An exploration of the influences on the choices of theoretical frameworks which inform music therapy practice when working with adults within a forensic mental health service
Forensic Psychiatry is a specialised field of medicine which incorporates both general psychiatry and the criminal justice system. This is involves the safe assessment and treatment of Forensic patients who are subject to compulsory measures under mental health legislation and may present a risk to themselves or others. Forensic Patients may present with enduring problems, potentially traumatic childhood experiences as a wide range of offending behaviours and as such require specialist treatment under secure conditions. Music therapy practice occurs within the frameworks of many different psychotherapeutic theories. Some music therapists may adopt several different approaches in their work whilst others will follow one particular model of music therapy. Psychodynamic, humanistic and behavioural are some such psychotherapeutic orientations which have informed music therapy practice. The paper provides an exploration around the field of music therapy in forensic psychiatry with a focus on which theoretical frameworks are helping to inform music therapy practice in this specialised area. Through a thorough review of the literature using a traditional review approach, themes highlighted some of the potential influences on the choices of theoretical frameworks. However the study suggests that continued exploration in this area may encourage more transparency around the profession of music therapy, and help to work towards a cohesive staff team approach.