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Showing posts from 2008
Where has the year gone? 2008 is almost over. It has been a busy year with many therapeutic "A-ha" moments for me as well as MANY "oh-no" moments. Here are a few for your reading pleasure...Oh-no #1 - realization that, while I have been working REALLY hard at my education, I have not made as much progress as I would have liked towards my advanced degree in music therapyA-ha #1 - the archives in Fort Collins are very interesting and a valuable resource for therapists interested in what folks thought about music therapy as a profession way back whenOh-no #2 - my anonymity in my profession is rapidly disintegratingA-ha #2 - other music therapists like my ideas and what I share with them during conferences - thanks to all who stopped by my space in the Clinical Practice ForumOh-no #3 - I have not been able to spend as much time as I would like on developing new experiences, interventions, and applications for my clients - the projects are piling upA-ha #3 - online CMTE …
Irony

There are many things that I find ironic. One of them is paying $140 a night for a hotel room where we have had to call maintenance twice - once for light replacement, and once because of a bad room key, where the water pressure starts off strong and ends up with a whimper, and where the room is about as big as my back patio.

Something else that I find ironic is that the hotel has one restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. The prices, which 15 years ago I would have found EXTREMELY disconcerting, run around $20 per meal. I now consider that reasonable. Interesting. I am still not happy about the entire situation - I tend to be more thrifty than not, but I guess I have become more accustomed to the idea of paying through the nose for food at professional meetings.

I also find it ironic that folks who coordinate conferences ALL OF THE TIME do not have the logistical know-how of scheduling things so commonly-themed sessions are not scheduled at the same time. There are many diffe…
Decisions Who would be a better match for me? Who would be a better match for my clients? Who would be a better match for the interns I currently supervise? Who will I accept? Who will I reject?These are some of the decisions that I have had to make over the past four days. I am a person who typically makes decisions after weighing the pros and cons of each side, deliberating with others, and really thinking through all possibilities. Once I make the decision, whether it is about voting, sweater color, financial issues, I tend to accept that the decision has been made, and I move on. I spend as little time as possible rueing a decision that I have made.I get uncomfortable when my decisions impact the lives of others. I prefer when my decisions are "yes you" or "not you" rather than "you, but not you." I remember getting a very curt rejection letter from my "safety" application for internship, and it stung that they did not even want to meet me or…
From this side of the 20th reunion... So, please indulge me as I wax nostalgic for a bit. My 20th high school reunion was last Saturday evening, and I am still reeling from the shock that it actually happened - It did, I saw pictures!In addition to reunion shock, I had to participate in the CBMT Practice Analysis Survey and then had to figure out how long I've been a music therapist. That was just as shocking. I realized that I have been a music therapist for over 15 years - this is another revelation for me!I guess I should have seen it coming.You know, I don't generally feel old when I'm working with my clients. I dance, joke, and keep up with the younglings very well. I can sit on the floor cross-legged and get up without help. I can belt out tunes from Rihanna, Chris Brown, and Keith Urban with the best of them. Working with children is a great way to feel young - you have to keep moving or you get run over.Is this a mid-life crisis? I sincerely hope not since I hope to…
Aging I will be missing my 20 year high school reunion this Saturday evening. There are several things that I find wrong with that statement - First, it has already been 20 years since high school, and while I do not find myself wishing for those days again, it does not seem possible that that much time has passed. What happened to being young?I have some issues with my sciatic nerve. I feel old as I totter around my apartment, limping on my right leg. The fact that I am missing my 20 year reunion makes me feel even worse! Go figure.The best thing about aging is thinking about music therapists-future who will have to engage me in music therapy reminiscence groups in later years. They will have to sing early Madonna, U2, Thompson Twins, and songs from every Disney movie ever made to engage my attention. Can you imagine the difficulty with finding, "Don't Pay the Ferryman" by Chris DeBurgh for my poor future MT? I will find some way to communicate my musical preferences ver…
The Therapeutic Triad Recently, I have been pondering the role that the therapist plays in a music therapy session. I really like the idea of the therapeutic triad - don't know who came up with the concept, or even where I learned about it, so I'll make no attempt to cite it - sorry. I envision the therapy relationship as a flexible triangle with the client at the top of the triangle, the therapist at one end at the bottom and music at the other end. The triangle is flexible and pulls one way and the other as the members of the triad work together or apart from one another. Each element is essential for the others to participate in effective music therapy, but none is more important than the client. Without client involvement, there is no therapy.So, I started to explain the concept of this triad to an intern at my facility. She is a very visual learner, so the picture of the triangle was the best first step for her. We discussed each of the elements of the relationship separat…
The Moon Ask anyone who has ever worked in an emergency room, and they will tell you - full moon nights are the most bizarre nights ever. I am a moon baby and VERY affected by the cycles of the moon. Let me explain.I was a postmature baby. You don't hear much about those of us who were more comfortable in utero than the rest of you folks, but there are babies that wait to be born. I was one of those babies.My mother carried me for almost 10 months, much to her dismay, and I waited to be born until the night of the full moon. I was one of 31 babies born that night and day and things were hopping in the hospital.Ever since then, I have been ruled by the moon.My mom swears that I cycled through mild forms of mania and depression even as an infant, linked up with the moon cycles. (She has worked in hospitals and has observed the full moon phenomenon personally). She said things would just become difficult to explain or talk about, and she would check the calendar.This topic is on my mi…
Seeing things through a medication haze It is the last week in August, and I have started my September sick already. There is something about September that has brought out the allergy/cold/cough stuff in me for the last 13 years. This year, it started early.I spent most of Friday wishing I was medicated. Today, I am. This is a good/bad thing because the medication that I take has a 24-hour adjustment period where I am extremely tired and dizzy. After that initial 24 hours, I am able to function with a slight level of drowse. So, I have to start the medication on a day away from clients. It kinda defeats the purpose of having a music therapist who snoozes through music therapy sessions.Today, I spent some of the day at the car dealership getting an oil change and having a tire patched. I then spent the rest of the day sleeping. My brother woke me up with a phone call. I am now tired, but awake, and doing some thinking about therapist wellness.My illnesses are not life altering or serio…
IT's the End of the World as We Know It... And, I'm not sure that it's all that fine.Last Thursday, I found that my computer hard drive had crashed, just as I was getting ready to backup all of the wonderful things that I had traveled to CO to find. The disc is toasted, and I, now significantly poorer, am waiting for my next paycheck to finance a possibly fruitless expedition into the murky depths of the disc to try to mine some of the files. So, I am becoming resigned to some changes in my life. At the moment, I am looking for a MONDO external disc drive to accommodate all of my files in backup forms and will be more faithful in backing things up!My current school projects and business proposals will also have to change, especially if I cannot find them on the toasted disc.Happy New Year!!
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Touristy Things


I left the hotel at 6:15 this morning to explore the Fort Collins area. I started off for Poudre Canyon and made it a good distance before I started to react to the pines and the altitude. I had a chance to dip my toes into the river and watched my first ever fly fisherman. The drive was eventful - cattle in the roadway around turns. I had to keep my eyes open and my foot near the clutch at all times.
After I started the allergy reaction, I turned around and leaded for Laramie, Wyoming. When I told my dad this, he asked, "Why would you go to Laramie?" My answer was that it was only 70 miles away, and I had never been to Wyoming. All I can say is that it was a pretty drive. The actuality was not as thrilling as the idea, but now I have been to Wyoming.
I got back to the hotel and went to the "First Ever Fort Collins Irish Festival." It also sounded bigger than the actuality, but it was fun. I had a chance to look up the only confirmed Irish name that I …
Wading through History So, my sojourn through the music therapy archives has ended with around 200 pages of information scanned into my computer, ready for further digestion. I probably have enough for two separate papers - one on competence development in interns, and another on the history of internship programs themselves.Like I said in my last post, the archives are very user friendly and everyone is helpful. I highly encourage everyone to dive into the archives at least once in their careers.I have some pictures from a scrapbook assembled in 1965. There are pictures of therapists, clients, and music therapy dignitaries. I do not know who assembled the scrapbook, but they did everything that I've been taught to do in my own scrapbooks. It was interesting to look at, matted well, and had wonderful front pages for each of the sections. It was humbling to realize that the scrapbook was older than me (Can you tell I work with folks who have some egocentric outlooks on life?). This …
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The Archives
(Let me just say, I know I am a nerd!)
I just spent three hours in the music therapy archives housed at Colorado State University and an additional couple of hours looking through materials housed in Dr. Bill Davis's office. I have scanned 140 pages of historical material directly related to clinical training and skill development. I am exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time.
If you ever need to access information from the archives, please do. It is a nondescript building on the CSU campus, very loud from all of the ventilation, and not very interesting to look at, but VERY accessible and easy to understand. Dr. Davis and the archivist, Linda Meyers, have been extremely accommodating. I went in with some inkling of what I was looking for (that helped), and Dr. Davis helped me find more information in the archives. Linda gave me a space to work, access to electricity, and left me to it.
We have over 70 boxes of materials in the archives. There is information about …
Colorado, Here I am! I made it to Fort Collins in nine hours. I started the trip at 4:18 am. The trip went very quickly which was great, considering the scenery for most of the trip. Western Kansas is not too very stimulating, but it does seem to flash past quickly at 74 mph.I am looking forward to my first trip to the archives. BIG thanks to Carol Ann for the paper - it definitely steered me in the right direction for my sojourn into our past as a profession.My room is very small. I guess you get what you pay for, and I obviously did not pay for a closet or a comfortable chair. The price was right what with the price of gasoline. Back to research!
Looking forward to 91/2 hours alone in the car... It may sound strange, but I enjoy long trips in the car. I always have and probably always will. I especially like driving places by myself. I'm going to Colorado tomorrow and will be on the way before dawn, driving to the west in my little car.I am also glad for the evolution of cell phones. This may seem like an unrelated comment, but let me explain. Before the advent of cell phones, people looked over at someone like me, alone in the car, chattering away and attempted to put as many miles between us as possible. Nowadays, folks just assume that I am talking to someone on a hands-free device and continue to talk to their friends on their cell phones.Here is my car trip tradition.I already have directions to the hotel - Yes, Tawnya, I did download the directions at the beginning of June and have posted them on my bulletin board where I ALWAYS put trip details. This way I can find them in a hurry.Today I will do laundry, pick up pre…
Colorado Bound It is fall break, and I am going to Colorado for several days. The trip is purely for research purposes, but I am going to try to include some sightseeing in the mix while I am out and about. It was supposed to be a family vacation, but my CA family decided it was going to be too expensive to come out. I'm a bit disappointed, but I have to get into the archives, so have to go regardless. I am looking forward to going somewhere, even if the somewhere is related to my job and education.I am a competency geek. I enjoy the AMTA Professional Competencies and use them in my training sessions often. I am curious about how they came about and will be looking at the process taken by therapists before to find out. Jolly old fun!Only three days to go.
Saying Goodbye, why is it sad? Yesterday, we finally said goodbye to our boss and colleague. A Muppets song kept running through my head... "Saying goodbye, why is is sad? Makes us remember the good times we had."The song goes on, but I cannot.I feel that saying goodbye is an important process in a professional, but ESPECIALLY in a therapeutic relationship. My experience as a transplanted youngster probably contributes to this feeling. I had to say goodbye to lots of people when I was in elementary school. I am used to being the one who is leaving rather than the other way around. It is strange to be on the other side of the experience and be left.Currently, I have been acting as a quasi-therapist to many of my co-workers as they express feelings of grief and progressed in the DABDA process. It is amazing how many people have come to the music room to chat about how they are feeling about our boss moving on in the world. Someone mentioned that I should spearhead something to i…
Reinventing Yourself There are some things that happen in a lifetime that are difficult to understand. One of those things is the phenomenon of changing your personality to suit someone else. There are natural times to change: starting a new school, changing jobs, moving your home, starting a new relationship, but I always have questions about the need or impulse to change.My personality includes many contradictions (as I am sure many of ours do). I am a bit perfectionistic ("Ha," my sister, the equally perfectionistic is saying, "A BIT???"). I am a mess when it comes to housecleaning. I have lots of ideas, but often peter out when it comes to implementing these ideas. I enjoy new experiences, but do not often seek those new experiences. I will travel anywhere, as long as I have a job - most of my "vacations" have something to do with my vocation. I am, at heart, a person who enjoys structure and patterns. I like knowing how my friends are going to react i…
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Monkey Moments in Music Therapy
Yesterday was a monkey day in the music therapy room at my facility. Please read on so I can explain.
There are some days where things move along swimmingly - clients entrain and get into the groove with little extra effort from the therapist, the therapist is able to be effective with many different clients, and staff members seem to understand the therapeutic outcome of every experience. Then there are other days. In honor of my current interns, I'm christening these days, "Monkey Days."
We had such a day yesterday.
The therapeutic aspect of the day was not too bad. The one group that has been giving me gray hairs was relatively controlled - I termed it "controlled chaos" - and the clients appeared to be in the therapeutic groove in the other groups, but some of the staff members seemed to do everything possible to sabotage, interrupt, and dictate the therapeutic process.
At one point, my junior intern made a sound that sounded lik…
Putting Your Best Foot Forward So, I have come to accept the fact that our leader and boss is leaving. I am not happy about the situation, but the fact is that she has to do what is best for her. I have to do what is best for me. I am ready to move on and see what the future holds. I know the immediate future holds lots of uncertainty and grief on the part of my coworkers. I tend to be a person who grieves deeply but briefly - stormy bouts of emotion followed by logical thought and acceptance. I also tend to understand many points of view when it comes to the feelings of others. The therapist in me comes out, and I tend to be the person that listens to others as they grieve.It is time to move forward and start the process of developing a team with a different, or even without, a team leader. Our best foot, as a team, is the level of care that we provide to our clients. We will be able to continue that level of care without our boss. There will probably be some increase the amount of st…
You think things are going along fine, and then, WHAM! A wall!! I have always felt extreemly lucky to work for my boss. She is someone who genuinely cares for the people that work for her as well as for the people we serve. She is not afraid to tell it like it is and hope that it could be better. She understands the difference between therapy and education and is willing to allow us to implement our own ideas. She is also able to quash our unrealistic and petty situations.I found out yesterday that my boss is leaving. This blog entry is part of my grieving process.We all gathered for what we thought was going to be a happy meeting - we have had unhappy situations before - the facility closing between Christmas and New Year's, all of us unemployed, kids leaving in droves. So, we thought there would be a time to giggle and get together as a group to discuss our unifying theme. Our boss started the meeting with "There's no way to ease into this. Just rip the band-aid off. I&#…
Just for Julie... So, my friend Julie told me yesterday that she often looks at my blog and giggles at the way that I try to be all professional and serious about music therapy. She also tries to guess who I'm referring to in my posts. Here is a post just for Julie! There are some folks who get it, There are some folks who don't. Some folks who try it, Some folks who won't. You know most of them, You know that you do, So try to solve riddles, I'll give you some clues. This person likes nothing, Nothing at all, Especially if she isn't making the call. I think there may be More than just one, But if I get more specific, I'll ruin the fun. These people try anything, They're lots of fun, ``````````````````````````````````````````(Bella's helping me type - I hope she's done!) I have many more, But they are just rhymes, I'm happy to chat with you, All of the time.
Protocol Development 101 One of my professors is big into the idea of "protocol development" as an important element of music therapy as a recognized profession in the allied health field. The idea that what we do as music therapists can be replicated by any music therapist once the protocol has been developed, tested, and refined. I have always been a bit confused by this idea - the way she sees it does not make sense to me, but I am starting to understand the concept in my own way. I'm also coming around to the opinion that established, evidence-based music therapy protocol are important to the field and to my own practice.This lightbulb going on over my head has been forced upon me due to my circumstances at my place of employment. We have one class of adolescents with complex issues including intellectual, developmental, psychiatric, and physical conditions. The majority of the clients have a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum. Most of them are functionally nonverbal. T…
Don't Worry - Not Another Rant...I PROMISE! Sorry about the rant from yesterday. I get frustrated when folks are not professional in their communication with others. Anyway...I am currently in day 10 of 13 days off - one of the perks to being a school-based music therapist. I have passed the "I'm completely bored" phase and am now in the "Let's get things going again" phase of vacation. I have a bunch of file folder activities that I need to finish assemblying, write up "how-to's" for my interns and fellow staff members, and then laminate. I find these applications of music in an independent format to be a good use of time for clients who finish tasks quickly. They can then use a file folder activity to fill in time during the group session. Other therapists also appear to like this idea, especially those who work with school-aged clients. I am hoping that this will turn into an online CMTE. It's lots of work, but I think it will be wor…
Indulge my complaining...Sorry
It really irks me that I found out that one of my presentation ideas was not accepted through a published source rather than through the organization that it was presented to. Why can't folks follow professional courtesy and let others know when their ideas are not appropriate for a course or session BEFORE they publish the list of offerings. I am a bit tweaked that I had to find out whether my idea was appropriate by looking at the publication rather than hearing from the committee. Just another one of the things that could be solved through a bit more organization and consideration. I'm just a bit perturbed by the way things are run. Sorry for the meltdown, but, in this case, I feel it was deserved.
Back to Basics You know, there are times when I have to stop what I am doing and reset my thoughts about music therapy. This is one of these times. I am currently on Summer Break, a wonderful period of 13 days before returning to my job, and I am starting to think about the therapy that I provide.I am a behavioral therapist with 15 years of experience working with persons with developmental and psychiatric concerns. I am competent. I am a good therapist and a good trainer. Sometimes, though, I forget the basics of my medium. I am currently reminding myself of those basics.My first step is always a review of the basic tenets of William Sears. His writing in Music In Therapy, edited by Gaston (1964) always encapsulates the role of music in human life. I then work around to Radocy and Boyle, Thaut, Bruscia, Wigram, Clair, and other music therapy theorists. I also find writers outside of the field of music therapy to be valuable as I am reforming my therapeutic offerings. Cognitive neurops…
Getting Ready... I am in the process of getting ready to guest lecture at one of the local universities. My topic today is Music Therapy with Adolescents, and I'm going to be speaking to a senior music therapy class. I have found that Adolescents are an underresearched and underestimated population with very unique issues in music therapy. That is not my blog topic for today.My favorite part about being a music therapist is watching others discover the joy of music. This happens to me lots in the clinic, which is why I am guest lecturing rather than teaching. It also occurs when I'm talking to other therapists - novice and professional - about my "kids." I have been told that I am very obvious in my attitudes and enthusiasm for the things that I am passionate about - can't hide anything on my face! It will be fun to share some of that enthusiasm today with preprofessionals.I am basically just killing time before I have to leave. More later when I finish the lectur…
Coming Home From Conference... It is regional conference time, and I have just returned from the joint MWR/GLR conference held in Lombard, IL. I am not generally able to attend regional conferences due to the limited amount of time that I have for professional development, but I did get to attend this one. I found myself in the middle of a primarily clinical world, something that is often missing at the National conference. I need to explain what I mean. At National conference, the majority of folks who present appear to be researchers and professors. This is an important aspect of our professional development, true, but clinicians often attend to get some practical tips and techniques for use with clientele. Things to take home, ways to feel refreshed, opportunities for asking other clinicians about client populations. National conferences are often not as focused on "how-to" as I want them to be. There also appears to be a lack of professional level "How-To" cours…
Therapy and me I love being a therapist. I enjoy the act of making music with my clients. I like the challenge of finding the music that will best fit a client and a situation and making that music assist the client in completing a specific goal and objective. I like the flexibility within structure that is required when working with human beings, each with a different perspective on the world. The combination of successes and failures are what keeps me interested in the field after 16 years of clinical practice.I am somewhat of an anacronism at my school. I am a Ph.D. student with no aspirations for a University appointment. I have tried to be interested in the University system, but I still feel really linked to the client-therapist relationship rather than the student-teacher relationship. Because of this link to the clinic, I want to do what I am doing right now - clinical music therapist as well as internship director and small business owner (the business part is developing slowl…
The Things I Dream About... This morning, I woke up with my thoughts on a discussion that has been going around the music therapy listserv regarding observers in music therapy sessions. I have not posted any of my opinions on the listserv primarily because I am not able to have a policy that excludes observers - my clinic is always open to all folks who enter, as is every other classroom and therapeutic treatment room in the facility. This is for the protection of the clients as well as the staff members. I admit to getting frustrated when 20 people enter my music therapy room, but I ensure that they participate in the therapeutic process rather than just staring at my clients and myself.I have a strict "NO NOTES" rule in the therapy room. Everyone who comes in is expected to be a part of the group and the activity that is occurring st that time. This has been the hardest rule for others to accept. When I explain the therapeutic process, the relationships involved, and the ne…
Refreshing Myself... Today is the fourth day of Spring Break. I enjoy a teaching schedule and all of the breaks - one of the advantages to working in a year-round public/private school, I guess. I receive enough time off during the year that I can get away from the demands of being a therapist and get amped up for new therapeutic interventions. I tend to use this time away from work putting high expectations on myself that I do not accomplish. Rather, I tend to sleep, read, and catch up on all of the things that I do not feel that I have time to do during the year. This is one of those times.As I am starting to prepare for our regional conference, I am thinking alot about what therapy is and what I do as a therapist. These thoughts have led to some introspection about the therapeutic relationship and use of self within therapy. I do not pretend to be a psychoanalytical therapist - my training is firmly on the behavioral side of things - so cannot necessarily base my rambling thoughts i…
Taking Care of Yourself... I am home today after not sleeping all night. Around midnight, while my mind was racing and my legs were aching, and I was getting increasingly frustrated with my sleep-less situation, I took a shower in an attempt to get sleepy. Did not work. Neither did the breathing medicine or the sleep tapes. This is a situation I only find myself in once or twice a year - I am very lucky that this does not happen often. However, I did not sleep until after I called in to work and left messages for my interns and for my principal. After I arranged the sick day, I of course managed to get about 3 hours of sleep.I realize that insomnia is a wimpy excuse for a sick day, but for me, it is an important signal that I am not taking care of myself. I tend to be a Type-A personality, busy all the time and constantly feeling that I should be doing more with my life. This leads to overloads and stressful moments. Occasionally, it all comes crashing down on me. This appears to be on…
I have recently been the recipient of iTunes gift cards. I love these cards as they give me the freedom to download legal music that I want to purchase while I am sitting in my home with the cat. The problem that I have is choosing what to purchase.You wouldn't think that would be such a problem, would you? Well, it is for me. So, the cards sit, fully loaded, on my desk, waiting to be of use.
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Getting in a rut...and climbing back out!
Aah, February. Traditionally the most numbing month of the year for me. The weather is typically lousy, and all of my ideas for therapeutic musical experiences are old and dull. As a result of the gloomy weather, the illnesses that tend to pop up in a residential treatment facility, and the long lag between winter and spring breaks, I traditionally get into a funk during this month.

Knowing that about myself, I wait for the rut and then pull myself out using the following techniques:

I challenge myself to listen to one new song from my collection of CDs per day,
I make time to color visual aids - these may or may not have a specific therapeutic purpose when I start the coloring process - I always end up with a way to use them in therapy later,
I schedule down days - watching videos or playing jukebox during therapy sessions,
I look for new ideas and write them down,
I wander through toy sections in stores,
I browse catalogs and try to make similar mat…
Research This is my stumbling block, my weakest link, my bugaboo. I am not able to clearly organize research. Unfortunately, in a Ph.D. world, research is king, research is all. I struggle with understanding what I statistical analysis I should run to find answers to my research questions. I struggle with clear reviews of literature, I struggle with finding interesting topics - EVERYTHING is a struggle for me. Having said that, I do enjoy asking questions and hearing what others think. I like descriptive research, especially surveys of clinicians working with interns and practicum students. I feel so lonely in my rural school, away from other therapists, and I like to know what others are doing. I want to know the answers to many different questions.For example,What is the greatest challenge that you face as an internship supervisor?What skill is most important for interns to know before starting your site?Just a sample of what is to come from me.
New Blood... I had a new intern start her internship yesterday. I am always a bit apprehensive about a new intern fitting in to the mix of characters at my facility. I tend to pace, I don't sleep well, and I am very concerned about the interns that are currently at the facility getting along with the new one. I think this one will be perfectly fine, but I still had all of the same old doubts. My population is children and adolescents with developmental and psychiatric disorders. They are notorious for less than desirable social interaction skills, so I always warn visitors and interns that they will need to model appropriate introduction skills. My students are more likely to talk about a person rather than introduce themselves.Two interns ago, I had just finished with my talk about how students would be likely to talk about the intern in front of her face rather than using appropriate skills such as introducing themselves, when we had to go to an inservice. We sat down in the room …
Music for relaxation...and me So, I am a music therapist, so it would stand to reason that music would be relaxing to me, right? You would certainly think so, but I find it not to be the case. I have found that music has become a puzzle rather than a completely sensory experience. This has shifted what I do to relax away from listening to music and into speech-related stimulation.The other night, I was experiencing some insomnia. I kept waking and then lying in bed waiting for sleep to come. As I waited, I got more tense about not sleeping. This led to more insomnia. My mom, an OT, gave me a combination yoga, aroma, music sleep system that proports to enduce delta wave patterns in the brain and assist with sleep. I'm game for anything, so I put the CD on and started the process,The music was very predictable, the sounds flowed through my auditory system, and I remained wide awake. I attempted progressive muscle relaxation with the music (PMR being the only relaxation technique that…
Relearning Relaxation In the life of a therapist, choir director, student, daughter, and friend, there are many obstacles to the art of relaxation. I dart from place to place and rarely sit quietly without working on some project. There are things that I want to do, things that I need to be doing, and things that SHOULD be done already. So, it is rare when I get or have to sit quietly. Yesterday was one such day. I did not sleep well and when it was time to go to work, I found that my lower extremities ached to the point of incapacitation. Now, I have been recently exposed to Fifth Disease, a little virus that causes joint pain and malaise, but I also have a tendency towards arthritis, so was not sure what the situation was with me. I called in on the first therapy day of the new year. I spent the day on my back under every heavy blanket and pillow that I could find, seeking some relief from the pain in my legs and back. The day was spent seeking sleep rather than finding it. I also rem…
New Year, New Focus
It is time for new thoughts and new goals. The new year offers me an opportunity to establish professional goals and evaluate the types of treatment that I offer my clients. I will offer my professional goals here on this blog in an effort to keep myself on track during 2008. We shall see how it works... I will update my Therapeutic Musical Experience file for the benefit of my session planning process and for my interns. I will focus on goal identification when I am arranging the file. This is an ongoing process and an ongoing goal. I will complete my 3 publishable products in the spring semester, allowing me to continue onto my dissertation. Each of these products will be outcome-based training oriented and will increase knowledge of clinical training techniques in the music therapy field. I will design several methods for teaching music theory to persons with developmental and psychiatric diagnoses. I will test these methods with my clients, refining and compiling r…