Are musicians narcissists

Narcissism in Music Therapy
PhD student: Graduate music therapist Eva Terbuyken
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Rosemarie Tüpker

The fundamental thesis of this doctorate is that narcissism, based on Kohut's theory of narcissism, can be made visible in music therapy in various ways. Music therapy in closed psychiatric wards represents a special kind of music therapy treatment in an open setting. Its therapeutic mode of action is seen here in the moment of narcissistic enjoyment of music and in the reactivation of narcissistic endeavors through music.

I. Practical phase:
The practical phase of the doctoral project is currently underway. The music therapy takes place two mornings a week in the closed psychiatric wards openly in the day room. The offer is aimed primarily at patients, some of whom are still acute, who otherwise rarely take part in other therapies. Participation is free, i.e. patients come and go as they please. The group composition is different every time. The musical means are always chosen depending on the situation, but are often based on the moment of music enjoyment and the resulting reactions of the patient. After they have been transferred to open wards, music therapy is continued for these patients.
On the one hand, patient documentation relating to moments of narcissistic music enjoyment is collected on the basis of this music therapy treatment offer, and conspicuous observations, thoughts, intervision and supervision conversations are documented. In addition, six songs that are frequently used in closed psychiatry are examined using descriptions from various test groups and using music analyzes with regard to narcissistic needs. In addition, it should be determined to what extent the described music therapy treatment concept has an influence on the atmosphere of the closed psychiatric ward.

II. Scientific processing:
The basis is the examination of Kohut's theories and methods and a transfer of these to music therapy. The focus is on the theory of narcissism and theories of enjoying music as well as their intellectual developments by other authors. Appropriate literature on music therapy and self-psychology form a further element here.
In addition, individual aspects from the psychiatry concepts of the Soteria idea are taken up and their transferability in relation to the described music therapy treatment concept is critically examined. Descriptions from the specialist literature of particular problems in the treatment of acutely psychiatric patients are helpful.
By evaluating the patient documentation and music from the therapies, the descriptions and music analyzes of the songs and an analysis of the atmosphere on the ward, the theoretical investigation is to be combined with practice. This is intended to show that, on the one hand, the open concept makes it easier for acutely psychiatric patients to participate in music therapy due to a reduced stress barrier and thus makes it possible in the first place. On the other hand, it should be shown that by reactivating narcissistic strivings and self-object functions at the moment of enjoying music, the atmosphere of the station can be positively influenced by reducing stress and tension and creating space for wellbeing and wellbeing. In the foreground are the musical role model function of the music therapist according to an idealized object, the fusion in musical enjoyment and the positive experience of musical abilities in the sense of a great self.
In summary, it should be proven that the success of the music therapeutic treatment concept described lies in the brief experience of narcissistic reinforcement when enjoying music and the ability to participate in a stress-reduced manner. A possible treatment concept for music therapy in closed psychiatric acute wards is to be developed from this.

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