Music after War: Therapeutic Music Programmes in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Kochenderfer, Mary Anne
This thesis is a study of therapeutic music programmes in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. This study focuses on how different participant groups perceive programme aims and benefits and what these different perceptions reveal about the programmes as well as ways in which the local context impacts the programmes. Analysis is based on data gathered through interviews, observation, participant observation, and questionnaires obtained during five fieldwork visits undertaken between November 2003 and November 2004. While all participant groups agree that the programmes are beneficial, there are important differences in the ways different participant groups perceive programme benefits and the different ways in which the programmes approach sessions. Constructions of therapy appear to differ both between programmes and between international and local staff. All participant groups identified improved client communication and social skills as primary session outcomes. Clients appear to be largely unaware of the therapeutic aims of their sessions. Parents appear to have little influence and are not always notified that their children are involved with the programmes. International staff members appear to be intolerant of parents who do not heed their advice or reinforce progress made during sessions. In addition to running therapeutic sessions, these programmes work to increase inter-ethnic tolerance and to improve the skills of other local professionals. Programme success appears to be hindered by uncertainties inherent in working in a post-war environment. Developed and largely influenced by internationals, the programmes also face uncertainty as to whether they possess the necessary local leadership and ownership for long-term sustainability. There is evidence that tensions within, between, and outwith the programmes limit programme potential. Many of these tensions appear to be tied to local-international relations within programmes, which are exacerbated by national local-international tensions. A funding shortage has contributed to a competitive rather than a cooperative relationship between programmes. As the first detailed study of post-war therapeutic music programmes, this study has the potential to impact similar work in other regions and provides a more informed backdrop against which judgements can be made regarding the role and appropriateness of music as a form of therapy in post-war regions.