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Faculty of Music


This article introduces the results of a pilot survey conducted with accredited Canadian music therapists investigating their perceptions of personal psychotherapy and the concept of Safe and Effective Use of Self (SEUS) in the music therapy relationship. An emailed survey questionnaire covered both closed and openended questions on SEUS-related topics. The open-ended questions were analysed using the qualitative data analysis software Nvivo. Simple percentages were calculated to analyse the results of the closed-ended questions. The results suggest that music therapists engaging in psychotherapy seem to work with similar client populations, use similar theoretical approaches and techniques, and hold very similar training to other music therapists. These music therapists appear to have an excellent sense of SEUS, whether or not they practice psychotherapy. Conversely, their training on both SEUS and verbal counselling skills is often seen as inadequate. It is suggested that music therapists who practice psychotherapy have completed their own psychotherapy and have ongoing music psychotherapy supervision. The results can be utilised as a discussion stimulus for the topic of SEUS in music therapy.


Copyright © 2018 Heidi Ahonen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

This article was originally published in Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy, First View (Advance online publication), 1-21.