Researcher, Janine Ellis, is exploring the experiences of counsellors and psychotherapists working with clients who are affected by issues of institutional/interpersonal sexism or misogyny in the music industry. It aims to look at how prevalent these presentations are in psychotherapy and under what circumstances, looking at how these impact on clients’ mental health and wellbeing. In turn, it will explore how therapists experience this in the therapeutic space and how they work to support these clients, looking at pertinent approaches, strategies and interventions used. Janine shares further information with us here: 

An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) study of counsellors and psychotherapists’ experiences of working with clients affected by institutional/ interpersonal sexism or misogyny in the music industry.

Last year, The Musicians’ Union responded to the House of Commons (HoC) Women and Equalities Committee ‘Misogyny in Music’ Inquiry detailing their members lived experiences of misogyny and sexism whilst working in the UK music industry and was informed by a snapshot survey of female and non-binary members. A string of recent sexual assault allegations against high profile music industry professionals has also raised questions about whether the industry needs its own #MeToo Movement. Furthermore, the new Equality Act regulations that came into effect in 2017 releasing Gender Pay Gap information has exposed the deep-seated inequality in the music industry. The gap currently lies at 30%, which is double the national average. In the same year, research carried out by the University of Westminster and Music Tank addressed a key finding that more work is required to explore how sexism may be impacting the working climate of musicians. Therefore, my piece of research intends to build onto this study by exploring therapeutic narratives around sexism, misogyny and gender inequality within the music industry and the themes that unfold therein. Most notably, it will look at how psychotherapists work to support these clients by exploring the approaches and interventions that therapists have found to be helpful to bring about meaningful change for their clients.

The music industry is comprised of a distinct group of individuals with unique needs, challenges, and strengths; characteristics which signal a clear need for tailored and affordable therapy. Upon qualifying, I hope to be able to provide bespoke feminist therapeutic counselling to clients working in the music industry, having myself worked for various world leading independent record labels (Wichita, Rough Trade, PIAS and Warp) for almost two decades. The need to research psychotherapist participants, rather than client participants, is to gain an empirically informed theoretical understanding of their therapeutic approaches, strategies and interventions used to support this unique client group.

The hour-long interview will focus on your own personal experiences working as a psychotherapist in the music industry, only contributing what you feel comfortable sharing. Interviews will be conducted one to one (the researcher and participant). They will take place week commencing 12thFebruary 2024 at a mutually convenient time.

A detailed Participant Information Sheet is available here: Participant Information Sheet

Should you wish to take part, please email with a preferred date and time for the interview to take place. You will then receive the interview schedule and informed consent form to sign.

Ethical approval has been granted by the Research Ethics Committee at Leeds Beckett University. This research project forms part of a final year Masters in Integrative Counselling (course accredited by BACP).