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!