Music Psychotherapy Among Refugees

The doctoral defense of Sami Alanne will be held on October 23, 2010 at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finand. His dissertation, entitled "Music Psychotherapy with Refugee Survivors of Torture: Interpretations of Three Clinical Case Studies," documents his own music therapy interventions with three immigrant men living in Finland who originally came to Europe from nations in Central Asia, the Middle East, and West Africa. This study combines qualitative observations with data from psychological tests and even factor analysis of events recorded from therapeutic sessions. Alanne originally began his dissertation under emeritus Professor Kai Karma. I worked intensely with Alanne at the Sibelius Academy as his main supervisor across the 2009-2010 academic year, but left Finland for a job in the USA as Alanne was sending out the completed document to reviewers for critique. He will graduate with Sibelius Academy's Lauri Vakeva as his Chair and renowned Norwegian music therapy expert Evan Ruud as the "opponent" reader. I anticipate that Alanne's study will be of great interest to music therapists in multicultural nations who seek to more effectively serve patients from immigrant backgrounds, particularly those who have been traumatized by warfare and other dehumanizing conditions.

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