Recognizing When Your Mental Well-Being is Out of Balance
It’s not easy being an adult today. Adults face a variety of life stressors that can take a toll on their mental health. Rates of depression and anxiety are on the rise. Adult mental health is a serious issue.
Some of the stressors that you may face include those from your career and family. Both are important to you, but you feel spread thin. You may be feeling stressed about being able to manage the various pieces involved with modern-day living. As you seek to find or create your own “American Dream,” you may be finding the process to be a nightmare.
Within this is the never-ending challenge of finding a balance. For example, there’s a fine balancing act between determining what’s needed to make a living and how to do it. And at the same time, there’s a fine balance in finding the time and energy to meet the needs of others as well as yourself.
Mental Health and Well-Being Need Balance
Needless to say, it can be easy to lose yourself and your own needs and desires. You may have been conditioned to deny these needs and desires. If this sounds like you, know that you’re not alone. I can help you. Through the counseling services I provide, I can help you to find balance and stability within yourself so that you’re able to:
Many people have experienced some sort of trauma while growing up. Your family experience may not have been the quintessential loving family. Things may have happened to you during your childhood or adolescence which left you feeling damaged. For whatever reason, at the time you weren’t able to confide in a trusted adult. Now, you’re ready to express, examine, and move through the pain. You’re ready to grow into your stronger, authentic self.
Work through and Resolve Childhood Wounds
Many people have experienced some sort of trauma while growing up. Your family experience may not have been the quintessential loving family. Things may have happened to you during your childhood or adolescence which left you feeling damaged.
For whatever reason, at the time you weren’t able to confide in a trusted adult. Now, you’re ready to express, examine, and move through the pain. You’re ready to grow into your stronger, authentic self.
Nothing in life unfolds EXACTLY as you intend. While you can visualize what it is that you want and are striving to create, you can never be 100% sure of the end result. Things change. Life’s constant flux and shifting visions can leave you feeling depressed, anxious, or confused. Significant relationships may end. Challenging health conditions may require significant lifestyle changes. You’re confronted with reminders of your mortality. This may leave you feeling unsure of how to move forward.
Work with Transition and Change in Ways that Serve You
Nothing in life unfolds EXACTLY as you intend. While you can visualize what it is that you want and are striving to create, you can never be 100% sure of the end result. Things change. Life’s constant flux and shifting visions can leave you feeling depressed, anxious, or confused.
Significant relationships may end. Challenging health conditions may require significant lifestyle changes. You’re confronted with reminders of your mortality. This may leave you feeling unsure of how to move forward.
Healthy relationships take work. For a relationship to thrive, you need to know how to be effective in your communication. Sometimes in the need to blow off steam, you may say things to someone that you don’t mean. Other times you may find yourself at a loss for words. Until you can connect with your own needs, you’ll be unable to communicate them to others. At the same time, you can’t fully recognize the needs of others without knowing your own.
Have meaningful, harmonious relationships
Healthy relationships take work. For a relationship to thrive, you need to know how to be effective in your communication. Sometimes in the need to blow off steam, you may say things to someone that you don’t mean. Other times you may find yourself at a loss for words.
Until you can connect with your own needs, you’ll be unable to communicate them to others. At the same time, you can’t fully recognize the needs of others without knowing your own.
“How Can I Experience That for Myself?”
I know that it may feel impossible to feel this kind of mental well-being, but it IS possible. It’s just that it can be hard to get there on your own. So I understand that you may be wondering how I can help you improve your mental health and well-being. The answer is that besides being a counselor, I’m also a music therapist.
This means that I can help you to tap into the power of music for yourself so that you can engage with therapy in a different way. Through working with me, you’ll be able to see yourself as a creative person who is capable of transformation. Music therapy with me can help you:
Find Out What’s Important to You
Gain clarity on your values, boundaries, needs, and desires
Music provides a creative and expressive way for the exploration of these thoughts and feelings.
Improve Your Communication
Learn how to effectively express yourself
Music therapy can help you express what you need to express. At the same time, it can help you do so in a clear and respectful way. Some ways we can do this are through improvisation, which can include role-playing. Music listening and discussion, along with song-writing can also be helpful.
Reconnect with Your Feelings
Allow yourself to feel what needs to be felt
Your emotions have something deeply personal to tell you. Music therapy can help you hear them so that you can receive the message. Ways we can do this are through activities involving improvisation, song-writing, or music discussion.
Gain New Perspectives
Learning to See Things Differently
Maybe the experience is offering you an opportunity of some sort. Can you see what it is? Perhaps there are different perspectives at play. Is yours the only one that’s “right?”
Music therapy provides a safe and creative space for exploring these thoughts and ideas. This is because engaging with music can foster new awarenesses and insights. While at the same time, music can allow for the exploration of different perspectives.
How Other Adults Have Improved Their Mental Health: Snapshots From My Work
Below are some vignettes highlighting the mental health work I do with adults. These stories are composites of client experiences within therapy. They do not represent any particular client. They are to illustrate ways that the counseling services I provide have benefited adult mental health.
Trauma and Post-Traumatic Growth
Client with a history of sexual abuse
The focus of our work together was on helping them find their voice. They were specifically drawn to working with me because of my background in voice. Yet, at the same time, they were reluctant to express themselves vocally.
Initially, they would express themselves through improvising on the piano or percussion instruments. Sometimes they would ask me to play along, and other times they simply needed me to hold space and witness them playing. Eventually, they began to use their voice. In connecting with their voice and their breath, they reconnected with their body. By the end of our work together, they were able to identify a healthy, positive outlook for themselves and their life.
Managing Feelings of Anxiety and Grief
Client with a history of anxiety who recently experienced the ending of a relationship
The client was able to express their grief and manage feelings of anxiety through breathing activities and vocalizing/singing. These activities were helpful in their ability to reconnect with their body in the present moment.
The selection of meaningful songs was also helpful for the client to be able to process the relationship. Improvisations and songs on the themes of empowerment and growth were useful in helping them to envision and create their new life.
Enhancing Sense of Self Worth and Finding Meaning in Life
A client struggling with feelings of low self-worth after a divorce and questioning their life meaning
As a result of their divorce, the client was questioning the meaning of their relationship. They were seeking help in reclaiming who they were as a person worthy of love. Listening was a large component of our work together. They had things to say and it was important that they were heard.
Music was also something that they wanted to reintegrate it their life again. Life review through music and the creation of empowerment playlists were a few of the ways music was incorporated. As well they began to actively play music again. This was helpful in providing them with a renewed sense of purpose. Through the course of our work together they became more self-assured and confident.
“Tell Me More About The Adult Mental Health Services You Offer”
I understand that you may still have some questions about how the counseling services I offer could help you. Here are some questions I’m frequently asked about my work as a counselor with adults:
Logistics About Therapy
How long does therapy take, and how much does it cost?
Eventually, sessions will no longer be necessary. Although sometimes people find occasional check-ins to be helpful. While at other times, they find reward in transitioning to music lessons.
Generally, the more complicated and complex a person’s situation is the more time that may be necessary. Music therapy and counseling services are one hour long and cost $100 an hour when provided in Longmont. They are $120 an hour when provided outside of Longmont. Through SonderMind, I also take insurance. I work with Aetna, Anthem (HMO and PPO), Cigna, United Healthcare ComPsych, and Profile EAP.
How could music make therapy more effective for me?
Music can “amplify” the skills and insights gained from therapy. This is because music impacts us in many different, multifaceted ways. We are neurologically and physiologically hard-wired to respond to music. Moreover, music can connect us to unrecognized thoughts and feelings. At the same time while also serving as a means of communication and self-expression. We can create and investigate new ways of being by engaging with music.
I'm not musical, can I benefit from music therapy?
Musical knowledge or ability isn’t necessary. As a music therapist, I can suggest accommodations or adaptations that can make it easier for you to make music. Furthermore, the work in therapy has its focus on the process, rather than a final product. Music therapy isn’t necessarily about a performance.
How is music therapy different from taking music lessons?
Music therapy and music lessons have very different goals and focus. In therapy, the key focus is on achieving specific therapeutic goals unrelated to music. Music serves as a tool, a vehicle for personal exploration, growth, and development.
On the other hand, the focus of music lessons is musical development. Although that isn’t to say that a person may not find lessons to be therapeutic. SoundWell provides adapted music lessons to those who may benefit from an adapted approach. See our Studio Policy for more information.
Why I Work with Adults and Mental Health
Why do you do this work?
“Ok, I’m Convinced. I Want to Work With You. What Are the Next Steps?”
Congratulations on taking this first step in addressing your own mental health needs. If you have further questions, you can contact me by email. Otherwise, I offer a free 30-minute consultation by phone or at my office that you can schedule here. During this consultation, we’ll talk in more detail about your situation and how I might be able to help you.