Monday matters: Finding patience

Patience happens to be both difficult for me to practice and elemental in working as a music therapist.

Finding patience clinically

One of the clients I see every week has drawn out of me a need to practice the patience with which I struggle more often than not. To be clear, I loosely define patience as listening to the client and supporting the client in the time frame he or she chooses. I try not to expect a behavior or a reaction or a vocalization in any given circumstance. However, I am not always aware enough to realize that what has happened with a client historically isn’t necessarily going to happen again. Two of the last sessions I’ve had with one particular client has proven that. Instead of enthusiastically engaging with an instrument as is normally the case, this client met the instrument and me with silence. Silence has its own set of challenges for me, and though I’m learning to embrace it more and more, I think I still find it threatening. Doing something seems to be so important, and silence doesn’t look as though something is being done. But it is. And in these silences, I had to remind myself of patience and presence, and being open to the client.

Finding patience professionally

Now that I am more than halfway through my pregnancy, I’m having to practice patience in determining my case load. I’ve decided I’ll need to pare down in some areas but build up in others. These decisions induce a lot of anxiety– again, I feel that I need to have it all done already– but on a very regular basis I have to remind myself to be patient.

I wonder if there is anyone else who struggles with practicing patience, clinically or professionally.  

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