Harmony In Diversity: Using Music Therapy To Address The Needs Of Traumatized Refugee Youth

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Authors: Toni Day & Carolyn Jones, QLD

Year: 2004

Event: 2004 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Creative Approaches to Treatment

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 0975765302

Abstract: Newly arrived adolescent refugees face many psychological pressures. Developmental and adjustment processes along with the pressure to quickly gain literacy skills compounds difficulties caused by experiences in refugee camps and losing family members due to war (Jones, Baker, & Day, 2004). This paper attempts to conceptualise the complex psychosocial needs of youth at Milpera State High School and the role of music therapy to address these needs. Some of the challenges of multiethnic group work are presented, along with some music therapy techniques for overcoming these challenges. Findings from a recent pilot study using Hip Hop songwriting as an intervention for those who have lost family members are also presented. As an appealing communication tool that overcomes the language barrier music is shown to be an intervention unique in its ability to reach these youth and foster a sense of hope for a brighter future.

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