A lot changes in a year! Our music therapy department has changed drastically in the past year and a lot of us have experienced personal growth throughout these changes. I want to use this post to reflect back on the craziness that this last year has been and present a bit of a challenge.
The music therapists have had many changes in their personal lives in which we celebrate! New babies, new homes, weddings, and many other exciting events! Some of our therapists have gone to further their experience or education in other areas and in other states. Personal growth is always something to celebrate!
The last year here at our office has been full of highs and lows. It often feels like a roller coaster. We have experienced funding cuts and challenges across our different departments, new and varied funding sources, the addition of adaptive lessons, changes in employees, changes in paperwork and much more that I can't fit in this short blog! One thing that has not changed is our dedication to our clients. As I see each therapist interacting with their clients, I am so pleased and thankful to be working with such great people who are so focused on their clients.
All of these changes, personal and work related, effect each of us differently. We often tell our clients that they need to be flexible and cope with change "appropriately." Do you ever have a hard time with the need to be flexible? I know I am not the only one! One of our therapists ran a group focused on change for her grad class that involved a few employees here at LU. She gave us some interesting information, we had some valuable conversation, and one thing really stuck with me, "You choose our own reactions to change." Sometimes I choose to get frustrated, feel angry, smile, laugh, or just roll with it (or maybe that should be roll my eyes). I have thought a lot about the changes I have experienced, my reactions to those changes, and how both have effected my relationships with others: my clients, my co-workers, my boss, my family, and my friends. Those reactions have been good, bad, and downright ugly!
So now I am going to challenge any readers out there and the people here at Living Unlimited. Take some time to reflect on the changes of your last year. What changed in your personal life? What changed where you work? How did you react to these changes? How do you think your reactions effected your clients, coworkers, and loved ones? Looking forward, when you experience change in the upcoming year, remember you are the one choosing your reaction. Good luck!
Lore Herzer, MT-BC, is our blogger this month. After attending the MAR Music Therapy Conference, she felt that this would be vaulable piece of information that she could share with other therapists, families, and anyone else interested!
The idea of discharging from music therapy may feel overwhelming for clients, family, and therapists given each situation. Even though discharging from a particular therapist or therapy can be difficult, discharge itself can lead to increased opportunities, new experiences, or independence.
There are different reasons to consider discharge from both a therapist and a client’s perspective when the time is right. Some general reasons for discharge may include a decrease in progress or if a client has not made forward progress for several months. This may occur after attending therapy for a long period of time or over several months if the therapist or client feels that the service is no longer meeting the needs of the client. Another important reason for discharge is if the client has met the majority of their goals and objectives and is ready to move on from the service. They may be ready to interact independently within their community or be prepared to experience a different type of therapy or therapist.
If a client enjoys music therapy but consistently reaches their goals, it may be difficult to consider the idea of discharge. Fortunately there are many opportunities after discharge that would continue to address musical interests. Adapted lessons are a great way to continue the enjoyment of music making and could incorporate goals reached during music therapy outside of the therapy setting. Other programs include Music Together, Kindermusik, or attending community music concerts. If music therapy is not the most effective service, there are various other creative arts therapies that may be beneficial. Theses include but are not limited to art therapy, dance/movement therapy, poetry therapy, or drama therapy. Each has their own unique way of using a specific creative modality to address the individual needs of each client. Other opportunities for clients who have discharged include using their developed skills in various social situations including community programs, social groups, or the development of skills throughout daily life.
Communication with your therapist is key in determining the most effective interventions for your specific needs. It is important to share specific thoughts or ideas related to each step during the process!
As Willy Wonka said: There's so much time, and so little to do! Strike that, reverse it." Let's face it, there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that we want to do. But could we somehow defy this thought? Could the secret lie inside a pickle jar? The Pickle Jar Theory of time management is a theory based on the idea that time, like a pickle jar (or any container), is limited. What you fill it with, however, is up to you. There are a plethora of time management tips and techniques for businesses out there, yet many of us struggle to apply them in our daily lives. This theory and metaphor will help you visualize your priorities as well as the amount and size of tasks that can realistically be done in a day. I encourage you to actually put together your own pickle jar. Your jar does not have to represent daily tasks. It could represent finances, your life goals, wedding planning, etc. You decide. Read the pickle jar theory: http://aaagoingplaces.com/gps/pagesnd10/feat_pickleJar_nd10.htm
Thanks to Caroline Gillott, MT-BC for this months Blog P
This year has been an exciting one for the profession of Music Therapy with books, movies, and several news reports. One such news report has been the tremendous progress that Gabby Giffords has made in part with the help of Music Therapy after a tragic shooting and Traumatic Brain Injury. Here is a wonderful report and a few videos that we would like to share with you:http://abcnews.go.com/Health/w_MindBodyNews/gabby-giffords-finding-voice-music-therapy/story?id=14903987
Mark Kelly, her cheerleading husband, has been documenting her progress from the very beginning. Her therapists, including music therapist Maeghan Morrows, have been using music to elicit and encourage language skills because music is processed in all parts of the brain. Her progress in the area of language is fascinating to us all. Most music therapists understand, and want to share, that we can relate that to many other people that we work with - Music encourages communication skills!
Gabby's success has brought the spotlight to our profession, something we are very thankful for. We wish her and all people living with Traumatic Brain Injury all the best in their every day successes!
To all the families out there who could use a little extra help for your kiddos, there is a mini grant available through Autism Services. The information can be found on this page: http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/foradults/autismservices/index.htm
. There are a few other helpful things as well!
This $500 grant can be used for things such as: Respite care, summer recreational and skill development programs, conferences, workshops, community programs (think karate, swim lessons, art classes, etc), safetly modifications in the home or community. Also, for adults, this can be used for college level coursework, job coaching, and transportation to employment, social activities and support groups.
The deadline is April 15! I hope this was helpful!
Welcome to the Living Unlimited Music Therapy blog. We are very excited to share our thoughts, ideas, and activities with everyone!
I will start by sharing a little bit about our group! We are a group of 12 passionate and creative music therapists who are board certified by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. At Living Unlimited, our therapists serve over 250 individual clients in south central PA as well as share their expertise with the vocational rehabilitation group by providing music therapy services for V-CAP in Harrisburg and Williamsport. Living Unlimited is also working on providing individual music therapy services in the Williamsport area. As the manager, I am proud of the Living Unlimited music therapists and the work they do serving their clients.
In the future, Living Unlimited's music therapists will each have the opportunity to contribute to this blog and we will use it as a way to reach out to others to share our thoughts, ideas, activities, information that we gather, and also as a way to connect with people in our community and profession. Our music therapists also look forward to hearing from others who are interested in what we do and using this blog to open communication for parents, caretakers, and other therapists!
The Music Therapy department of Living Unlimited are so excited about this opportunity to share, learn, and grow the field of Music Therapy!!