Our in-house Music Therapist, Kath Bruce, has over a decade of experience working in adoption support services and has tailored the development of the music therapy service specifically to the needs of children and families at Scottish Adoption and Fostering. Read on below to find out more.

Music provides an effective and safe outlet for difficult feelings and a vehicle for self-expression. Because musical interaction has been shown in research studies to parallel aspects of preverbal parent-child interaction, music therapy can offer ways of stimulating aspects of early development, which may have been missed in a child’s life, and can support the building of attachment between child and adoptive parent.

Our Music Therapist combines psychodynamic therapy with neuroscientific and somatic approaches to trauma to offer a synthesis of therapeutic music-making, play, movement, vocalisation and verbal exchange within a safe and contained relationship, as appropriate to children, parents and families across the age spectrum. Her professional focus has always been trauma (particularly early and pre-verbal trauma) and attachment, and she brings experience from complex mental health and learning disabilities (NHS in-patient, community, and secure services) as well as work with children with profound and multiple disabilities and life-limiting conditions.

Music therapy may assist with issues of anxiety, emotional and sensory regulation and has an ever-increasing evidence base. Almost anything can happen in a session: while there may be difficult emotions explored there is also the possibility of playfulness, hope and joy. Music, as a medium that reaches every person in both universal and individual ways, offers a means to explore and build confidence, sense of self, identity and meaning.

Sessions take place at Scottish Adoption and may involve the therapist working individually with the child or with parents or siblings as part of sessions; or group work may be offered to assist building of peer relationships and social skills. The therapist works closely with allocated social workers at Scottish Adoption to offer support that is tailored to the needs of each family and child.

Reasons for referral to music therapy may include:

  • High anxiety, difficulties with emotional and physical regulation
  • Needing help with social skills/relationships with family or peers
  • Poor sense of self/low self esteem
  • Low mood/withdrawal
  • Needing to process traumatic past events

Referrals to music therapy are managed through the After Adoption Team. To enquire about music therapy, please contact your worker or email Leasa, Practice Manager.