Countertransference, General

There’s No Flirting in Hospice

Actually, yes, there is.  Let’s talk, for a bit, about the presence of sexuality between us, the end-of-life music therapists, and the people to whom we provide care — meaning our patients and whoever else is included when we come for our sessions.  Our music therapy literature barely acknowledges that sexuality exists — almost as if music therapists don’t have sex, or sexual thoughts, and neither do our patients.  But we know otherwise. Continue reading “There’s No Flirting in Hospice”

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Multidisciplinary

Intersections of Depth Psychology and Music Therapy

This post is our next in the new series of posts focused on music therapy and interdisciplinary work in end-of-life care.  I’m bringing you my contribution as a music therapist who is also trained as a depth psychotherapist.

I decided to pursue doctoral work in depth psychotherapy because of my private practice.  I had my bachelors and masters in music therapy, and I also had done post-grad training with Diane Austin, but I didn’t feel like any of these prepared me for the range and depth of material that emerged when I started working one-on-one with the group that is sometimes known as “the walking wounded,” people like all of us who are living life, negotiating relationships and meeting life’s responsibilities, but suffering deeply underneath.  I have grown and changed immensely as a private practice psychotherapist from my depth coursework and supervision, but I feel that depth psychology has been a helpful contributor to my end-of-life music therapy work as well. Continue reading “Intersections of Depth Psychology and Music Therapy”

General

Where is the darkness?

We, the music therapy community, have a certain way of talking about our work in end-of-life care, and a certain way that we generally do not talk about our work in end-of-life care.  End-of-life music therapy clinical work is often described as “so beautiful” and “so spiritual,” I think more so than music therapy in its other clinical iterations.  We like to talk about the lightness, the tears of much-needed release, the uplifting, transcendent beauty of music in the moments leading toward someone’s death.

But that’s only a portion of the work, isn’t it?   Continue reading “Where is the darkness?”

General

To musick or not to musick

I used to be a music snob. Hell, I’m still a music snob – I’m just in recovery. I’m not sure when I started praying at that altar of self-righteousness, but when I did it became an unhealthy preoccupation. I burdened myself with the hypercritical snootiness of an artistic crusader blessed and cursed with the holy call to cleanse the masses of narrow, commercial tastes so that they may embrace artistic music that did not have to sound good in order to be great…and so on and so forth. I’m only being moderately hyperbolic. Continue reading “To musick or not to musick”