Hope and grief - Music Therapy in the emotional processes of the dying

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Lea Ryltoft
4. term, Music Therapy, Master (Master Programme)
Abstract
Subject and research question
The present thesis deals with music therapist’s experiences of hope and grief in palliative patients at hospice. The Dual Process Model of Coping With Bereavement is examined as a theoretical framework of understanding palliative patient's emotional processes. Through a qualitative empirical study consisting of an interview based phenomenological analysis of interviews with two palliative music therapists, the following research-problem is answered:
How does music-therapists, who work with terminal-certified hospice patients, sense, respond, understand and interpret hope and grief in the music-therapeutic work? And what do they think of The Dual Process Model of Coping With Bereavement as a theoretical framework for the emotional process of the dying?
Purpose
The purpose of the thesis is to describe whether The Dual Process Model of Coping With Bereavement is practically useful in the music-therapeutic work with dying people. In palliative practice, The Dual Process Model of Coping With Bereavement gains acceptance to explain the emotional processes of the dying, but lacks empirical basis for its convertibility from the bereaved to the dying. Thus, the goal of my thesis is to contribute with a music-therapeutic view of the model's practical applicability with dying.
Theory
The thesis presents a theoretical description of The Dual Process Model of Coping With Bereavement and discusses subject-related music therapeutic literature on palliative griefwork, as well as music-therapy-literature focusing on hope and grief, which are two phenomena that are essential in The Dual Process Model of Coping With Bereavement and in the work with dying.
Method
Data are collected through phenomenological life-world interviews with two palliative music therapists and analyzed by a phenomenological analysis, inspired by Pedersen's Extended Form of Phenomenological Analysis (PEFPA). The results of the analysis are summarized in a global distilled essence that constitutes the answer to my research question.
Results
The two palliative music therapists consider hope and grief to be two essential parts of the work with dying. These two parts are opposed to each other but can also be closely related. Both hope and grief contain each their own related feelings, emotions and sensory or physical expressions. The music therapists experience having unique tools in the music to mirror and accommodate the feelings and expressions of the patient and use the music to regulate these, or to bring the patient to a more appropriate emotional state when necessary. The music therapists consider The Dual Process Model of Coping With Bereavement to be a useful theoretical framework for understanding patient's oscillate between grieving and hope, or restorative activities. The music can both enlarge the experience of each of the two tracks, but also be the link between them when the patient is stagnated in one track.
Keywords
Music therapy, palliation, dying, hospice, grief, griefwork, The Dual Process Model of Coping With Bereavement, phenomenology, Life-world Interview, Pedersen’s Extended Form of Phenomenological Analysis.
Source
(Ryltoft, L., 2017. Håbet og sorgen – Musikterapi i døendes følelsesmæssige processer. Aalborg: Education of Music Therapy, Aalborg University)
LanguageDanish
Publication date31 May 2017
Number of pages67
ID: 258717935