Did you know?
...that music therapists are a unique brand of people? If you are reading this, then of course you do! Each music therapist approaches the act of therapy based on his or her experiences, ideas, interests, talents, relationships, and clients. Every session is completely different and that is the way it should be.
I am a music therapist.
I have often fell into the trap of comparing myself to others. The "I should be doing..." trap. I remember sitting in a presentation about music in geriatric settings and thinking, "I should know all the words to My Merry Oldsmobile." I felt that I was not a good music therapist because of my lack of knowledge. I then engaged in some cognitive retraining and thought, "I may not know that song, but most of these folks couldn't sing a Britney Spears song if their life depended on it." It was like a lightbulb went on over my head. I wasn't an inadequate therapist, I was the perfect therapist for the clients that I served.
I am a perfectionist. I am the first to admit that I want to be the best me that I can be. If I am not being the best I can be, I cause stress and distress for myself. I am my own harshest critic. There are times when the "I should" statements take over my life and keep me from progressing. I am constantly getting better.
My interns often display the same pattern of should-a would-a statements. I get a chance to help them avoid the same patterns that I find myself in on a regular basis. I often hear, "I should have sung the song a bit louder." "I should of watched all of the kids more closely." There are some things that you just can't do during a group session when you are leading musical experiences, managing behaviors, communicating, and also planning/evaluating what is happening in the session.
Where do we get the should-a could-a syndrome?