Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)


School of Music

First Advisor

Andrea Crimmins


In one day in 2016, there were 41,195 domestic violence victims reported in emergency shelters or transitional housing units within the United States. Many of these victims struggle with PTSD, stress, and anxiety. There is a need for creating a coping skill that can address traumatic responses in and out of the therapeutic setting. Creating a musical representation of a survivor’s internal safe space could be used as a coping skill to reduce trauma responses. The purpose of this study was to see if the creation of an individualized musical safe space as a coping skill could reduce stress of a person in and outside of the therapeutic setting. The researcher created a format to guide the composition process with the three participants. The researcher practiced using the coping skill with each participant. Stress levels were monitored using a STAI self-assessment while in-session, and showed statistically significant reduction of stress in the participants. The participants then used the coping skill outside of the therapeutic setting for 10 days. The participants self-reported through a survey and interview that the coping skill was helpful for reducing stress in their daily lives. Creating an individualized music and relaxation composition shows promise as a coping skill for reducing trauma responses, stress, and anxiety in domestic violence victims.


Imported from Weight_ilstu_0092N_11988.pdf


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