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How do music therapists use songwriting techniques and processes to facilitate self-expression with people who have eating disorders?

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posted on 31.08.2021, 01:47 by Pickard, Eliza

This qualitative research explored how music therapists use songwriting to facilitate self-expression with people who have eating disorders. I employed an interpretative approach using an exploratory research method. It involved being reflexive within my songwriting processes to gain a deeper understanding of personal self-expression to inform my music therapy practice as a student. The main data source was based on literature accompanied by a personal journal and some clinical notes. An analysis of data was applied using thematic analysis to develop themes and produce findings. The findings suggested that by utilising songwriting techniques, music therapists can help people who have eating disorders developtheir identity, create a safe environment for people to express themselves, and provide opportunities for letting go of control. This project helped me to develop my songwriting and reflexive skills in a therapeutic context and to facilitate groups with people who have eating disorders. It also helped me to gain a more in-depth understanding of the various songwriting techniques and processes that music therapists use to facilitate self-expression in the context of eating disorders.


Advisor 1

Hoskyns, Sarah

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Music Therapy

Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music Therapy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music