Showing posts from February, 2010
Therapeutic Three




I've been thinking about the therapeutic triad lots lately, pondering the ways that the three elements of music therapy act, react, and interact. This philosophical exercise of mine is one that allows me to deepen my understanding of music as a therapeutic medium, keeps me engaged in the therapeutic process even when I a participant in the music therapy exercise, and allows me to further infuriate other therapists who do not view music therapy the way I do.

In my work with novice therapists, e.g., interns, practicum students, etc., I often find that they do not have a grasp on how the therapeutic relationship begins and develops. They are either skewed heavily on the therapist side, offering scripted therapy experiences that do not allow for client direction, or they are completely client directed with no thought about what the therapist should bring to the experience. It is very rare for someone to be skewed towards the music.

Need I point out at th…
Teaching therapy

I am taking a break from being a teacher/trainer. As ,much as I love being an internship director, I find that there are times when I just need to be the therapist. It has been over 3 years since I have been completely alone in my music therapy clinic. Eight interns later, I am ready for a break!

I find that some interns are easy to teach. They think like I think, learn how I learn best, and just seem to have an inherent bent towards therapeutic interaction with my particular clientele. Those are the interns that are simply a joy to point in the right direction and then watch them fly away.

Then there is the other brand of intern. These interns are challenges in many ways. Sometimes they do not learn in a way that is easy for me to understand. Sometimes they are not interested in being a music therapist, but have to because of their families. Sometimes they come to me thinking that they have learned everything there is to know about music therapy and I am not going to ge…
Snarkity, snark, snark, snark!
Why do we insist on picking at each other?

There is a controversy on the listserv - AGAIN - about professional supervision. I find it interesting that there is a population of music therapists appear to feel that they are the only folks who can survive as therapists, and then only when they follow their tenets. The rest of us are merely "activity" therapists, providing our clients with sing-a-long therapy rather than in-depth, meaningful music experiences.


There is a very different set of expectations for therapists based on philosophical views.

Why can't we all just get along??
The Therapeutic Function of Music
So, why music anyway?

I ponder that thought often during my day. As the daughter of an Occupational Therapist, I often have ideas for interventions that do not need the structure of music to be therapeutic. I am challenged to see if the behavior of my clients changes when music is in the atmosphere or if they would complete therapeutic goals and tasks in the same manner without music. Sometimes, it is difficult to know.

But, I am a music therapist rather than an OT (a fact that my mother laments). Therefore, all of my interventions should be musical in nature if not in substance.

I am getting ready to revamp my internship to increase intern awareness of the therapeutic function of music in sessions. So, I am challenging myself to start thinking this way as well.

So far, I have come up with several questions that spur my thinking on towards therapeutic rationales for music in therapy. They are as follows:
Why would you need music to complete this goal/object…