Peak experiences in music therapy
Peak experiences are intense, transcending, and ecstatic human moments that have therapeutic, life changing potential. This phenomenon occurs frequently in the music therapy setting due to the creative and healing nature of this therapy. The purpose of this paper was to explore how the term peak experience was described in music therapy literature and to identify the characteristics of peak experiences in music therapy practice. This researcher found that even though a handful of music therapy articles exist that mention this phenomenon, none of them discussed the topic in depth to describe the process and effects of it. This researcher used the information gathered from journal articles and a survey to construct a theoretical model of the process of peak experiences that occurs in the music therapy setting. The four stages are labeled as: exposition, accelerando, fuoco, and maestoso. This researcher also discusses ethical considerations and professional boundary issues involved with peak experiences in the music therapy setting.