Sunday, March 27, 2011

What does it take to undo the therapeutic process? Rebecca Black

We all have probably heard by now all the hype surrounding Rebecca Black. And it isn't all good. After watching this clip on Good Morning America, I felt so angry by all the cyber bullying that is going on.

I immediately thought about the applications to music therapy. Creating a song and a music video is a great intervention for self-expression (take note of that!). In fact, it is exactly what music producers Ark Music Factory did for Rebecca and other teenagers.

Of course, confidentiality is EXTREMELY important in the therapeutic world. Most settings are not appropriate for video recording. What dangers are out there if confidentiality is breached? If a client is exposed to such extreme criticism like Black has received (skip to 1:55 in the clip, it will make you angry!), it could undo everything you have worked toward. All the therapeutic progress can be unraveled in an instant. There aren't many that could handle the harsh words that come from thousands of people.

But amazingly, Rebecca claims to stay strong. I am so impressed by her, not because of her music video but because of the way she copes with her peers. I never had a problem with Rebecca's video, in fact. I am happy to see her making music... how fun it must have been to work with music producers! I can also appreciate the friendlier parodies that are out there that do not cruelly attack Rebecca (see here and here and see Conan O'Brien here).

But there is a lesson to be learned: I cannot stress how important I think it is for us to represent music therapy in EVERYTHING we do. That said, be supportive of others and be positive! Whether you like Rebecca Black or not, definitely do NOT participate in the hateful comments, online or otherwise.

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