Predictors of change in music therapy with children and adolescents: The role of therapeutic techniques

Christian Gold, Tony Wigram, Martin Voracek

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review



Music therapy has been shown to be efficacious in experimental studies. However, there is little empirical research knowledge about what elements of music therapy influence its effectiveness in clinical practice. Children and adolescents with psychopathology (N = 75) were assessed before and after participating in individual music therapy with one out of 15 music therapists in the Vienna region. Relationships between outcomes (as evaluated by parents) and therapy contents (as reported by therapists) were examined using general linear modelling. Results indicated that clients' symptoms and burdens on their social environment showed greater improvement when music therapy was limited to discipline-specific music therapy techniques and did not include other media such as play therapy elements. The findings indicate the importance of being aware about a therapy method's specific strengths and limitations. More research on the indicated specific ingredients of music therapy intervention is needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology and Psychotherapy - Theory Research and Practice
Number of pages27
Publication statusSubmitted - 2006


  • music therapy, therapy techniques, naturalistic outcome research, child mental health, treatment integrity, treatment fidelity

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