My internship supervisor told me once that I need to get out of my own way. I’ve been done with internship for a while now, but I continue to hear that piece of advice. I still have my struggles with music, yes, and there are years of learning left to be had in regard to counseling skills and therapeutic intervention. However I am happily coming to terms with my abilities and efforts to engage my clients every day.
Earlier this week, I met a new group of clients whose warm, renewing energy was infectious. Only one of the clients used words to speak, but everyone in the group knew how to communicate. One of my pet peeves is that people who don’t know much about music therapy like to say, “Oh, that sounds like so much fun” when they find out what I do. Usually I don’t think of what this kind of therapy is as fun, but during that session I knew how fun felt. (I was especially impressed that one of the clients reliably clapped on 2 and 4.) Those clients came together in the music in a way I imagine they don’t otherwise. Most of the clients acknowledged and related to other group members in singing and in dancing, and even in sharing instruments. This was the very first music therapy session that they’d had. I was so happy to be there with them. I even found myself improvising in a key I hate, using a strumming style I never do in front of other people. I completely got out of my own way. I was thrilled.
I wonder, have you ever held yourself back? What kind of work do you do to keep yourself from becoming your own barrier? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!