“The Opposite of Treatment”: A qualitative study of how patients diagnosed with psychosis experience music therapy
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Previous research studies regarding music therapy and severe mental illness have mainly adopted quantitative methodologies in order to study the effectiveness of music therapy interventions. Studies that have explored service users’ experiences of participation in music therapy are small in number, and almost nonexistent in the field of psychosis. This study aimed to explore how mental health patients with a diagnosis of psychosis experienced participation in music therapy, in general, and more specifically how they experienced music therapy in relation to their current mental state and life situation. Nine inpatients with psychosis were interviewed using a semistructured interview focusing on the participants’ experiences of music therapy in individual sessions, groups, and performances. Through the use of interpretative phenomenological analysis, four super-ordinate themes central to the participants’ experiences were found: freedom, contact, wellbeing, and symptom reduction. Based on the findings, mental health recovery, positive mental health, and agency are proposed as constituting a better framework for music therapy in mental healthcare than a primary focus on symptom remission and functional improvement.