Counseling: For When You Need Help Creating Change
Change isn’t always easy, and yet it remains the only constant in life. Fortunately, sometimes creating change is easy to do on your own. This might be because you have a clear idea of what needs to change and how you want to do it. However, at other times change isn’t easy and you’re left not knowing what to do. It’s at those times that counseling can help.
Counseling can help at those times because you might not know what you want or what you need in order to make changes in your life. You feel like need help sorting it all out. At other times, the stress around having to make changes can be too much. The fear of the unknown might feel too great to face on your own and you need someone to walk with you at this time. If you’re nodding your head as you read this, read on to learn more about how I work with people wanting to create change in their lives.
The Changes You May Be Facing Right Now
But first, let’s take a closer look at the changes you may be facing right now. These changes may involve your job or significant relationships. These changes can be jarring as they impact your sense of stability or sense of identity. In these cases, you may be asking yourself whether you should stay or if you should go. You could be feeling stuck as you weigh the pros and cons of what you need to do for yourself.
As a result, this process may bring up feelings about how you “should be” or what you “should do.” Only, you don’t really identify with those “shoulds” anymore. Those “shoulds” are no longer part of your truth. Unfortunately, you’re unsure of what your full truth is.
Whereas you may otherwise be finding that the decision to stay or go has been made for you. This could leave you feeling shocked and in a state of disbelief. As a result, it can be hard to know how to pick up the pieces and move forward.
Factors That Can Affect How You Experience Transitions in Life
Likewise, there are a variety of factors that can affect your ability to create change. These factors can make it easier or harder for you to handle this life transition you now find yourself facing. For example, if you had a difficult childhood, you may already be primed to fear abandonment. Additionally, if you don’t have a strong sense of who you are, your self-identity might get shaken by change.
You need someone who can help you make sense out of what is going on. As well, you need someone who can hold space for you to grieve the loss of what was and what will no longer be.
You Don’t Need to Do This Alone
I know that change isn’t easy, but know that you don’t have to work through this alone. Joining you in the journey, the counseling services I provide can help you:
Move Beyond Your Past
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.
I’m here to help you in this growth.
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. The constant flux of life can leave you feeling depressed, anxious, or confused.
Significant relationships may end. Challenging health conditions may need significant lifestyle changes. You’re confronted with reminders of your mortality. This may leave you feeling unsure of how to move forward.
Working together we can move you forward.
Have more 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.
Through the counseling relationship you can discover what you need and learn how to communicate your needs to others.
This is because of the tools available for self-exploration within the counseling process. For example, incorporating mindfulness techniques can help you to slow down and reconnect with yourself. This can help you get in touch with how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking or doing in the present moment.
Likewise, the use of music in our work together can help you go even deeper into yourself and your feelings around a situation. This is because of the expressive, non-verbal nature of music and the impact it can have on people. As a result, you may come out of therapy with a new understanding of who you are and what you can accomplish.
Specific ways that you can benefit from integrating music therapy as part of your counseling work are:
Find Out What’s Important to You
Clarify values, boundaries, and needs
You may feel like you’re getting nowhere in life. If so, check-in with yourself to see if you are in alignment with your values. Some questions you can ask are: What are your values? Are you allowing others to overstep your boundaries? Do you even know what your boundaries are? What are you creating in your life? Is your subconscious running the show?
Music provides a creative way for the exploration of these thoughts and feelings.
Improve Your Communication
Learn how to effectively express yourself
Bottling up your thoughts and feelings can make your life more difficult in the long run. You may find yourself in situations you don’t want to be in. This can lead to feelings of resentment, which can negatively impact your relationships.
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
There is nothing inherently good or bad about feelings. Feelings are simply natural responses to situations and experiences. Sometimes these responses have a basis on past experiences.
Your emotions have something deeply personal to tell you. Music therapy can help you hear them so that you can receive the message. This could involve improvisation, song-writing, or music discussion.
Gain New Perspectives
Learning to See Things Differently
There are no guarantees in life. Relationships end. Our carefully laid out plans can collapse. With this comes opportunities to learn and grow.
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 space for exploring these thoughts and ideas. At the same time, this safe space also fosters creativity. 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 People Have Benefited: Snapshots From My Work
Below are vignettes highlighting the counseling work I have done. These stories are composites of client experiences within therapy. As such, they do not represent any particular client. But rather, they illustrate ways that adults have benefited from working with me.
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 through their voices.
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 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. Through our work together, they could identify a healthy, positive outlook for themselves.
Managing Feelings of Anxiety and Grief
Client with anxiety who recently experienced the ending of a relationship
Breathing activities and vocalizing or singing were helpful to the client. These activities helped the client to express their grief and manage their anxiety. This was because they were able to reconnect with their breath and body in the present moment.
Selecting meaningful songs was also helpful for the client. These songs helped the client to be able to process the relationship. Often times improvisations and songs with themes of empowerment and growth were used. These experiences helped them to envision and create their new life.
Finding Self-Worth and Meaning in Life
A client struggling with feelings of low self-worth after a divorce
As a result of their divorce, the client was questioning 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. We did this through playlists that facilitated life review and fostered empowerment. 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.
FAQs About The Counseling Services I Offer
I understand that you may still feel unsure and have some more questions about counseling or music therapy. Because of this, here are some questions I’m often asked about my work with adults:
Logistics About Therapy
How long does therapy take, and how much does it cost?
The length of therapy varies by person, dependent upon a variety of factors. Usually, there is a period of a few months wherein weekly therapy sessions are necessary. This is because we need to establish rapport and develop a treatment plan. However, after this foundational time, sessions can taper off to every two weeks to once a month.
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 a person’s situation is the more time that may be necessary. Music therapy and counseling services are $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), Bright Health, Cigna, United Healthcare, and Profile EAP.
Why I Work with Change and Transitions
Why do you do this work?
In my own life, I’ve come to embrace change and transitions, although that’s not to say that it isn’t daunting at times. Always wanting to be my own drummer, I’ve been marching to my own beat from a young age. This also wasn’t always easy. It takes courage for a person to truly live as their authentic self. Because of this, I honor what this process entails for the people with whom I work. As well, I love being able to help others get to this point for themselves.
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. The work in therapy has its focus on the process, rather than a final product. Music therapy isn’t necessarily about a performance. If needed, I will suggest accommodations or adaptations that can make it easier for you to make music.
How is music therapy different from taking music lessons?
Music therapy and music lessons have very different goals and focus. In therapy, the 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.
“Ok, I’m Convinced. I Want to Work With You. What Are the Next Steps?”
Congratulations on taking this first step in acknowledging that you might need help navigating your life right now. It takes courage and self-awareness to do so. Because of that, you deserve credit for getting to this point. I hope that this information has been helpful, but if you have further questions, you can contact me by email.
Otherwise, let’s schedule a time to talk. I offer a free 15-minute consultation by phone or online that you can schedule here. At this time, we’ll talk in more detail about your situation and how I might be able to help you.