Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Building Relationships in a Youth Justice Residence in Aotearoa New Zealand: Experiences of a Music Therapy Student

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Version 2 2023-09-26, 01:36
Version 1 2021-12-07, 10:28
posted on 2021-12-07, 10:28 authored by Stone, Meg

Using Action Research, I explored my experience as a music therapy student in the process of developing relationships in a Youth Justice Residence in Aotearoa New Zealand. I reviewed a body of literature on therapeutic relationships within arts therapies and broader therapeutic traditions, music therapy with at-risk-youth, and social-justice perspectives in music therapy. Data was generated by means of journals and supervision notes and was analysed using thematic analysis through three cycles of action research. All names of the young people were changed to protect their anonymity. Findings showed that building relationships in this context involved having knowledge about the context and the population, self-knowledge and reflexivity, an ability to work across difference, and shared music-making.  While the research was primarily being undertaken to improve practice, student research can offer a valuable addition to the field of music therapy, which is a relatively new field that requires more research to fully understand its benefits and challenges in various contexts and with different populations. This study may support other practitioners in their own process of relationships building with youth-at-risk within the local context of Aotearoa New Zealand, and may illustrate strategies that support this within the context of youth justice residence, as well as barriers and challenges involved.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Music Therapy

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music Therapy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Rickson, Daphne