Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Olivia Yinger


Self-care can be seen as not only critical for individual professionals, but also for the growth of the helping professions and the quality of care which clients receive. The purpose of this study was to investigate use of career-sustaining behaviors and the levels of professional quality of life in music therapy professionals. This study investigated research questions regarding use of career sustaining behaviors and levels of professional quality of life, the relationship between these variables, the differences in the use of career sustaining behavior by demographics, and the use of music as a self-care strategy.

An online survey was sent to all professional members of the American Music Therapy Association. A total of 403 participants were included in the study for the purposes of data analysis. Findings from the study indicate that music therapy professionals are in the average to low ranges for burnout and secondary traumatic stress. However, a portion of the sample was identified to be at risk for these factors. Differences existed in the use of career sustaining behaviors between demographic variables, indicating self-care behaviors vary among professionals. The field of music therapy should further investigate these areas to best provide opportunities for professional self-care.