Counseling for Adults

Finding Balance for When “Adulting” is Too Much

Music therapy to help you manage stress, anxiety, or depressionIn spite of (and in some instances maybe even because of) all our modern conveniences and technologies, being an adult in the 21st century is tough. Striving to achieve the traditional markers of success day-to-day requires a great deal of effort and some solid strokes of luck. For many, attaining and maintaining these deeply ingrained standards can be immeasurably stressful. There are student loans to pay; a family to raise; the hefty weight of mortgages; perhaps a business to run. Within this constant toll is the never-ending challenge of finding work-life balance.

We can all relate to the fine balancing act: determining what’s needed to make a living and how to do it while stretching (and over-stretching) to meet the needs of family and friends.  Where do your own needs fit in that dizzying picture? On a larger scale, today’s adults are faced with complicated situations–serious problems that require mature and thoughtful resolution. Individually and collectively, we need to be able to effectively solve problems and compassionately resolve interpersonal differences. However, not many of us were taught how to do this.

You are not alone. I can help you. Music therapy can help you tap into the deepest parts of yourself so that you are able to:

Work through and Resolve Childhood Wounds

Most of us experienced some sort of trauma while growing up. Your early family experience may not have been the safe, loving embodiment commonly associated with the term “family”. Things may have happened to you during your childhood or adolescence which left you shaken, feeling damaged. For whatever reason, you weren’t able to confide in a trusted adult. Now, you are ready to express, examine, and move through the pain. You are ready to grow into your stronger, authentic self.

Postivitely manage Life Transitions, Aging, and experiences of Grief and Loss

Nothing in life unfolds EXACTLY as we intend. While we can visualize what it is we want and are striving to create, we 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 are confronted with reminders of our mortality. You are left feeling unsure of how to move forward. Music therapy can help you find some sense of direction.

have meaningful, harmonious Relationships

Relationships take work–mature ones especially. For a relationship to thrive, we need to know how to communicate with our loved ones and the other important people in our lives. Sometimes we say things we don’t actually mean to vocalize, blowing off steam. Other times we find ourselves at a loss for words. Until we can connect with our own needs, we are unable to communicate them to others; nor can we fully recognize the needs of others.

 

This Sounds Like My Situation Right Now.

You CAN get through this. It may not be easy. Sometimes it may even cause some internal distress. But what you will learn about yourself and how you’ll grow as a result of your journey is priceless. Music therapy can gently guide you to limitless personal growth, leading you to:

Gain clarity on your values, boundaries, needs, and desires

If you’re feeling stuck, burnt out, or somehow unfulfilled in life, check in with yourself to see if you are in alignment with your values. Has a personal boundary been crossed? Are your needs being met? Are your actions being dictated by subconscious desires?

Learn how to effectively express yourself

Keeping your thoughts and feelings bottled inside can present obstacles, creating festering discontent. Express what needs to be expressed. At the same time, no one benefits from unclear or hurtful communication. How can you express your wants and needs clearly, assertively, and respectfully?

Allow yourself to feel what needs to be felt

There is nothing inherently good or bad about feelings. They are simply natural responses to situations and experiences. Sometimes these responses can be based on past experiences. Our emotions have something deeply personal to communicate to us. Listen.

Develop the ability to see multiple possibilities to your life and personal circumstances

Because nothing is guaranteed, it is important we develop the ability to see multiple possibilities to any set of circumstances. Does the experience offer you an opportunity of some sort? Are different perspectives at play? Is there an opportunity for growth or development?

 

Tell Me More About Your Services…

Here are some questions people frequently ask about the mental health and therapeutic music services I offer:

How long does therapy take, and how much does it cost?

The length of therapy varies by person, dependent upon a variety of factors. Typically, there is a period of a few months wherein weekly therapy sessions are necessary. However, following this foundational time, sessions can taper off to every two weeks to once a month, eventually no longer being necessary. Sometimes people find benefit from occasional check-ins; other times, they find reward in transitioning to music lessons. While personal circumstances vary, generally the more complicated and complex a person’s situation is, the more time may be needed. The music therapy and counseling services offered by SoundWell Music Therapy are one hour-long and cost $90 an hour when provided in Longmont, or $100 when provided outside of Longmont.

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 while also serving as a means of communication and self-expression. Regardless of age or ability, music can create and investigate new ways of being by engaging with music. Furthermore, music is accessible to us, regardless of age or ability.

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 some benefit or relief in an area of being that has been negatively affecting one’s ability to function in life. Music within this therapeutic context can be thought of as a tool, a vehicle for personal exploration, growth, and development. On the other hand, while a person may find music lessons to be therapeutic, the focus of this structure is musical development. SoundWell does provide adapted music lessons to those who may benefit from an adapted approach. See our Studio Policy for more information.

I'm not musical, can I benefit from music therapy?

Musical knowledge or ability isn’t necessary because, in therapy, music is made accessible through making accommodations as are necessary and possible. As well, the work in therapy is oriented on the process, as opposed to creating a final product.

 

How Others Have Benefited: Snapshots From My Work

Music therapy to help you manage stress, anxiety, or depressionBelow are some vignettes from my work providing mental health and music therapy services to adults struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, and trauma. In the interest of protecting client confidentiality and privacy, the adults and situations described are composite snapshots and do not describe my work with any one particular client. Rather, these descriptions are to help you see the ways in which I have been able to use music and the therapeutic relationship to help people struggling with significant mental health issues and challenges.

trauma and post-traumatic growth

Challenge: A woman with a history of sexual abuse was looking for a therapeutic approach that would allow her to experience post-traumatic growth.

Treatment Plan/Results: She was specifically drawn to my background in voice, but she was reluctant to express herself vocally. Initially, she would express herself through improvising on the piano or percussion instruments. Sometimes she would ask me to play along, and other times she simply needed me to hold space and witness her playing. Eventually, she began to use her voice. We started with toning a single vowel on a single pitch. As she connected with her voice and her breathing, she reconnected with her body, from which she would typically disassociate. By the end of our work together, she was able to identify a healthy, positive outlook for herself and her life.

managing anxiety and Grief

Challenge: A woman with a history of anxiety had recently experienced the ending of a relationship. She was aware of feeling more anxious and she wanted some non-pharmacological ways to manage those feelings.

Treatment Plan/Results: A couple of factors were in play: an existing anxiety diagnosis and bereavement after the end of her long-term relationship. Breathing activities and vocalizing/singing were used to both help her to reconnect with her body in the present moment, and to also allow her to express the raw emotion of what she was feeling. The relationship was reviewed and explored through listening to recordings of meaningful songs. Improvisations and songs based on empowerment and growth were used to support her in envisioning and creating her new desired life.

Questioning life choices and needing to find meaning

Challenge: A man was struggling with low self-worth after a divorce. He questioned the meaning of his relationship and he needed help in reclaiming who he was as a man and as a person.

Treatment Plan/Results: Listening was a large component of our work together. He had things to say and it was important that he be heard. Music had a significant part of his life and he wanted to reintegrate it again into his life. We did this by listening to and discussing meaningful songs that represented significant times in his life and aspects of himself. As well he began to actively play music again. We worked on some breathing and vocal techniques together and he would play for me the songs he was learning. Through the course of our work together he became more self-assured and confident.

 

My Work as a Mental Health Counselor Helping Others Embrace Change

I’ve come to embrace change and transitions in my own life, though they can be daunting, still. Always wanting to be my own drummer, I marched to my own beat from a young age. This wasn’t always easy. I laud the courage others show when honoring their authentic selves. I appreciate the challenges that we face and are able to overcome when we strive to become the best of who we are in all of our humanness.

Ok, I’m Convinced. What Do I Need to Do Next?

Contact Faith to schedule a free 30-minute consultation if you think that you could benefit from the music therapy and counseling services offered by SoundWell Music Therapy. We’ll be happy to arrange a time when we can talk more about your particular situation and to schedule an initial session.