Eleanor Richards

Senior Lecturer

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences

Department:Department of Music and Performing Arts

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Music therapy

Courses taught: Music Therapy

Eleanor is a senior music therapist in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, where she works with adults with learning disabilities and mental illness. She has published widely and presented papers at various international conferences.

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Eleanor studied music at the Universities of London and Nottingham. Before training as a music therapist she lectured in music history at the Royal College of Music and at London University, and worked in arts administration. She now works in private practice as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and supervisor.

Research interests

  • applications of attachment theory
  • relational models of psychoanalysis to music therapy
  • the contribution of group analytic theory to group music therapy practice


  • MA
  • BMus
  • ARCM
  • SRAsT(M)

Memberships, editorial boards

  • registered with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
  • member of the John Bowlby Centre, London

Selected recent publications

Group Music Therapy:a Group Analytic Approach (co-author) (2014) London: Routledge

'Whose Handicap? Issues arising in the supervision of music therapy trainees working with adults with learning disabilities' in H. Odell-Miller and E. Richards (eds.) (2009) Music Therapy Supervision London: Routledge

Odell-Miller, H and Richards, E (2009) Supervision of music therapy: a theoretical and practical handbook. London: Routledge

Richards, E. (2007) 'What bit of my head is talking now?: music therapy with people with learning disabilities and mental illness' in , T. Watson, (ed.) Music therapy with adults with learning disabilities. London: Jessica Kingsley

Richards, E and Davies. A. (2002) Music therapy and group work, London: Jessica Kingsley

Richards, E. (1999) 'A response to Esme Towse' British Journal of Music Therapy 15, 1

Richards, E., and Davies, A. (1997) 'Music therapy in acute psychiatry; our experience of working as co-therapists in a group for patients from two neighbouring wards' British Journal of Music Therapy 13, 2, 53-59

Recent presentations and conferences

Richards, E: (2012): 'Issues in the personal development of trainees in music therapy' Keynote address, International Conference on Music Therapy and Music Performance, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India

Richards, E: (2011) 'What happens after this quiet bit? I may have to leave now. The risks of empathy' John Bowlby Memorial Conference, Institute of Child Health, London, March 2011

Richards, E (2010) 'What does it take? Issues in the training of music therapists' International Music Therapy Conference, Andhra University, Vizakhpatnam, India, December 2010

Richards, E (2007) Canadian Music Therapy Congress (Victoria, BC), Co-presented paper; facilitated workshop

Richards, E (2007) European Music Therapy Congress (Netherlands), Co-presenting paper (August 2007)