From Orphan to Sage: Trauma-Informed Music Therapy with Adolescents

  • music therapyOpen to all professionals and student professionals who work with adolescents.
  • Date and Location: September 28 in the Calloway Peak Room (137A) of the Plemmons Student Union on the campus of Appalachian State University.
  • Time: 9:00 a.m.- 3:45 p.m.
  • Presenter: Michael Viega, Ph.D., LCAT, MT-BC
  • Approved by CBMT for 5 CMTE credits

Session Description

The Adverse Childhood Experiences studies (ACE) reveal a longitudinal relationship between childhood trauma and high-risk health outcomes in adulthood, leaving adolescence a precarious transitional stage of development. Music therapy can play a pivotal role in aiding adolescents in the transition from childhood to adulthood. This presentation will explore the impact of childhood adversity on adolescent development and trauma-informed music therapy practice. In addition, participants will explore Joseph Campbell's concept of the Hero's Journey as a medium to conceptualize clinical processes when working with adolescents in music therapy. Clinical examples from various methods will be discussed to uncover how the archetypes, challenges, and rewards are illuminated in the music of adolescents in music therapy.

CMTE Objectives

  1. Participants will identify four developmental and psychological roles of music during adolescence (I, B4h,i, B13a,c,d)
  2. Participants will review four trauma-informed approaches for adolescents (II,A,2c)
  3. Participants will lidentify three therapeutic methods in music therapy to meet the needs of adolescents in therapy (II, A5, Baa)
  4. Participants will discuss Joseph Campbell's the Hero's Journey as a way of conceptualizing clinical needs of adolescents in treatment. (I, B9, 13c/d)


9:00-9:45: Lecture 1, Intro to adolescent development, music therapy, and adverse childhood experiences
9:45-10:45 Workshop 1, The Hero's Journey and Adolescent Development
10:45-11: Break
11:00-12:00: Workshop 2, Working with precomposed songs
12:00-1:30 Lunch (provided on site)
1:30-2:30: Lecture 2, Trauma-informed music therapy practice with adolescents
2:30-2:45 Break
2:45-3:15: Workshop 2: The Hero's Journey and Adolescent Development
3:15-3:45 Wrap-up and evaluation


Online registration is closed, but registration will be available at the door.