• Jaione Oribe
4. term, Music Therapy, Master (Master Programme)
Music therapy has been used more and more in palliative care within the last two decades to
address physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people with terminal illnesses. Besides,
interest in spiritual care is gaining relevance in health care and particularly in end-of-life care.
Considering these facts, I present this Master Thesis about spiritual experiences in music
therapy at the end of life. It is a qualitative research that seeks to understand how the music
therapist facilitates spiritual experiences with people with terminal illnesses through music
therapy. The method consists of two semi-structured interviews to music therapists with ample
experience in the end of the life, and the succeeding analysis of these texts. The analysis is
done from a hermeneutical perspective, and combines a deductive and an inductive approach.
Results explain spirituality as a transversal dimension of the person, and spiritual experience as
an experience of connection that can be reached and developed through music therapy. Music
therapy is valued as a therapeutic intervention within an interdisciplinary team who offer a
holistic model of care. This study suggests that, when the person with an advanced disease
gets close to death, a spiritual awakening happens, so addressing spiritual concerns is relevant
and meaningful for them. According to the findings, in music therapy sessions the music
therapist is the most important element for creating spiritual experiences at this stage of life, so
spiritually aware music therapists are needed. At the shame time, music itself is a medium with
an intrinsic spiritual power, because it facilitates that people express themselves and
communicate with others.
Due to music therapists’ spiritual qualities and the spiritual nature of music, people can live
experiences of connection and meaning in a stage of life marked by losses. Through this study I
would like to express that, through music therapy, it is possible to enhance Life at the end of
Publication date30 May 2016
Number of pages140
ID: 234410667