Abstract: Masters’ Thesis

Title: A case for music therapy in therapeutic music interventions with women with postpartum mental health concerns.

Name: Natalie Clara Oliveri

Abstract: Maternal mental health is an issue the world over, with 10% of women in developed, and 13% of women in developing countries experiencing postpartum depression. Music therapy is a drug-free, safe clinical intervention, which is applied by a professional music therapist. It can be used to address emotional and behavioural disorders. The delicate balance required to treat a woman who has a new baby is one that requires therapeutic sensitivity and consideration of individual and didactic needs. This descriptive review reveals the methods and outcomes of therapeutic music interventions with this population: music listening (27.5%), infant directed singing and lullabies (18%), group music activities with (18%) and without (27.5%) babies and music activities with individual dyads (9%). Furthermore, a synthesis of the therapeutic nature of interventions that occur outside of the music therapy discipline has been developed. The review reveals differences between using music in experimental or clinical contexts uninformed of the ‘therapy’ aspect of music therapy and what makes music therapy administered by a registered professional unique.

Written for the partial completion of Masters Music Therapy in 2015 at the University of Melbourne.