School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Daniel Marston


PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, music therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study in this qualitative research described how music therapy has been beneficial to the treatment of trauma survivors suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The research in this study consisted of six participants and previous research to show how music therapy has been effective in treating PTSD. The six participants were individually interviewed based on their prior experiences with music therapy from Board Certified Music Therapists. For years, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs have used music therapy to treat trauma survivors with complementary and alternative medical treatment. Several studies have been done on music therapy as a complementary and alternative treatment but there has been a lack of evidence on whether the treatment can stand alone. Further research is needed for music therapy to be recognized by the government and mental health practitioners as a stand-alone treatment for PTSD. The research questions explored are (a) in what ways did music therapy produced healthy behavioral coping methods, and (b) how music therapy has helped decrease or reduce PTSD symptoms. Prior research has shown how music therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy have been assessed over the years with trauma clients. Research data has been collected with the use of questionnaires that utilized a phenomenological approach for understanding the participants’ experiences with music therapy. This collected data described the themes that the participants had based on their experience with music therapy.

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