Maintaining Two Relationships in Music Therapy

If you like us on Facebook (and if you don't, go fix that right now!), you probably noticed that The George Center is currently interviewing candidates to join our team as a full time music therapist! With the support of our fantastic clients, we've experienced tremendous growth in the last year, and every time we add to our talented team, it's very exciting.

But as we've said on this space many time: music therapy is not a typical jobAs such, it's not exactly a typical job interview either. In addition to the standard interview questions, résumés, and references, our candidates also have to come in and sing a song and play guitar for us. We wouldn't want to bring somebody in only to find out that their music skills aren't up to par.

However, even the interview questions must be carefully examined. As private practice music therapists, there are certain skill sets and personalities that are vital to our success.

So what exactly makes a good private practice music therapist?

There are certainly the standard answers. Someone who is compassionate, patient, and musical. I've written on this space in the past that music therapist must possess elite creative problem solving skills. But when we're examining private practice in particular, there is a mindset that I think separates the wheat from the chaff. Here it is:

You must understand that you have two clients.

One client is your actual client, the one you write goals for and provide services for. The other client is that person's caregiver. Maybe it's a parent, grandparent, son or daughter, or even someone working at that facility. Whoever it is that interacts with your client the most.

Communicating with parents and caregivers is vital to the success of music therapy. If we cannot explain what we're working on and why it works, we're not doing our jobs effectively.

Parents aren't always in the room for sessions, so unless they hear from you how things are going, how are we to expect them to believe in us?

Additionally, giving the parents and caretakers of our clients knowledge of what we do will allow them to practice some therapy techniques at home, helping reinforce the skills learned in the treatment room.

Therapists from all kinds of disciplines talk constantly about the therapeutic relationship and how vital it is to success in therapy, but in many cases that relationship extends to parents, family members, guardians, and even the workers in the healthcare facilities we serve.

Building these relationships spill into the therapeutic relationship with clients and are undoubtably tied to therapy success.

We place a high value on communicating with the families of our clients. Find out what makes us different.


Image credit: Flickr user markyharky