Music therapy at The Croft

Music therapy provision and research
The music therapy provision at The Croft consists of four days work a week: two days for the children and families who are day patients or in-patients on the unit (provided by Amelia Oldfield) and one day for out-patient work for those families who need additional out-patient sessions after they leave the unit (provided by Andrew O’Hanrahan). In addition, Amelia Oldfield spends one day seeing out-patients who are referred from the Child Development Centre.

Music therapy diagnostic assessments (MTDAs)
Most of the children admitted to The Croft have two music therapy diagnostic assessments. These assessments are a valuable part of the team’s diagnostic procedure as the non-verbal nature of live musical improvisation will often bring to light strengths and difficulties that are not apparent in other settings. These MTDAs have been researched in a PhD investigation that took part over a three year period at the Croft between 2000 and 2003. (Oldfield 2006b, Oldfield 2004). Song stories which form a part of the MTDAs, and combine the creation of stories with improvised music making, often enable the music therapists to gain a better understanding of the child’s inner world. (Oldfield and Franke 2005).

Weekly music therapy group
All the children at The Croft attend a weekly open music group which is run by a music therapist and a member of the multi-disciplinary team. This group provides a different view of the children’s social skills than other group settings because of the highly stimulating and motivating nature of music-making and because of the non verbal nature of musical interactions. Children often display different behaviours in this group than in other social situations, providing the team with helpful new insights into the children’s social functioning. (Carter and Oldfield 2002).

Short-term individual or family treatment
Many of the children at The Croft particularly enjoy music making and benefit from a series of music therapy sessions to increase their self confidence and develop a sense of self. Others will be able express frustration or anger through creative playing. Families frequently find it easier to interact non-verbally than through using words, and paired sessions between mothers and children may be a unique way of repairing and damaged relationships. (Oldfield 2006b)

Out-patient work
Many families need additional help after they leave The Croft and coming back for music therapy treatment may provide invaluable and essential support. The playful and nurturing aspect of shared music-making can enable parents to regain confidence in their ability to play with their children. Other families will use the sessions to redefine and re-shape relationships, while addressing difficult attachment issues or struggling with appropriate boundary setting. (Davies 2008, Oldfield 2006b, Oldfield, Bunce and Adams 2003, Oldfield and Bunce 2001).

Music therapists employed at The Croft have presented papers at conferences about their work at the Croft, been involved in several research investigations, and have published widely (see list below). Amelia Oldfield has made a video/DVD about the work at The Croft which has been invaluable in preparing families for admission. (Oldfield and Nudds 2005). She is also a co-editor of The Croft book which was published in June 2011. (Holmes, Oldfield and Polichroniadis 2011).

In addition
Amelia Oldfield spends a day a week working with pre-school children with a wide range of developmental and emotional difficulties and their families, referred from the Child Development Centre Team. This work has been transferred from the Child Development Centre to The Croft and it is hoped that in the future a new integrated service for families with young children with developmental difficulties will be developed.

In June 2012 a restricted fund, Richard's Music Therapy Fund, was set up in CPFT (through a local donation of £100 000 to finance music therapy for children in the county who experience difficulty in accessing treatment through existing services). This means that Andrew O’Hanrahan can now spend an extra day a week working with these children.

Carter, C. and Oldfield, A. (2002) ‘A Music Therapy Group to assist Clinical Diagnoses in Child and Family Psychiatry’ in A. Davies and E. Richards (eds) Group Work in Music Therapy, Jessica Kingsley Publications, pp. 149-163.

Bean, J. and Oldfield, A. (1991) Pied Piper - Musical Activities to Develop Basic Skills Cambridge University Press. This book was re-printed by Jessica Kingsley publishers in 2001. It has been translated into Russian (two editions), Japanese and Greek. Chinese translation is on-going.

Davies, E. (2008) ‘It’s a family affair, music therapy for children and families at a psychiatric unit’ in A. Oldfield and C. Flower (eds) Music therapy with Children and their Families. Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Holmes, J.; Oldfield, A and Polichroniadis, M. (2011) Creating Change for Complex Children and their Families; A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Multi-Family Work. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Oldfield, A. and Lucy Bunce, L. (2001) “Mummy can play too… - Short term Music Therapy with Mothers and young Children” British Journal of Music Therapy, Vol 15, No 1 pp.27-36.

Oldfield, A., Bunce, L. and Adams, M. (2003) ‘An Investigation into Short-term Music Therapy with Mothers and Young Children’, British Journal of Music Therapy, 17(1), 26-45.

Oldfield, A. (2004) ‘Music Therapy with Children on the Autistic Spectrum, Approaches Derived from Clinical Practice and Research’. PhD thesis available from Anglia Ruskin University.

Oldfield, A. and Franke C. (2005) ‘Improvised Songs and Stories in Music Therapy Diagnostic Assessments at a Unit for Child and Family Psychiatry – A Music Therapist’s and a Psychotherapist’s Perspective’ in T.Wigram and F. Baker (eds) Songwriting, Methods, Techniques and Clinical Applications for Music Therapy Clinicians, Educators and Students Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp. 24-44.

Oldfield, A. and Nudds, J. (2005) “ The Croft – A Unit for Child and Family Psychiatry in Cambridge” Training video produced by Anglia Ruskin University, available from the British Society for Music Therapy.

Oldfield, A. (2006a) Interactive Music Therapy, A Positive Approach – Music therapy at a Child Development Centre. Jessica Kingsley Publishers. French Translation is completed and awaiting publication by l’Harmatan.

Oldfield, A. (2006b) Interactive Music Therapy in Child and Family Psychiatry – Clinical practice, research and teaching. Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Oldfield, A. and Flower, C. eds. (2008) Music Therapy with Children and their Families. Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Holmes, J.; Oldfield, A. and Polichroniadis, M. (2011) Creating Change for Complex Children and their Families; A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Multi-Family Work. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Oldfield, A. (2011) ‘Exploring Issues of Control through Interactive Improvised Music Making’ in T. Meadows (ed) Developments in Music Therapy Practice: Case Examples, Barcelona Publishers, U.S.A

Oldfield, A (2011) ‘Parents’ Perceptions of Being in Music Therapy with their Children’ in J.Edwards (ed) Music in Parent-Infant Programmes, Oxford University Press

The page was last updated on 08 November 2013 by richard.


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