A theoretical framework and therapeutic songwriting protocol to promote integration of self-concept in people with acquired neurological injuries

Jeanette Tamplin, Felicity A Baker, Raymond A.R. MacDonald, Chantal Roddy, Nikki S. Rickard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


A positive self-concept after neurological injury is associated with enhanced quality of life and good mental health. Therefore, effective reconstruction of identity is heralded as an important goal of rehabilitation. We have developed and tested a songwriting protocol for people with acquired brain injury and/or spinal cord injury (SCI) that focuses on six domains of self-concept (physical, personal, social, family, academic/work, and moral). Over 12 music therapy sessions, people create three songs that reflect their perception of their past, present, and future selves. The therapeutic process of creating these songs aims to integrate residual components of the past self with that of the present injured self. This article outlines the theoretical foundations for the use of songwriting as a medium for change and describes the protocol in detail. We then present a case study of a man with SCI to illustrate the application of the protocol and the ensuing changes in self-concept
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-133
Number of pages23
JournalNordic Journal of Music Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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