Saturday, January 22, 2011

Some current events can help advocate MT

This month is a great one to be discussing advocacy. Recently, there have been a couple things that have brought music therapy to the eyes of the general population. We can use this as a means for advocacy!

We all know the tragedy that befell Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona recently. If you have been keeping up with the news, you will know that she has survived a shooting but faces a long road to recovery. The media of course has been following her progress. Recently ABC news ran a clip on Giffords, and mentioned the "high-tech" therapies that might help Gifford. An example of this, he says, is music therapy. He gives a nice, short explanation of how MT might help Giffords redevelop her speech and communication.

In addition to this, there is a movie being shown at the Sundance film festival (going on RIGHT NOW!) about music therapy: The Music Never Stopped. Read about it here, on the AMTA website! And then visit their website and contact them to request a screening in your area. Like their facebook page (or Myspace or Twitter) and comment there, too.

This is a great opportunity to contact Giffords' fellow representatives and bring to light the greatness of music therapy. As the general population learns more about our profession, we hope that they will let their government representatives know that they want more of us. In the long run, this will mean a higher demand for music therapy and thus, music therapists. This means more jobs!

Write letters, emails, or make phone calls that mention this ABC news clip and the Sundance film festival movie and let the representatives know that music therapy is important to you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Interactive post: Black Swan (comment!)

In the previous post on advocacy, I mentioned the different hats we wear. I’m sure that many of you can relate that it is close to impossible to take off your therapist hat when not on the job. By this, I mean that we have rewired our brains to think analytically and therapeutically all the time. And never has this been more apparent to me than this past weekend.

I would love to know what you guys think of the new film, Black Swan. I went this past Monday with a group of friends to see the movie in theatres. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone with plans to see it, but I will say that Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) has a whole mix of issues. And while some will interpret the movie differently, I saw evidence of various mental health issues. And of course I thought to myself, how could music therapy help Nina?

The answer to this will differ depending on which music therapist you talk to. Really, there can’t be a wrong answer to this considering Nina is a fictional character in a movie that is made to raise eyebrows.

Nina was a girl in a crisis. First and foremost, I think she needed crisis intervention, as her life was spiraling out of control. But following this, I thought Nina might really benefit from both individual AND group therapy. One possible goal might be to improve self-esteem. If the group therapy included other members of the ballet, an added benefit would be improved group cohesion.

Considering the population and appropriate goals, what are some music therapy interventions you might use in this case?
Please leave a brief comment with your ideas!