CASE REPORT
Being together – Exploring the modulation of affect in improvisational music therapy with a man in a persistent vegetative state – a qualitative single case study
 
 
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The Grieg Academy, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Submission date: 2016-08-15
Final revision date: 2016-10-07
Acceptance date: 2016-10-07
Online publication date: 2016-12-06
Publication date: 2016-11-29
 
Health Psychology Report 2017;5(2):186–192
 
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ABSTRACT
This article explores the role of affective expression and modulation as a means of communication in improvisational music therapy with a 44-year-old man living in a persistent vegetative state. Within a practice-based approach two vignettes from music therapy illustrate the regulation of the intensity of affect in an interpersonal relationship. Perspectives from modern attachment theory, developmental psychology, and embodiment research will be introduced and discussed, to theoretically frame and embed the practical work. It is suggested that the bodily-emotional situatedness of the man and the music therapist form the area of exchange for a non-verbal, affect-driven communication. In this way, playing with the affect is the main topic for the encounter, promoting self-organizational processes in both individuals involved.
 
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