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Triona Mc Caffrey

BA, MA, Dip, PhD


Tríona McCaffrey is a Lecturer on the MA Music Therapy at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. Her clinical background is in adult mental healthcare where established one of the first full-time music therapy posts in statutory health services in Ireland. She has also worked as clinical supervisor, guest lecturer and music skills tutor prior to becoming a full-time faculty member of the Academy in 2010. Her research is primarily qualitative and focuses on mental health and well-being. In 2014 she completed her PhD in service user evaluation of music therapy. She is particularly passionate about mental health recovery and the use of arts-based research methods to engage minority groups in health research. Tríona is a founding member of the Arts and Health Research Cluster based at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. She is also a member of UL's Health Research Institute.

Research Interests

  • Music therapy in mental health
  • Music therapy post development
  • Service user evaluation
  • Arts-based research

Teaching Interests

I teach on the only qualified professional music therapy training programme in Ireland. My teaching covers a broad range of topics related to clinical orientation, child development, mental health, health research and professional skills in music therapy practice. I also have extensive experience of coordinating national and international fieldwork placements for students at various stages of their training. In 2017 I was appointed External Examiner to the Postgraduate Diploma in Music Therapy at the HKU Space, University of Hong Kong.


Book Chapter


A personal recovery narrative through Rap music in music therapy
Nelligan, S., Hayes, T., & McCaffrey, T.
Schizophrenia: Triggers and Treatments


Music therapy in mental health care for adults
McCaffrey, T.
Oxford handbook of music therapy

Conference Contribution


Mid-West Perinatal Mental Health Conference
McCaffrey, T., Cheung, P. S., Barry, M.


15th World Congress of Music Therapy
Skewes McFerran, K; Stige, B; Schwantes, M; Viega, M; McCaffrey, T; Gilboa, A & Rickson, D.


15th World Congress of Music Therapy
Viega, M; Gilbertson, S; McCaffrey, T; Beer, L; Woodward, A & Zaratee, R.

Conference Publication


World Congress of Music Therapy
McFerran, K., Metell, M., Norris, M., Ikuno, R., Gilboa, A., McCaffrey, T., Rickson, D., Hadley, S., Viega, M., Oosthuizen, H., & Schwantes, M.


Refocus on Recovery 2014
McCaffrey, T.

Other Publication


Music therapy in mental health care: A brief reflection
McCaffrey, T.
The Chronicle of Higher Education


Receiving music therapy together
McCaffrey T
Irish Medical Times


Music therapy hits the right note
McCaffrey T
Irish Medical Times

Peer Reviewed Journal


Exploring the role and impact of group songwriting with multiple stakeholders in recovery-oriented mental health services
McCaffrey, T., Higgins, P., Monahan, C., Moloney, S., Nelligan, S., Clancy, A., & Cheung
Nordic Journal Of Music Therapy DOI:


An investigation of music therapists’ experiences of verbal dialogue in music therapy sessions
Nelligan, S., & McCaffrey, T.
Voices: A World Forum For Music Therapy


Music therapy and recovery in mental health: Seeking a way forward.
McCaffrey, T., Carr, C., Hense, C., & Solli, H. P.
Voices: A World Forum For Music Therapy DOI: 10.15845/voices.v18i1.918


Including service user perspectives in research: Reflections of the Music & Health Research Group at the University of Limerick.
Baines, S.; Edwards, J.; McCaffrey, T.; & Noone, J.
Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists Journal


Is there a role for music therapy in the recovery approach in mental health?
McCaffrey, T; Edwards, J; Fannon, D
The Arts In Psychotherapy DOI: 10.1016/j.aip.2011.04.006