Thoughtful Thursday: I Can Get Through Today, Friday, and Monday. I CAN!

Today is the day before the annual talent show at work. We've had to postpone it for a week because something happened in the gym (the only space large enough for the entire school) and there was a REALLY rank smell that permeated the entire south wing (I'm glad I'm stationed in the north wing!!). I made my talent show playlist this morning before starting to blog, and it is going to be interesting.

I've had to talk to students about why I will not be buying them a foot-long Subway sandwich (eating one in 2 minutes was the "talent" suggested). I've had to find specific versions of songs that have been covered by others. I still need to download lyrics for students to sing during the show - they were apparently unable to do so for themselves.

Once tomorrow's show is over, I have the graduation choir to lead and then I am finished with my therapeutic responsibilities for the 2017-2018 official school year. (Our extended school year is a completely different animal when it comes to counting as part of the year.) I am canceling services on Tuesday and Wednesday so that folks can do their end-of-the-year celebrations and so I can deep clean the music therapy room. I need to clean the tops of cabinets, clean the hand-held instruments, and make one last pass through my intern office space. I intend on steam cleaning the carpet pieces that are in my music therapy room. They REALLY need to be deep cleaned after 200+ feet walk on that carpet weekly.

My office is in pretty good shape as well. Now that I have an intern coming, I will have to step up my organization game. The interns will be sharing my space - they will have to do documentation in that room - so it is only fair that they be able to navigate around the room and the desk without risk of injury, don't you think?

I haven't had an intern for a long time. The thought of jumping back into the supervisor role invigorates me and makes me nervous as well. My soon-to-be-interns will be the first interns who will be in this music therapy room. They are the first interns to have their own office space, and they are the first interns to have a door to their office space. Sorry, past interns.

I think I am ready for this change in role. Interestingly, I find the transition from being primary music therapist to being "person who sits in the corner and watches the music therapist" to be the most difficult role that I play at the facility. This is partially why I accept interns on a rotating basis rather than simultaneously.

I miss doing music therapy with clients when interns take over treatment.

I made a decision to accept two interns for the same start date once. They were great music therapy interns, and they took over my caseload pretty quickly. I sat in the corner for months. I realized VERY quickly that I do the job that I do because I love doing therapy with my clients. Being "supervisor" all the time was not a role I wanted. So, I've never accepted two at once again.

My new intern will spend the first 2 and a half months with just me. I feel kinda sorry for her because one of the best things about having interns rotate through is that the interns usually get to work with two other interns. There have been some great, enduring friendships that have happened between interns using this rotation. She will only have a junior intern - no senior intern. The next intern will definitely have a senior intern, and I hope to fill a January position so that there will also be a junior intern on the scene!

I have to make some decisions about caseloads and how interns will be working with students in the next week. I'm currently having an internal debate about whether interns should do both of the groups for assigned classes or see every group once per week. I will probably mix it up a bit. These are some of the things that have to be considered when inviting an intern into a clinical program. 

My clients do not always do well with change, so I have to think about the clients first and foremost. I spent some time before Spring Break preparing my students for the possibility of an intern arriving after break, and several of them started to show signs of anxiety. After some contemplation (fortunately, it only took me about 30 seconds to realize what was happening), I realized that I had said, "after break, there will be another music therapist here with me." Most of my anxious students did not hear the last phrase, "here with me." I started to say, "You will have TWO music therapists. I'll be here and there will be another music therapist here as well!" Anxiety reactions have significantly decreased!

Since it has been so long since I have had an intern, most of my clients will not know what to do with another music therapy authority figure in the room. It will take some time, but it will happen. It always does.

Well, it is time to head to work to finish my planning for the Talent Show and to run the last four therapy groups of this week. Only 9 more therapy groups total for the rest of the school year. I can do this. 

If you are a school-based therapist like I am, I am wishing you some calm moments during the end of this school year. If you are not, I hope that you are able to continue your work with the promise of self-care and time to do what you want and need to do.

Happy Thursday, music therapy friends!


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