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Music Therapy & Military White Paper Provides Model Programs and Research Addressing the Myriad Issues Facing Service Members and Their Families

SILVER SPRING, Md., March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) announces the publication of Music Therapy and Military Populations: A Status Report and Recommendations on Music Therapy Treatment, Programs, Research, and Practice Policy. This landmark report discusses the profession of music therapy with a focus on both active duty service members and veterans.  The publication may be obtained online at www.musictherapy.org under the "Latest News" section.

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The music therapy profession's rich, enduring contributions to readiness, rehabilitation, recovery, and wellness among America's military populations are explored. The white paper presents exemplary model programs and highlights the strong foundation of published research and evidence to inform practice. This information provides the groundwork to improve access to music therapy services among military populations and inform strategic plans for expanded and prioritized implementation of music therapy programs, research, and practice policy in the military.

The demand for music therapy services for America's service members, veterans and their families by board certified music therapy clinicians is growing. The benefits of music therapy services are largely untapped at America's military health facilities. Music therapists serve as members of patient-centered interdisciplinary teams. Working alongside other creative arts therapists and allied health professionals, music therapists provide a vital service at America's veteran hospitals, military health facilities, and military installations.

Recommendations contained in the paper span research, policy, and program development. Fascinating and important research in music therapy interventions on topics affecting today's service members and their families is active and growing among various related populations. It is critically important for this research to be tested, replicated and conducted with service members and veterans. Recommendations in the area of practice policy include a call for an updated review of federal job classifications that enable board certified music therapists to provide music therapy interventions.

Music therapy in the U.S. military has a history of over 70 years, covering the entire continuum of care among service members, veterans, and their families. Music therapy services are an integral part of treatment delivered in military treatment facilities and VA medical centers throughout the country. Today's healthcare standards dictate that the provision of quality music therapy services must be delivered by board certified music therapists. Currently, music therapy as a profession is recognized throughout agencies of the federal government including the Departments of Education, and Health and Human Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by various accrediting bodies.  More music therapy and credentialed music therapists are needed to keep pace with the current needs of our military populations.

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SOURCE American Music Therapy Association

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