When You’re Looking for Something Different From a Counselor
Sometimes you just need something different from therapy in order to grow and develop. My approach to therapy is different. I’m a music therapist with training in transpersonal counseling, rooted in mindfulness practice. Because of this, my approach to therapy is contemplative and creative that takes a holistic view of people and mental health.
Just because I’m a music therapist, however, doesn’t mean that music needs to be used in our work together. I’ll meet you as you are and where you are. If you’d like to explore your inner world of thoughts and feelings through music, I’ll be able to support you. Yet, if you decide that you have no desire for music to be part of our therapeutic work together, that is fine as well.
While I have the professional training, I recognize that my clients are the ultimate experts about who they are. I see my role as a therapist as being authentic and present to my clients in order to serve as a guide, a mirror, and a cheerleader for them. The music is meant to further support this and not detract.
What I Do as a Therapist
As a therapist, here’s some of what I do to help people enhance their mental health and well-being. I assist people in:
Creating Personal Meaning While Navigating Through Difficult Times
Make the Most From Challenges in Life and Experience Post-Traumatic Growth
Unfortunately, life isn’t always easy. Sometimes we do things intentionally or subconsciously that makes our lives difficult. Yet other times, other people do things intentionally or subconsciously that can seriously disrupt our lives.
How we get through such events matters. Some ways that music can help you create meaning from the pain in your life is through improvisation on instruments or with your voice, singing or playing a song, lyric analysis, or song-writing.
Managing Grief and Life Transitions
Working Through Feelings of Grief and Loss
There is a saying that “The only thing that changes, is change itself,” and this is quite true. Relationships end. People die. Careers change or retirement is achieved. We get older.
Yet, change can bring with it opportunities for growth which allow us to expand our understanding of who we are and what we’re capable of. Nonetheless, such growth can only come once you can experience, express, and work through those feelings of grief and loss.
Music is a great vehicle for doing this because it doesn’t require words and it allows for the depth of emotional expression in a safe way. Some ways that music can help express feelings of grief include improvisation on instruments or with your voice, singing or playing a song, lyric analysis, or song-writing.
Enhancing Childhood Development
Fostering Attunement and Healthy Attachment
Music can be a great way of fostering attunement and healthy attachment between parents and their young children. Music in the form of lullabies, for example, has a long history of soothing and nurturing children.
Through making music together, parents can bond and attune with their children in a fun and enjoyable way. At the same time, making music with their parents can help children feel an increased sense of secure attachment. Because this relationship between parent and child is so foundational, having a secure attachment style has a significant influence on the quality of the child’s future relationships.
Improving Their Relationships
Experiencing More Fulfilling Relationships
Relationships can be challenging. Sometimes you need help in developing and enhancing your relationships so that they can be more fulfilling. Some of these relationships may include those with a significant other, family, friends, work colleagues, and even with oneself. In using music, relationship dynamics can be explored through musical improvisation, lyric analysis, or even song-writing.
Professional Experiences Throughout the Lifespan
My diverse professional background has allowed me to work within a variety of educational and healthcare settings both in Colorado and abroad. In each setting, I’ve been able to work with people from ethnic, socioeconomic, and spiritual backgrounds different from mine. I value these diverse experiences because each and every person has a personal story to share with a unique voice to be heard. I consider it an honor to support and witness the sharing of these stories so that every person I work with can experience personal growth.
Because I value the role that community and culture can play in achieving optimal mental health and well-being, taking an active part in creating healthy, vibrant communities is important to me. The following are professional organizations with which I am a member or actively involved:
- Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce
- The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA)
- Online Conference for Music Therapy (OCMT)
- The World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT)
Public Speaker and Presenter
Speaking and presenting on music therapy and how music and mindfulness can positively impact health and well-being is something that I also enjoy doing. As a public speaker, I have presented nationally and internationally on the topics of: