An exploratory study of the processes of supportive music and imagery therapy conducted in South Korea

Paik-Maier, Sumi (2016) An exploratory study of the processes of supportive music and imagery therapy conducted in South Korea. PhD thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust /University of East London. Full text available

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This thesis is a qualitative study of Supportive Music and Imagery (SMI) cases that I supervised in South Korea between 2007 and 2011 with the aim of exploring the SMI process and the impact of supervision on it. SMI is a brief music psychotherapy with a prescriptive structure that works with a client’s supportive resources (the supportive imagery) and uses one simple recorded piece of music, arts and verbal dialogue. The investigation applies grounded theory to analyse data, i.e. session verbatim, reports, expressive media, supervision content etc. and uses case studies to present the findings. There are two sets of cases analysed. The first consists of cases conducted by SMI trainees, the second of cases conducted by SMI graduates, both supervised by me. Through a matrix of eight grounded theory categories and the interactions between the categories: supportive imagery, difficulty, intervention, relationship, expressive media, affect, learning, change, an interaction model of the SMI process has been generated. The study finds that the process of SMI is an ego enhancing process by internalizing the client’s good object (supportive imagery) through expressive media. In SMI, the whole process of focusing and enhancing the experience of the supportive imagery can be understood as a reparative process of ‘symbol formation’ of the good part of the self. Overall changes were brought about by the way the supportive imagery was facilitated by use of expressive media and intervention; by how difficulties were taken care of, i.e. resistance was addressed and anxieties were contained; how affect was promoted and nurtured; how much insight the client gained and how much learning the therapist integrated and by the level of therapeutic/supervisory alliance (relationship). Learning from supervision and clinical skills as well as understanding the countertransference though reflexivity has a considerable impact on the SMI therapy process. Cultural differences need to be taken into account; here therapeutic relationships resembled hierarchical Korean parent-child relationships. SMI is a new method and, to date, no research on SMI has been published. This thesis contributes a critically evaluative analysis of SMI, with special attention to the role of the supervisor, and identifies directions for future research, including a potentially wider applicability of brief SMI therapy. The thesis concludes that SMI justifies further research and development.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Thesis is submitted in partial fulfillment of a Professional Doctorate in Child Welfare and Protection awarded by the University of East London, in collaboration with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child Welfare and Protection, Supportive Music and Imagery (SMI), Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), Music Therapy, South Korea
Subjects: Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Patient/Therapist Interaction
Research, Tests, Assessments > Psychotherapy Research
Research, Tests, Assessments > Grounded Theory
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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