Showing posts from October, 2010
Defining Yourself...

I have found myself in the unusual (for me) position of having to completely define my purpose and role in my facility. The reason this is so unusual at my facility is that music therapy has been an integral part of the treatment of clients since the doors opened way back in 1969. Music therapy has always been a part of the experience of children and adolescents who lived at the facility. The unusual position is that the current Director of Clinical Intervention has NO clue what I do. This was illustrated in a paper that he recently gave to me.

Music therapy was relegated to one sentence in the section entitled "Recreational Activities."

When I read that, I was flabbergasted.

It explained a lot.

A bit of background information to catch you, dear reader, up on the situations that are occurring.

The first thing that has happened is that we have had a complete change in leadership at the administrative level in the past three years. We have been through several c…
Thinking about Therapy

The definition of therapy, according to, is: 1. the treatment of disease or disorders, as by some remedial, rehabilitating, or curative process; 2. a curative power or quality; 3. psychotherapy; 4. any act, hobby, task, program, etc., that relieves tension.

As a music therapist, I feel that my particular brand of therapy is that of rehabilitating rather than curative. I do not think that music therapy can cure disease or completely ameliorate the effect of a syndrome or disorder. I do, however, believe that music therapy can address issues and provide different avenues for gaining skills than other forms of therapeutic intervention.

Out of the four definitions above, I feel that #1 and #4 are the most relevant definitions for music therapists. I am not a psychotherapist. I do not practice psycho-dynamic music therapy techniques and do not feel that psycho-analytical music therapy is the philosophical fit for me. I feel that I can be a music therapist…
The importance of an hour

I am going to work a bit later than usual today. I generally get to work an hour before I am required to report, primarily because I am an early riser and enjoy some quiet time in my room before others arrive. Today, however, I needed to finish up a Netflix movie before sending it back, so I am staying at home until 6:30.

I have an hour-long commute, so I can predict my arrival at work pretty well every day. I have been tempted over the years to give up that commute and move closer to work, but I have found that I need that time to slough off my day as well as get ready for being home. I use that hour to mull over issues, practice singing, think about my life, and contemplate things that need to be contemplated.

The hour is a unit of time that defines my professional life as well. I provide hour-long and half hour sessions to my clients. I also have hour-long interdisciplinary sessions on Fridays. An hour is enough time to engage clients in musical experiences a…