When having means losing

Music therapy with a young adolescent with a learning disability and emotional and behavioural difficulties

Ruth Walsh
Author

This paper describes ten hours of music therapy work with a twelve-and-a-half-year-old girl, giving specific details of the proves of events during sessions and the development of the therapeutic relationship. Central to the therapist's thinking about the work was the notion of the client's struggle between wanting, but being unable to bear, good feelings, and not wanting, but needing to hold on to, bad feelings. Turning good feelings into bad, in order to feel in control, was a predominant theme. The therapy was carried out within a broadly psychodynamic theoretical framework, with particular reference to the work of Melanie Klein in relation to the processes of splitting within the 'paranoid-schizoid' position (Klein 1946). the paper also refers to Anne Alvarez's notions (1992) of the importance of the aspirational aspects of play and the anticipation of identification wit a 'good object', and thus, the possibility of reparation. This article is based on a paper presented at the first National Conference on Music and Disability, Maynooth, Republic of Ireland in 1994.

Journal British Journal of Music Therapy
Year 1997
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 13-19

Walsh, Ruth (1997) When having means losing: Music therapy with a young adolescent with a learning disability and emotional and behavioural difficulties. In: British Journal of Music Therapy, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 13-19. Available at https://openmusiclibrary.org/article/4947/.

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