• Sigrid Hallberg
4. term, Music Therapy, Master (Master Programme)
Inspiration for the subject of the thesis is found in the book Music and Consciousness, where music therapist Helen Bonny describes a collaboration between herself and art therapist Joan Kellogg in the 1970’ies at Maryland Psychiatric Research Centre. They did an experiment, where the client in Bonnys GIM-therapy session drew a mandala after the music journey. Bonny send the mandala to Kellogg who – without knowing anything about the client - interpreted the mandala and pronounced diagnosis, problems and psychological themes. Kellogg was very precise in her pronouncements and Bonny concluded that these pronouncements had great value in making decisions concerning the therapeutic work with the client. She also concluded that drawing a mandala after the music journey, and having an art therapist to interpret this, is an effectual therapeutic combination.
Since this experiment Kellogg has developed a model for interpreting mandalas, and several art therapists use this model today as a therapeutic method. Art therapist Susanne Fincher has also developed a model for interpreting mandalas. Her model is different from Kellogg’s on decisive points.
From this information the research questions of the thesis are as follows:
•What type of information is received about the client by using respectively Kellogg’s and Fincher’s models in connection with interpretation of mandalas from a GIM-session?
•What resemblances and differences are there in information about the client gained by the use of the 2 models? – And is this information supplementary or contrasting compared to each other?
•In the book Music & consciousness Bonny concludes, that the combination of GIM as psychotherapy and the following opportunity to draw a mandala , which is interpreted by an art therapist (Kelloggs model) – is an effectual therapeutic combination. Is this conclusion confirmed or disproved by the results of the investigation in this thesis? – And will it be as efficient/not efficient to use Finchers model to interpret mandalas in a GIM-therapeutic context?

To investigate these research questions the design of the thesis is based on repeating the Bonny and Kellogg experiments. The research approach is qualitative and based on a single case (M). M has had 3 sessions of GIM-therapy, and has afterwards drawn a mandala which has been sent to art therapist and Professor Michelle Takei, who has interpreted the mandalas according to Kellogg’s model. After the sessions the mandalas were also interpreted according to Fincher’s model.
Data achieved from the interpretations of the mandalas have been analysed by using a method from Grounded Theory. The epistemological approach has however been hermeneutic. From a clinical and a meta-theoretical point of view, it has been investigated and discussed what type of information is achieved by using the two models.
The main points of the conclusion are as follows.
From a clinical perspective both models give information about:
•M’s perception of him self/his Self
•M’s relation to other people
•M’s process of breaking free from his parents
•Development in M’s way of thinking
•M’s relation to own feelings
•Essential themes in M’s life
Furthermore Fincher’s model gives information about 9 other aspects of M’s way of thinking, feeling, his concerns and what he cherishes – whereas Kellogg’s model gives a diagnosis and information about M’s development of confidence. The different information achieved from the two models is regarded as supplementary to each other.
From the meta-theoretical perspective it is seen, that the two models have decisive differences in their ontological and epistemological approach, in the level of knowledge and in the relevance of the knowledge achieved. In spite of this the models are regarded as illustrating different nuances and aspects of the client. This difference gives a broad knowledge of M, and the models are regarded as supplementary to each other.
According to the 3rd research question can be said, that with the interpretation of M’s mandalas according to Kellogg’s model, Prof. Takei showed to be very precise in her interpretations. The interpretations contributed to make more qualified decisions in the GIM-therapy – and by this Bonny’s conclusion is confirmed. Furthermore it is seen, that not only does Fincher’s model show to be as effectual as Kellogg’s – it seems to be more effectual because of involvement of the client in the interpretation of the mandala - and because of a direct verbal interaction between the therapist and the client.
Publication date17 Jul 2010
Number of pages80
Publishing institutionMusikterapi, Aalborg Universitet
ID: 34451366