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Helen Oosthuizen


Understanding the affordances of group music therapy within a short-term diversion programme for young sex offenders in South Africa. This study is situated within the SPARC (Support Programme for Abuse Reactive Children) diversion programme, facilitated by a Non-Government Organisation – The Teddy Bear Clinic – in South Africa. Since 2006, music therapy has been offered alongside a cognitive-behavioural intervention as part of this short-term (one session per week for 12 weeks) programme for groups of non-residential first time young sex offenders. Based on the premise that sexual offences are often intertwined with personal and communal experiences of violence, neglect and abuse that also need to be addressed, the holistic programme aims to divert young people away from the court system, and enable them to develop coping skills which may prevent reoffending. My research will utilise a constructivist grounded theory methodology to develop a deeper understanding of both the immediate and long-term affordances of music therapy for programme participants. The collection of multiple, diverse perspectives will serve to generate a theory grounded within study data. This may challenge, affirm and/or enhance practice and theory within this context.