Profound music experience: Flow, transgression and transcendence in music therapy in psycho-oncology




music therapy , psycho-oncology, spiritual needs, profound music experience, flow, transgression, transcendence


This paper investigates profound music experience considered in the context of broadly understood spirituality. It focuses on the application of music therapy to people who access psycho-oncological care. The paper is based on a phenomenological study which aimed to explore the patients’ experiences, focused on the intrapersonal process in which the impact of music therapy is intended to strengthen the resources and internal forces of persons who are in the process of healing after their oncological treatment. As a result of the horizontal qualitative analysis of patients’ autobiographical narratives, three thematic groups of experiences have been identified: i) experiences of a certain unreality and a sense of deep wellbeing – a kind of flow; ii) experiences of a transformational change and transgressive experiences, exceeding the limitations; iii) transcendent experiences. Vertical analysis allowed the creation of a therapeutic profile of every patient which indicted the common path of experiencing therapeutic changes that took place as a result of their participation in music therapy sessions. Horizontal-vertical analysis revealed the relationships between particular groups of experiences and the paths of experiencing therapeutic changes shared by all the patients.

Author Biography

Agnieszka Łuciuk-Wojczuk, Jesuit University Ignatianum, Poland

Agnieszka Łuciuk-Wojczuk is a musician of the Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra, a music therapist (MT-C), and a music therapy teacher. A participant of an international training project: Leonardo da Vinci - European Music in Healthcare Settings Training (Paris, Dublin, Manchester, Kraków), and the Therapeutic, Training Session of Simonton Therapy (therapy directed at cancer patients). She is the author of the book Music Therapy in the Recovery Process of Cancer Patients. As a music therapist and a lecturer, she cooperates with the Centre of Psycho-Oncology Unicorn, Jesuit University Ignatianum, University of Music, Jagiellonian University, St. Lazarus Hospice in Kraków, and she is a member of the World Federation of Music Therapy, the Polish Music Therapists Association, and the Society for Psychosomatic Education. []