Ukrainian Association Welcomed as Observing Member to General Assembly

Music Therapists in Ukraine

At the General Assembly in Edinburgh this year we were pleased to welcome Yulia Martyn from the Association of Music Therapists of Ukraine as an observing participant. After the GA we caught up with Yulia and asked her about music therapy in Ukraine.

How did you hear about the EMTC and decide to apply for membership?

The first time we found out about EMTC was in 2016, when Joseph Moreno visited Ukraine and gave us a master class. He told us about the EMTC, but more information and inspiration was given to us by Austrian music therapists Elena Fitzthum and Dorothee Storz, who initiated our education here in Ukraine. Thanks to them we met various European music therapists who gave us knowledge in music therapy. Elena and Dorothee  told us more about EMTC and encouraged us to apply for membership.
Yulia Martyn with Joseph Moreno

Tell us a little bit about the profession of music therapy in Ukraine.

The profession of music therapy in Ukraine is quite new and young, but our specialists work successfully with a wide range of patients, showing how much our profession is needed nowadays. The Ukrainian Association of Music Therapists was established in 2020, and this community is the professional environment for our specialists, where we can support each other, share experience and new information, and provide intervisions and supervisions. 

What were your strongest impressions from the GA?

I was very impressed by the friendly and professional atmosphere that prevailed at the GA. It was very nice to feel such openness, sincerity and willingness to cooperate. Also the president of our association, Oleksandr Lvov, was present online at the conference that took place after the GA, and he shared that it was a very valuable and informative experience.

How has music therapy work in Ukraine been affected by the war?

The military actions currently taking place in Ukraine due to Russian aggression have significantly shaken the general psycho-emotional state of Ukrainians. Almost every day there is a threat of missile strikes from Russia on the territory of Ukraine. Therefore, as psychotherapists and music therapists, we work a lot with increased anxiety, fears, emotional instability and other problems with which patients come. The number of people who need psychological help is increasing all the time. This situation shows us that the help of music therapists is in high demand. There are more and more people who have experienced the stressful effects of hostilities, violence, loss of home, work, and relatives. Music therapy is one of the most careful and successful methods that work with such problems, both with adults and children.

How can the wider community of European music therapists support and encourage you at this time?

We are really grateful for the opportunity to become a part of the EMTC. It is very important for us not to be in isolation nowadays. This is a big step in our development, and we really want to be involved in the European community and to have have a common environment for development. It would be very helpful and important for our music therapists to find out more about experience of European specialists. We are always happy to welcome foreign colleagues who teach us something new and important. We are also ready to share our experience and achievements in the field of music therapy and are looking forward to successful collaboration with colleagues across Europe.