Music Therapy Clinician: Supporting reflective clinical practice 2 - Page 19

would have brought together all my creative arts and organizational / leadership skills . Although I loved supervising interns , it still wasn ’ t my number one passion . I don ’ t regret becoming a music therapist , but I still wonder if I would have been happier pursuing something related to theater .
In 1990 I took over as the Music Therapy Clinical Training Director , and I began to revamp the internship program . I made it more structured , and I tweaked almost everything , from the application to session documentation to the final review . I loved this whole process , and everything else about running the program . Between 1990 and 2003 I interviewed , accepted , oriented , mentored , evaluated ( even mothered at times ) and recommended over 40 interns . It was both a joy and an incredible responsibility . My whole life revolved around the beginnings and endings of internship dates . Of course , I had other job responsibilities , such as supervising the Recreation Department and doing special projects . I also had a bell choir at the Center , but the part of my job I most enjoyed was being the music therapy Clinical Training Director .
I loved watching my interns achieve both their clinical and personal goals . Helping them learn and problem solve was wonderful . Because I devoted so much of my time to the interns ( as opposed to being mostly a clinician ) I was able to be there any time they needed me and to assist both inside and outside the session rooms . I believe I was a great teacher , supervisor and mentor - this was never an area of conflict for me .
What did create tension for me though was the belief I was personally responsible for promoting and defending music therapy , because of its importance to me . Yet , advocacy caused me stress , and frankly , I didn ’ t think I was all that good at it . I was hypervigilant to misrepresentation anywhere in my state , from people claiming to have invented music therapy to opportunities for advocacy based on what I thought should be happening at a facility . While it may sound noble , it almost became obsessive for me . I also experienced guilt , because part of me believed my music therapy training required me to be a clinician until the day I die .
Retirement has freed me from this internal struggle . Having seen countless incredible moments between therapists and clients I still consider music therapy a great profession , and music an amazing therapeutic tool . I hold in memory an early practicum experience with adults in an acute psychiatric setting which blew me away and , more recently , a moment with a person with Alzheimer ' s in a nursing home which truly showed me the power of music . These will live with me forever .
I have come to discover that being a clinician is not my calling . Now I ’ ve retired , I have sold many instruments and books to students and other music therapists . I am now happy to answer the question about what I did before I retired , because almost everyone has heard of music therapy , even if they aren ' t sure exactly what it is . I am also looking forward to maybe finding a new way to be a music therapist ... maybe writing articles like this . Or maybe not .
musictherapyclinician @ gmail . com / Facebook
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