"When I Sing-I Exist": A Qualitative Inquiry on Posttraumatic Growth in Voicework Groups with Women Coping with Incest

Aviya Riabzev, Moshe Bensimon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Literature on music therapy with incest survivors is scant, and to the best of our knowledge, voicework as a main technique in group settings has not been explored. The current study aimed to examine a voicework intervention with women coping with the effects of incest, understand its meaning for the participants, and examine its potential to promote well-being. Method: Seventeen women coping with complex posttraumatic stress disorder due to incest participated in a voicework group intervention of eight weekly sessions. Therapy included techniques such as breathing, voice improvisation, songwriting, and performance of existing songs. Data were collected via focus groups before and after the intervention and documentation of songs sung during sessions. Data were analyzed according to the interpretative phenomenological analysis approach. Results: Analysis yielded four themes. Personal empowerment relates to participants’ enhanced connection with their body and utilization of creativity as an inner resource. Strengthened social ties relates to the group’s ability to create a sense of belonging, togetherness, and an infrastructure for improving relationships outside the group. Enhanced belief in God describes renewed willingness to believe in God, and positive perception of the future reflects change from hopelessness toward belief in a better future. Conclusions: Overall, the findings indicate that the intervention enabled the development of personal, social, and spiritual growth and a positive outlook for the future. Findings are interpreted using the domains of the posttraumatic growth theory
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Early online date3 Aug 2023
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2023


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