Each of your music therapy sessions is an opportunity for advocacy. What our clients experience leaves an impression about our profession.
2016 Music Therapy Advocacy looks at how we advocate as connectors, directors and reflectors. It is my belief these roles all appear in and around our sessions.
Music therapy often serves as a connector. While making music, we may assist clients in conversing or interacting one with another. Those living with dementia may share a dance, a smile or a memory with a family member. From their music therapy experiences, clients and caregivers spread the word in our communities.
Other times we serve as directors. We are gathering information about the mood or level of orientation of the group members. We guide caregivers in how to best use music with an individual. For facilities using Music and Memories programs, we offer supportive services.
Being a reflector is also needed. At times this may require reflecting expressed emotions. At others it might be reflecting sensory (particularly auditory) overload. When this happens, we might:
- Assist the client in identifying preferred stimulation. Communicate these preferences in documentation and signage.
- Offer to lead an inservice for floor staff.
In our work with other professionals, our role may be any of these options. Whether serving as a connector, director, or reflector, we advocate for more than our profession.
Remember, #MTAdvocacy matters every day, every session.