MENTAL HEALTH AND EDUCATION: PERSONAL EXPERT OPINION BY DR. MELISSA MERCADAL-BROTONS, PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD FEDERATION OF MUSIC THERAPY (SPAIN)
Melissa Mercadal-Brotons, PhD, MT-BC, SMTAE, Bachelor of Psychology at the Universidad de Barcelona and Music, at the Conservatorio Municipal de Barcelona, Master’s degree in Music Therapy from The Florida State University and a PhD in Music Education from the University of Oregon. From 1988-1998, she was a Professor of Music Therapy at Willamette University (Oregon) where she combined teaching, research and clinical practice in the area of music therapy and dementias. Now she is coordinator of research and master programs at Esmuc (Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya) in Barcelona (Spain) where she is also a professor in the Department of Music Education and Director of the Master Program in Music Therapy.
Currently she is the President of the World Federation of Music Therapy and the country representative (Spain) at the European Music Therapy Confederation (EMTC).
She has published extensively nationally and internationally especially in the area of Music Therapy and Dementias.
“The topic of “Educational standards in music therapy” is very relevant, especially in a country where the training of music therapists is non-existent, yet, but with high interest to implement it. It’s important to know and reflect on the different training systems around the world in order to develop a curriculum which best adjusts to high professional standards as well as demands and needs from a specific country.
The work of music therapists in mental health also requires thinking about “entry level” and advanced level competencies. The field of music therapy has grown considerably in the last decades and several methods and approaches have developed over the years, some of them specific to work with populations in the field of mental health and psychotherapy. It is crucial for the field of music therapy to train professionals on methodologies that are scientifically-based which have shown effectiveness in the treatment of specific disorders.”