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Book Chapter

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Music Therapy Handbook


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Permission has been granted to include this chapter. Kim, S. & Whitehead-Pleaux, A. (2015). Music therapy and cultural diversity. In B. L. Wheeler (Ed.), Music therapy handbook (pp. 51-63). Guilford Press. Copyright Guilford Press. Reprinted with permission of The Guilford Press


In the preface to Stige’s (2002) Culture-Centered Music Therapy, Bruscia states that the culture-centeredness perspective is regarded as the fifth force in music therapy. For music therapists, culture has a particularly significant meaning because the work entails understanding the self and the client. The main modality in music therapy is music—the representation of a specific culture, or more aptly, the self and the society to which the individual belongs. In addition, cultural misunderstanding can take place any time during the course of music therapy—during assessment, treatment, or termination (Estrella, 2001). Misunderstanding can adversely affect the development of a therapeutic relationship and the establishment of an effective treatment plan.

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Music Therapy Commons