Sowing seeds of compassion: The case of a music therapy integration group

Avi Gilboa, Sagit Ben-Shetrit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The purpose of this research was to examine whether, and in what ways, compassion developed within the integrating children in a music therapy integration group. The group included two integrated PDD boys and two integrating girls and met for 14 half-hour weekly sessions. The audio recordings and the verbal documentation of the sessions were analyzed according to qualitative (interpretative-phenomenology analysis) and quantitative methods. Qualitative analysis resulted in five distinct categories that could be organized hierarchically, from the most basic compassion ("pre-compassion") to very high standard, compassionate behavior ("high compassion"), the higher levels containing the basic ones. Each of these categories diverged into variants, resulting in 11 additional sub-categories. Quantitative analysis showed that compassion developed gradually. As the process progressed, more compassion events were observed. Connections between compassion expressions and the use of music were found. Results of this research are discussed in light of the debate concerning integration for children with special needs. Recommendations for further therapeutic and research activity are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-260
Number of pages10
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Compassion
  • Inclusion
  • Integration
  • Integration group
  • Music therapy
  • PDD


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