Filling A Need While Making Some Noise: A Music Therapist’s Guide To Paediatrics
Kathy Irvine Lorenzato Jessica Kingsley Publishers
STAR RATING: 3/5
I’m not sure I learned much about music therapy from this book, writes Joy Gravestock. Indeed, I found the book lacking in what actually happens in clinical work, and more focused on what the author’s experiences in paediatrics, especially working with terminally ill children.
Lorenzato states her patients have “a road of hardship to follow and my job is to make that road easier. I’m the happiness monitor”. Despite stating children have “a primal need to vent energy and emotions” she prefers that they are “happy after our group, not screaming”.
Her humorous style of writing began to grate after a couple of chapters and I wonder if it acts as a defence when she spends her working life absorbed in so much pain. For example, she tells us that the purpose of professional boundaries is “so you don’t get hurt when the patient dies”.
There also seemed to be a denial of harsh realities (not very nice people get sick and die too, and we also have to work them).
However, she does share effectively the emotional intensity of working with dying children, and expresses movingly the pain and loss encountered in the work.
Joy Gravestock worked in children’s mental health, and will be training as a music therapist