Monday matters: A saw, a theremin, and a peer group

A few Minneapolis-area music therapists met again tonight for our peer support group meeting. I was thrilled by the get-together for numerous reasons, two of which being the musical saw and the theremin. We make it a point to play and/or sing together at each meeting. I brought my violin, and was excited to continue my re-acquaintance with it. We talked about a few subjects– music-centered music therapy goal writing, the national conference, finding motivation to practice instruments, and the new songwriting group that has formed. If you are a board-certified music therapist in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or the surrounding areas, and are wanting to connect with other music therapists here, let me know.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday matters: Losing clients

I have been a recipient of clinical supervision for about two years now. Because I do not work with other music therapists, and because I was starting to burn out working the way I was working, I found a clinical supervisor with whom I have been speaking on a weekly basis. In many of my conversations with her, I ask her for advice, support, sometimes validation, a new direction to take, and often how the quality of the music being shared between my client and me is indicative of progress or resistance (which is not to say that resistance is not progress). Over the past year, I spent most of my time with my supervisor talking and sometimes playing through my work with a particular client. Finally, last week, this client really opened up and I felt an enormous shift in the session. I was both electrified (this is how therapy really feels) and terrified (repeat: this is how therapy really feels) by this change. I believed in our process at that point– that all of the work and supervision and consideration regarding this client mattered. We had moved into another level of work.

The next day, the client was pulled from music therapy because apparently this person’s other therapists reported progress, too, and inexplicably for that reason, music therapy was no longer needed.

I could not believe it. I still cannot.

Here are three steps I’m taking to deal with this blow:

  1. Talk with my supervisor.
  2. Write about it, create about it, play about it. Consider my feelings about this abrupt termination. Recognize that this was a therapeutic relationship in which I was a member, and that I can be upset by the fact that my opinion about this sudden termination didn’t change what happened.
  3. Find peace with it somehow. We’ll see how this turns out.

I wonder what steps I’m missing. This is the hardest termination I have experienced yet.

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Looking for a peer support group? If you’re in the Minneapolis or St. Paul area, and you are a board-certified music therapist, feel free to connect with me and I will let you know about our group.

Monday Matters: Seeking partners

Months have passed since I’ve written. Fortunately, though, I’m back at it (I hope). I attended my first American Music Therapy Association National Conference that concluded just yesterday, and I am home and feeling energized and somewhat overwhelmed.

I like to write. I always have. But I don’t want to be the only one who does so on my site. I want writers. (Compensation and perks can be negotiated.)

I’m going to post only once per week. At the beginning of the month, I’ll offer a writing prompt. I’d love to read what music therapy and expressive arts therapy students, interns, and professionals have to say in regard to the prompt. I’ll review the pieces, let you know my thoughts, and put it out to a different audience than you might have yourself. You might have read a guest post by Lindsay Markworth, MMT, MT-BC in the past.

Also, Sound Matters Music Therapy, LLC, is seeking qualified sub-contractors to work in the southerly suburbs of the Minneapolis area. Please contact us for details.

There is a Minneapolis-based peer group of board-certified music therapists meeting again this month. Please let me know if you have any interest.

Monday matters: Regroup

I’m back. We’re back. Everyone is back.

I had to take the past two weeks away from the site because I had to get some administrative work done and then my whole household was sick most of last week. I’m feeling about 95% now, and the rest of the family is up and running again.

I had a fantastic evening with some fellow music therapists here in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area; we had our monthly peer group meeting. I was pleased to meet three new people, and I’m already looking forward to next month’s get-together.

I wrote up a post on Michelle Erfurt’s site that was published a few days ago. I shared my self-care project. Find the post here.

Monday matters: Anticipation

We had our monthly peer group meeting tonight, and the intention we assigned our improv was “anticipation.” The feelings I have surrounding anticipation are positive (challenge, achievement) and negative (anxiety, possible disappointment, stress). I’m anticipating fluctuation in my practice. I’m anticipating growth in my clinical knowledge. I’m anticipating a lot of transition and movement, which is exciting and distressing.

I’ve been feeling shaken a lot lately. I’ve felt shaken loose, ungrounded, and definitely unstable. I’ve been lonely out here in private practice. I’m anticipating the need to further connect with therapists, and though I’ve secured at least one accountability partner, I might benefit from clearly stating my goals for the week here.

My Monday Map for this week:

  1. Register for the GLR Conference
  2. Catch up on my billing
  3. Learn one new piece of repertoire/write one song

Where does your map go this week?

I anticipate success…

Reading, anyone?

Apparently the turn of the new year is super exciting for me this time around. I’ve been thinking of yet another project for 2014 (oh, how to say No to myself). In our peer group we’ve discussed, albeit briefly, the thought of opening up a music therapy book club of sorts. Just quarterly, though, mind you.

Which of these three is most appealing to you as a reader? (If I get enough interest, I’ll post reviews of one of these books in March.)

Dandelion on My Pillow, Butcher Knife Beneath

Free Play

The Gift of Therapy

Please feel free to let me know in the comments if you’re interested in reading any of these books.