• Johanne Bøgh Nielsen
4. term, Music Therapy, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis investigates the phenomenon of synchronicity in music therapy with a 5-year-old boy ‘Oliver’ who is diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is an explorative study that gains knowledge about the field of study through approaches based on phenomenology and hermeneutics. The investigation process is inspired by Holcks (2007) ethnographic and descriptive method to video microanalysis.
By conducting an analysis of videotaped music therapy interactions between Oliver and I, I first identify the different kinds of synchronicity that occur between us across session 16-24. As a result 3 different kinds of synchronicity is identified. Next I investigate how the phenomenon of synchronicity in session 16 can be characterized in terms of behavior and interpreted in the light of relevant literature from the field of developmental psychology and music therapy. By conducting microanalyses of sequences where synchronicity occurs in session 16, I find that two of the deduced types of synchronicity are evident in the data. They can be characterized as follows:
Synchronicity type 1 is characterized by the presence of a rhythmical flow, where Oliver and I seem to relate to a shared musical beat with our sounds in a prolonged succession. Thus the synchronicity has a horizontal character and seems facilitated by rhythmical entrainment and the presence of an intrinsic motor pulse.
Synchronicity type 2 occurs during the unfolding of synchronicity type 1. It is characterized as a short, intense moment, where Oliver and I synchronize precisely in time, form and intensity. This seems to be facilitated by the stable rhythmical framework that I provide, which helps Oliver to predict my actions and synchronize with them in an intentional way. The synchronicity unfolds within a short amount of time, and it has a vertical character.
Last I shed a light on why the phenomenon of synchronicity feels essential to the way Oliver and I interact. By taking into account the transcribed data and relevant literature, I propose that the behavioral and emotional changes, that occurred after a certain synchronized moment, can qualify it as a ‘moment of meeting’ that creates positive changes in a therapeutic process. Changes due to my general therapeutic attitude and due to the way our musical interactions seemed to develop, are taken in to consideration. Also the coherence shown by the data between incidences with eye contact and incidences with synchronicity is considered, as are the developmental psychological argument, that synchronicity is one of the most basic ways humans are able to share inner states. I argue that all these aspects can help to shed a light on why synchronicity feels essential to the way Oliver and I interact.
The results are discussed in terms of how they are influenced by the use of literature and method, as are their clinical relevance.
Publication date31 May 2016
Number of pages77
ID: 234493766