A Descriptive Analysis of the Educational Perceptions, Professional Identity, and Professional Practices of Dual-Trained Music Therapists as Counselors.
BackgroundGiven 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.
ObjectiveTo 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.
MethodsA 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.
ResultsEligibility 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.
ConclusionsThe 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.
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.
Surveys and Questionnaires
Pub Type(s)Journal Article