Published Work


When words sing and music speaks: A qualitative study of in depth music psychotherapy with adults.

For an abstract, free pages or to purchase Diane’s doctoral dissertation, click here

In Search of the Self:

The Use of Vocal Holding Techniques with Adults Traumatized as Children.  Music Therapy Perspectives, Vol. 19, Issue 1

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Abstract from:
The Voice of Trauma:
A Wounded Healer’s Perspective

In Julie Sutton (2002) Music, Music Therapy and Trauma.Jessica Kingsley Publishers: London England

This chapter offers a full theoretical underpinning for the use of the voice in working with adults traumatized as children. Techniques and case examples are included. In addition, the impact of this work upon the therapist is examined, the care with which the work must be undertaken is considered and the intimacy of the music-making and its potential effect upon both client and therapist are discussed.

Abstract from:
Many Stories, Many Songs

In Julie Hibben (1999) Inside Music Therapy: Client Experiences.Barcelona Publishers: Gilsum, NH.

This chapter presents stories gathered from eight adult clients in the author’s practice. Some of these clients struggle with histories of substance abuse, eating disorders, or abusive or disturbed parents. Three clients tell in interview, poems and prose of their experiences in music therapy. They describe how they used improvised playing and singing to connect with their feelings and work through musical and psychological issues. The author also presents a poetic collage composed of clients’ words about singing in therapy and several poems written about her clients.

Abstract from:
When the Psyche Sings: Transference and Countertransference in Improvised Singing with Individual Adults

In Kenneth E. Bruscia (1998) The Dynamics of Music Psychotherapy. Barcelona Publishers: Gilsum NH.

Transference and countetransference during vocal improvisation in analytically oriented music therapy are examined as they emerge as transformative aspects of the therapeutic relationship. Singing techniques developed by the author are illustrated in two case examples.

Abstract from:
Resistance in Individual Music Therapy by Diane Austin and
Janice M. Dvorkin

In The Arts in Psychotherapy (1993) Volume 20, Pergamon Press: New York, Oxford, Seoul, and Tokyo.

While everyone who enters psychotherapy has the conscious intention of wanting change, clients often exhibit ambivalence through resistance to communicating thoughts and feelings to the therapist. Much has been written about this phenomenon in verbal psychotherapy; this chapter addresses its manifestation in music therapy sessions. Also discussed is the effect of transference and countertransference on the therapist’s clinical judgment regarding the amount and type of music used in each session and throughout the therapy process.

Abstract from:
The Musical Mirror: Music Therapy for the Narcissistically Injured

In Kenneth E. Bruscia (1991) Case Studies in Music Therapy. Barcelona Publishers: Phoenixville, PA.

This case study describes Jungian oriented analytic music therapy with a “narcissistically injured” woman in her mid-twenties, who at the time of treatment was studying to become a dance therapist. Through musical improvisation and the relationship that developed with the music therapist over a period of two and a half years, the woman began to explore, accept and integrate split-off devalued parts of herself.

Excerpt from:
Projection of Parts of the Self onto Music and Musical Instruments

In Gregory M. Rolla (1993) Your Inner Music. Chiron Publications: Wilmette Illinois.

The self-esteem of some narcissistically wounded individuals derives from the praise they receive in their work; hence, they exhibit an over identification with their occupations. Such over identification becomes an obstacle to growth, resulting in stress, anxiety and an enormous inner pressure to perform well. Any observable dissatisfaction in job performance they may perceive from others is interpreted as rejection. The same mechanisms are often observed among singers (and other musicians), especially those whose identities are derived primarily from their careers.

The problem is compounded when the singer also projects the idealized or grandiose self onto the voice …The emphasis is on winning the admiration of the audience … rather than on the communication of honest feelings based on the song’s meaning. The desire for achievement is stronger than the need for self-expression. If the singer fails to live up to his or her own high expectations, depression is imminent.

When one’s whole sense of self-worth is riding on a performance, it is hard to be at one’s best, spontaneous and emotionally connected. It follows that the singer who is over identified with his or her voice is apt to suffer from stage fright. The therapeutic process would then involve disidentification from the voice and could begin only when sufficient ego strength has been developed and the singer had begun to value other aspects of his or her identity, especially the authenticity of his or her feelings … Genuine self-esteem comes from contact with and expression of one’s feelings and needs and having them met, and not from the possession of certain qualities …

One may certainly begin singing from a narcissistic place of over identification and/or an excessive need to be heard and admired; but as one’s psychic wounds heal and one evolves, the voice reflects the transformation. When one is finally able to sing with his or her own authentic voice, freely and from the depths of the soul, singing becomes a spiritual experience and the singer can become a channel for transpersonal energy.

For a complete list of published works see the ‘Curriculum Vitae’ PDF