Monday Meetings: Meet Dr. Heidi Ahonen!

Faculty Bios - Heidi Ahonen

Heidi Ahonen

Director of the Manfred and Penny Conrad Institute for Music Therapy Research (CIMTR)

Dr. Heidi Ahonen (, received a PhD from Joensuu University (1998), Finland, and an MA from the University of Helsinki (1990). Heidi worked at the North Karelia Polytechnic, Finland (1990-2001) and established their music therapy training programme prior to moving to Canada in 2001, She also trained music therapists at Sibelius Academy, Finland (1990-2002), and psychotherapists at the Finnish Mental Health Association, Psychotherapy Institute (1999-2005). Since 1990, Heidi has lectured and conducted experiential workshops in the health care community and various Universities in both Europe and North-America.Most recently, Heidi has conducted Vicarious Trauma Workshops around the globe.

 Academic Interests

Heidi’s research program covers a wide range of qualitative music psychotherapy research, i.e. Group Analytic Music Therapy, and clinical improvisation, and evidence-based Music Medicine research, i.e. low frequency sound wave research ( Heidi’s research projects have covered various clinical populations i.e. PTSD, psychological trauma, depression, burn-out, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and Vibromyalgia. Heidi has extensive clinical supervision and research supervision experience. Specializing in phenomenology, grounded theory, fenomenography, narrative inquiry, and arts based research, Heidi has supervised over 50 postgraduate/masters-level theses and research papers in 7 different Universities in Europe and North-America. She has been the external examiner/public opponent of ten doctorate dissertations, and served as an external examiner of CIHR, Canada, several scholarly journals, and other Universities’ arts therapy programmes, i.e. U of Hertfordshire and the Irish World Academy.

Heidi has published widely in psychotherapy, group analysis, and music therapy topics.  Her books include:

  • Group Analytic Music Therapy.Gilsum. NH. Barcelona Publishers. (2007)
  • Musiikki—Sanaton kieli. Musiikkiterapian perusteet. [Music—language without words. The basics of music therapy]. Finnlectura Oy. HKI.,3. prints. (2000/1992)
  • Samalle aaltopituudelle—kohtaaminen musiikin avulla. [To the same tune—meeting in the musical world]. Kirjayhtymä oy. Hki. (1999)
  • ”Musiikillinen dialogi” ja muita musiikkiterapeuttientyöskentelytapoja ja lasten musiikkiterapian muotoja.[Musical dialog and other working methods of music therapists and forms of music therapy for children]. Doctorate thesis. University of Joensuu. Faculty of Education. N:o 45. Joensuu University Printing House. (1998)
  • Löytöretki itseen. [Exploring oneself. Music, picture and movement as a tool of self expression and insight]. Musiikki, kuva ja liike itseilmaisun välineenä ja itsetuntemuksen lisääjänä.Kirjayhtymä Oy. HKI. 2. prints. (1994)
  • Taide Psykososiaalisen työn välineenä.[Arts as a tool of psychosocial work]. (Heidi Ahonen-Eerikainen Ed.). PohjoisKarjalan Ammattikorkeakoulun julkaisu sarja A/2, opetushallitus.Raamattupaino, Pieksämäki2. prints. (1994)


Undergraduate Courses – None

Graduate Courses – MU505, MU507, MU606

For a more detailed biography of Dr. Heidi Ahonen, please see


About Laurier MTSA

We are a student association at Wilfrid Laurier University and most of our members are students in the Music Therapy program. We exist to educate about, promote, and support the work of music therapy, and to support the academic, career, and personal needs of the Music Therapy Students. Our mandate is to unite prospective, current and alumni students while promoting our profession in the larger community.
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