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Showing posts from June, 2011
Brought Down By a Bug...or Something So, I woke up early this morning with a very upset stomach. I took some antacid and went back to sleep. waking up several times during the rest of the night for more antacids.

This morning, I got up with every intention of going to work. My stomach was upset, and the illness seemed to transfer down into the intestines as well. I tried very hard to get to work today. I even got to my car and about 3 miles away from home before the stomach stuff reared its ugly head, and I felt that I could not face an hour's drive feeling nauseous.

Now, I am a person who firmly believes that you should stay home if you are sick. If you are in any way contagious, then you have a responsibility to others to keep your germs to yourself. (I don't think I'm contagious, by the way.)

I decided that there needed to be some time to sit and try to stay quiet today rather than attempting to sing with my mouth open, breathing on my clients.

I hope it will be a quiet day …
I wonder...
What is so difficult about behaving ethically?

I am peripherally involved in a situation where a music therapist has behaved unethically in both her therapeutic services and in her professional relationships. The situation is ridiculous to say the least. None of the things that have happened are things that should have happened.

I am human. I make mistakes and have to apologize on a pretty regular basis. I sometimes snap when I should think, and I often rush into things that I shouldn't.

I try to be ethical in my dealings with others, not only in the professional world, but also in my personal life. This attitude comes not only from my ethical training, but also from my morals and upbringing. I was taught to think about the feelings of others. I was taught to see beyond myself and to see how my actions could affect the lives of other people.

I think it is a societal epidemic that people are out for number one and only number one. The issue seems to be that people think they…
Constant Assessment
During music therapy sessions, I often find myself assessing everything that is going on...music, client responses, my responses, sounds, communication, movement, breathing, and the environment.

I believe, in order to be a good music therapist, a clinician has to be shifting and changing all the time. This is true within the session as well as outside the session. Anytime a therapist feels that he or she can predict what is coming next, he or she is falling into a trap. The one thing that I know without fail is that clients will surprise you every time.

Every time I start to feel like I can predict what a client's response to music will be, the client reacts counter to how I expect. This is a wonderful reminder of how to remain client-centered at all times and keeps me on my toes. The joy of being in the moment of the musicking overcomes all of the plans that I make. When I relax and am truly client-centered, the music experience is profound.
Online Conference for Music Therapy 2012
We had our first organizing committee meeting today. I am NOT the co-chair. This is a good thing since I cannot give as much attention to this situation as it needs. I will continue to be in the financial end of things (this has been a learning experience that I am gleaning much from) but will have some help - Thank goodness!

We do not have a theme, but we did narrow the time of the conference down to a month in 2012. Now we are going to start the process of planning. Keep us in your thoughts as we sally forth...
Second Week
The second week of summer school is typically more difficult than the first. During the first week, everyone is happy to get back into the routine of classes, lessons, sessions, and swimming. Getting up early is not a problem since we get to go to school!

By the second week, getting up on time has lost its novelty. School is no longer fun but a chore again. Kids are cranky when they have to wake up at 7:15.

This week marked the start of adaptive music lessons in the music room. Kids came from many of the classrooms to learn about piano, drums, guitar, and music video making. I reserve these experiences for my higher functioning, more verbal students. They are not eligible for individual therapy since they are able to verbally process the information presented in art therapy (I know, it's a confusing situation, but that's the way things are at my facility). Everyone seems to enjoy music therapy, though, so I open my room up to students who are more likely to learn some…
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First Week - Jitters and Joys!
This was the first week of summer school and a radical change in my treatment strategy for my students. For eight months now, I have been on a crusade to provide my clients with more individualized therapy services. The crusade was interrupted by a personnel squabble. I have prevailed and have now been able to decrease the amount of time that students spend in music therapy groups. I had my first week of individual sessions.

The week started off with a whimper. Don't you love it when people don't bother to read their emails carefully? Teacher 1 frog-marched a kid down to the music room for a session and then had to march him back again. Lessons did not start this week, as shared in not one, not two, but THREE different emails! Now, teacher 1 tends to be very concerned about her own details, but not as interested in information from another. Most of the other sessions went off without a hitch.

I had an internship applicant who arrived on Tuesday for …
Back to the Grind
I went back to work this morning ready to get started. I arrived at work an hour early (not really all that unusual for me) and got ready to go. The maintenance department cleaned the carpet during the break, so things were not quite in the right place. I spent some time putting things back and then tackled the 109 emails that had been sent to me. I got ready for the day and went out to get kids off the bus.

Kids got off the bus with big grins - typical for the first day back to school - and walked in without a problem. I finished bus room and went back to the music room. Recently, the principal has decided that the data that we currently take as part of our treatment is not enough, so I received my own spiral notebook (illegal, by the way) so I can take additional data.

Now, I am all for data collection, but there needs to be some reason for taking the data. That has not been explained and all of the hoopla is an invented situation to keep a "favorite" on sta…
Back to Work
Tomorrow I go back to work after a nice, long vacation. I have spent the 18 days of break just relaxing. This has been a good break. Long enough to get bored with not being around people and ready to get back into the daily routine of therapy.

Tomorrow will be a day full of new experiences. I have significantly changed my schedule and treatment format from the schedule I have had for the past 6 years to what it was when I first arrived at the facility where I work. I will be increasing my individual and small group treatment and decreasing my group treatments. This pleases me greatly, but it does present some challenges.

My clientele has changed in the past four years. The students that attend my school are primarily children who are dually diagnosed. They have a developmental disability such as autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability and an additional diagnosis on the psychiatric spectrum. The students are more actively aggressive than the students of five-six …
Insights into Me
I feel that I am pretty self-actualized. I know my strengths, my weaknesses, and my areas of focus. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot do everything, and that is fine (most of the time). 

I still have my moments of insecurities, my "I should" moments, and my times when I feel inadequate as a therapist. I think these moments help me to strengthen my skills and attitudes about being a therapist. I have a chance to reflect on myself and my skills as a therapist - I try to take advantage of these moments.

Here are my strengths:
Genuine interest in music as a therapeutic medium for persons with developmental issues and psychiatric concernsConstant questions about music as a therapeutic mediumEnjoys musicEnjoys peopleCreativityFlexibilityGoal-orientedHere are some of my weaknesses:
PerfectionistTries to take over the worldWants more opportunities to help othersTime managementProcrastination There are many, many more.
I guess the most important aspect of being a…
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Mandala
Lately, I have been attempting to increase my supervisory techniques to help me with intern supervision. One of the things that I have attempted are mandala, much-hyped by several of the more vocal internship directors who prescribe to a more psycho-dynamic form of therapy than myself. I do not think that I am doing these as prescribed by those IDs, but I am enjoying the process and the learning experience.

I am currently completing eight-point mandala. I start with a small circle and then draw eight radiating lines from that circle. I think I really like the discipline of mandala the way that they were described to me.

My mom, my source of all things, is really into Zentangles. She starts with a square and then draws lines. She fills in the space with shapes, colors, and forms. I have not been able to be that free with my mandala yet. There is a form of mandala called Zendala, which combines both of the concepts. This is also too free-form for my comfort level at this time.


I won…
Thinking about Stuff
Oh, dear. Here is a veritable word salad of thoughts, ideas, concepts, and random moments. My apologies to begin with...
I have been on my own on vacation for the past twelve days. I have spent lots of time in my home cleaning, sorting, and tossing things out. I have been overwhelmed at times, sad at times, frustrated at times, and downright bored at other times. This is what vacation is for - to refresh and be ready to get back to therapy. I have six days left to continue to refresh and renew my therapeutic energy. I am sure that many therapists in the music therapy world would feel that I need supervision of a professional type, but I think that this time on my own is more effective for me than going into a counseling session. I have always been a introspective person. I feel that I can work through issues that affect my therapeutic relationships with the supports that I have available to me. My family, my friends, and my co-workers offer me opportunities to discus…