Wounded Healers i musikkterapi: Musikkterapeuters livserfaringer med egne psykiske helseutfordringer, egenomsorg og opplevelse av stigma.
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In this thesis the focus is on the experiences of music therapists working in mental health care and substance abuse care presenting themselves with mental health issues. I explore the informants’ experiences through the use of individual semi-structured interviews with follow-up interviews or follow-up questions per e-mail. In the beginning of each main interview, the informant is provided with the main research question: What does it mean to them, as a music therapist, to identify as a wounded healer when working within the context of mental health care and substance abuse care? With the research question asked, the informants address how music and other tools for self-care provide a safety net in an otherwise stigmatising world. Furthermore, the informants bring to light extensive criticism towards the music therapy education in Bergen, and their lack of focus on the music therapist’s own welfare. The severity of this lacking focus on the welfare of our own practitioners, is further driven home by statistics and other literature highlighting mental health issues, and a following stigma among mental health care professionals. To combat the stigma towards mental illnesses, and to help enlighten the music therapy education in Bergen, I propose a need for further interdisciplinary collaboration in the thesis. Through such collaborations, the informants and myself believe openness and knowledge may bring down this ‘swimming pool of sharks’, or rather, the barriers created by stigma.