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HIV Counseling India



Integrating Music Therapy with Psycho-spiritual Integration – an Indigenous Transpersonal Counselling model for HIV infected people


There is nothing more devastating in today’s society than being diagnosed as being infected with HIV. Being diagnosed as infected by HIV causes emotional, social, psychological, philosophical and spiritual distresses. Although there are thousands of intervention strategies to alleviate the pain and agony among HIV infected people, indigenous therapy models that are culture-specific have an added advantage over universal models. This study evaluated a culture-specific therapeutic counselling model namely Indigenous Transpersonal Counselling (ITC) prepared by the author which is a fine combination of a unique therapeutic music with a psycho-spiritual integration (PSI) to alleviate psychological distress and  increase wellbeing among HIV people.
The study consists of 36 HIV patients (24 male and 12 female) from a group of 80 patients attending an NGO centre in the Southern Indian state of Tamilnadu for economical assistance. The subjects were selected on the basis of a) non use of antiretroviral medication, b) without counselling or psychotherapy for HIV-related issues.
The mean years of HIV identification was 6 and the mean age of the study group was 42. A randomized multiple group design with two experimental group and one control group was used to investigate the effectiveness of the ITC model. One experimental group was given PSI program alone while other experimental group was given the ITC that combines music therapy with PSI. Both the therapies consist of 12 sessions over a period of 16 weeks.
Study data were analyzed using three distinct experimental designs. Firstly, differences in the overall wellbeing and psychological conditions of all the three groups were analysed. Secondly the two experimental groups were analysed to check the PSI intervention effects by analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) model. Finally, the differences between the effects of the PSI and ITC were analysed among both the experimental groups.
 The major finding of this study is that there was significant difference indentified in active coping, anxiety levels and over all wellbeing between all the three groups. However there were no significant (t-tests) differences in psychological wellbeing among the two experimental groups (p's > .10) on the outcome of PSI. The group that received ITC showed significant difference in distress and wellbeing and coping as compared to the other experimental group that received only PSI. There was no significant gender difference in the results.
The study concludes that the Indigenous Transpersonal Counselling model (ITC) that combines specific music with PSI program is a culture-specific counselling model with an effective therapy outcome in reducing psychological distress and increasing wellbeing among HIV patients in India.
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HIV Counselling, Indigenous counselling India, Janetius model, Music therapy, Psycho-spiritual integration