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Session Details

C. Your Way, My Way, and the Truth: Theoretical Orientation and Bias in Our Profession
(Event: 2020 AMTA Conference)

Nov 19, 2020 10:00 am - Nov 19, 2020 1:00 pm
Session Type: Additional Course
Track: .


Music therapists often align with a particular theoretical orientation to inform practice and communicate treatment effectiveness. However, a lack of understanding for other orientations, along with professional bias, can cause conflict. Join us to explore theoretical orientations and approaches, implications for our educational programs and supervisors, and to confront the intraprofessional biases permeating our profession.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will identify the differences between at least two theoretical models and music therapy treatment approaches (e.g., behavioral/behavioral, cognitive/developmental, etc.) (CBMT Domain III.A.3 and Domain III.A.4)
  2. Participants will identify personal biases toward and against their preferred theoretical model and/or treatment approach (CBMT Domain III.A.1.f and CBMT Domain V.A.1)
  3. Participants will engage in academic and objective discussion about the effect of biases toward theoretical models and treatments approaches on the field of music therapy (CBMT Domain V.B.11 and CBMT Domain V.B.14)


  • 5 minutes - welcome
  • 15 minutes - Descriptions of bias, definitions, relation to CBMT and AMTA domain areas
  • 20 minutes - Determining theoretical orientation vs. approach
  • 10 minutes - break
  • 20 minutes - experiential: video and discussion/exercise in describing sessions using different approaches/theoretical orientations
  • 10 minutes - approaches, models, and methods explanation and examples
  • 15 minutes - discussion of inconsistent language in publications/our understanding
  • 10 minutes - break
  • 25 minute - implication for assessment tools and education
  • 20 minutes - experiential: "Bias Bags" and discussion
  • 30 minutes - Where bias comes from and how to counteract it
  • 5 minutes - conclusion



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