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Showing posts from October, 2019

Thoughtful Thursday

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I had a discussion with a colleague yesterday about the challenges that I am facing in my music therapy clinic right now. This colleague shared that the same things were happening in their environment as well which was a bit validating. It was nice to know that the patterns that I'm seeing in client behaviors are not specifically linked to music therapy or the current change in session leadership that is happening but is more general than that.

When these seasons of treatment happen, and they do happen, I spend lots of time engaged in self-reflection. This is both good and bad for my state of well-being because I end up taking things personally that are not personal at all, and I eventually come to the conclusion that I am making progress with my clients. I just have to shift my definition of what my clients need from me to something that is less long-term in perspective and is more immediate.

My afternoon groups often come to me after being in PE. Now, I'm not sure what is goin…

Currently, I'm...

I am in search of a blogging reset. This is the second day in a row where it feels that my efforts to string together some sort of relevant post is more of a chore than a pleasure. Usually, I can come up with some sort of topic that interests me, but it has been more and more of a struggle in the past couple of months. I'm considering some sort of prompted list to help me out, but I'm afraid that will make things more chore-like than it is now. I don't want this outlet to become a chore. That's the kiss of death for anything creative for me - when it becomes a chore.

Oh, boy. I typed in "Blog prompts for therapists" and chose the second suggestion as a source. Fill in a couple of search terms, and this site arranges them into set post titles. You know the type, "The 3 things to increase..." or "How to decrease your struggles with..." Well, this is an idea, but it's not really my type of thing. I'm not all that interested in scripted…

Decisions Are Difficult

I do not have an easy time making decisions about things that are important to me. I waffle back and forth, thinking and analyzing all the possibilities and situations, and I tend to worry more than many of these decisions are worth. It's my process, and it is something that I work through on a regular basis.

I am currently in the middle of a debate with myself about a trivial little decision. It will not really matter in the long-term, but it matters today. So, I am weighing the pros and cons. I think I have come to my conclusion, but then I keep thinking. It's difficult to stop until the decision becomes irreversible. That won't happen for about 20 more minutes - the point of contact with the people who will be affected. Once that contact occurs, I will be able to relax a bit into the decision and move forward from there.

Clinical decisions can also be difficult.

I spend time talking to music therapy students (and others) about how to make decisions about what to focus on d…

Systems Sunday: The Things I Still Need to Systemize

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So, I've been spending the last several weeks writing about the systems that I use, but there are LOTS of things that happen around me that are haphazard and that desperately need systematic analysis and the start of something organized.

Here are the things that I want to get started...in no particular order and in no particular priority order or anything...
Music Library - So, I have my songbooks located in several places around my house that are dedicated to songbooks - I know where they are, but I don't really know what is in them. When I want to find a particular song, I have to search through the most likely of books and then hope that I can find it. I have learned how to search tables of contents to make the process shorter, but I would love a database of all of my music in one place...ah, I dream that I will awaken one morning to find a perfectly indexed list of all the books that I have and all the songs contained within those books.All My Other Stuff - I make no secret …

It's Time to Get Started...

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My to-do list is getting really long and my computer dashboard has many post-it notes (color-coded, of course) with many different little checklists on it. I have one to remind me that I have to finish two CMTE proposals for submission for an organization that I work for and then start to market my own CMTE presentation that is happening in December. I have split up my marketing strategy into nine tasks that will be repeated with each course that I create and offer to others. I am trying a new way to run registration this time around, so there are some things to investigate before it goes live tomorrow. I also have home chores to do (because they NEVER go away), and a lunch with a good friend of mine. I have three packages to mail out to folks, so a trip to the post office is on the list of to-do's and I think that's about it. I feel like I can finish most of the things that I need to do today, and that is a good feeling. I don't always feel like I can do what needs to be …

Projects, Projects Everywhere, Means I've Had Too Much Time to Think

It is happening again.

My home and office at work are starting to fill up with projects in progress. Does anyone else succumb to this particular syndrome? I've looked around at what is waiting to be done, and I've decided that this will be the week I paint all of my reused small pizza boxes so they will be ready for decoration and use! I foresee boxes in a rainbow of colors, coordinated so I can easily find the materials I am looking for! I'm not sure what the reality will be, but I will have some fun during the process of figuring it all out!

This tends to happen to me during times of stress. My creative brain starts to go into hyperdrive, and the small pieces of post-it notes and index cards and printed pages that need to be mounted on cardstock start to accumulate. I usually engage in lamination in large batches, so I'll work on several projects, putting all the pieces in the laminating film until all the pieces are covered. Then, I mass laminate - that sounds kinda h…

Thoughtful Thursday: I Choose This...Every Day

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Just so you know, this isn't a happy, peppy, rah-rah type of music therapy post. I am going through some rough times at my job. If you are looking for a glimpse into the reality of being a music therapist, please read on. If you only want to hear happy things about this profession, then PLEASE skip this post entirely!


Yesterday was another rough day with my clients.

This is the current theme to what I write about because every day seems to be a repetition of the bad day that came before it. On days like today, when I am dreading going to my particular work place, I have to remind myself of several things.

First, this, too, shall pass.
Second, it is not personal.
Third, I choose, every day, to work with persons with these particular challenges. 
Fourth, it is work that I am very good at.

I have to remind myself of these things on a regular basis these days because of the rough situations happening in every class session that is going on right now. I had three people stop by yesterday (two…

#ChecktheChart

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I have spent some of this morning updating my website with information about my new CMTE course. (Check it out here - tickets to the live event go on sale on October 27th! There are only 24 seats available. End of sales pitch!) While I was paying the fee for the course, I took some time to print out three copies of the new CMTE Options Overview Chart. I am so excited about some of the changes. I now get 10 CMTEs for five of the interns I supervise!! This is so much better than the 4 I was getting before with a lower cap as to how many credits I could use!! I can now get more credit for the presentations that I give on a regular basis!! I am so excited about these changes! We can now earn 5 CMTEs per music composition! Oh my goodness! I can get credit for a self-published book!!! I am so pleased with the new opportunities available to me. This is great!!

I am now going to sit down and start to calculate my current hours based on what I've been doing since my recertification last Jan…

Announcement!!

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I am excited to announce that I will be hosting a 10-hour Continuing Music Therapy Education course on Internship Supervision. This 10-hour course will be held in three bits over a weekend, and will include 3 hours of ethics!! It was approved by CBMT yesterday, and I am getting ready to start marketing it to all the music therapists out there who want a bit more information about the nuts and bolts of supervising music therapy interns.

I am so excited about this.

I've set it up to go on three weekend days - Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the second week in December. The nice thing about this particular course is that it can be split up into several different formats - weekly for 2 hours for 5 weeks or in one VERY LONG day or in three evenings. This time around, I am going to ask course participants to give up their evenings during one weekend. Who knows what I will do the next time around.

Tickets will launch on October 27th, but you heard about this new course here before anyone el…

Systems in Music Therapy: Session Documentation

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There are systems involved in every thing we do as music therapists - even documentation. For me, documentation is a professional responsibility that is not required by my administrators. This translates into several facts that affect how and when I document. First, I can document in the manner and style that fits me the best. This is a good thing. Second, I can set my own requirements and timelines for documentation. This can be a good thing, but can also mean that I am missing something important to notate. Third, if I decide to change documentation formats, I can do so without talking to other people about it.

I have spent some time thinking about the nuts and bolts of documentation. Check out my YouTube channel here to see some of my Music Therapy Morsels about how I do my job and things to consider when setting up documentation strategies and systems.  

For me and for my clients, the most important part of documentation is response to intervention. Most of documentation includes th…

Ethics - a Murky Subject Area

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I'm spending some time delving into the subject of ethics this weekend. It's something that interests me, and it is also a subject that can consume my waking (and sleeping) hours as well. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons - one, so I can write about it, and two, so I can teach it to others. The problem with ethics is that once you start thinking about it, you can slide down a slippery slope full of arguments, opinions, and hurt feelings.

Does anyone watch The Good Place? I love this show, though I am not watching the current season due to how I get my television programs. I am behind, so I will not know how everything ends until about a year after everyone else does. This show is not one that you can jump into at any time, so if you are not watching it now, start streaming it from the beginning so you know what is going on. This show has challenged some of my thinking about ethics and ethical behavior, let me tell you!

I enjoy a good ethical dilemma - not to be in the c…

Fun Friday: Beanbags

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I've been on a bit of a spending spree lately, buying things like new tote bags and plane tickets and Christmas gifts for family members and a new car and a shirt for me from my favorite blogger's brand-new bookstore and several sets of vinyl beanbags in the shapes of frogs, turtles, and ladybugs! The fruits of my shopping are starting to arrive here at my home, so I am sitting and trying to figure out a couple of things - one, where I will put all this stuff until it goes to its final destination, and two, if there is anything else I need...

(P.S. I already know the answer to the second thing on that list, but it doesn't stop me from wondering...)

This day is one where I do not have to go to work, so I am taking the day to finish up the pesky chores that have stacked up around here. I cleared out the front hallway yesterday to accommodate the annual changing of the furnace filter, so I have things that need to be pit in their places. I am distressed by the state of my compu…