Essential considerations in good therapy, establishing trust first, respect the resistance yet continue to proceed towards growth.
“Change is inevitable, Growth is optional.” A quote relevent for todays’ life altering enviornment. If we choose, change can be a wonderful, unknown possibility. This quote has remained forever with me,stated by a principal in a school I once worked. The quote is quite relevent to our practice. In the Back Mountain Music Therapy Clinic, this is the path we take. What does this mean? How does this look? Why does this affect clients?
Trust first. Back Mountain Music Therapy has not been shy about our bottom up approach in our work. When working with clients with developmental issues, or with issues from some kind of a trauma, (“behavioral” are symptoms, not the issues, see previous blog: https://backmountainmusictherapy.com/2020/05/seeing-a-person-and-their-abilities-strengths-parts-of-the-whole/), we need to establish trust first. We acknowlege individual differences and client preferences. These are recognized as we watch to see how our clients respond. We folllow those responses, by including their need in the musical structure. This provides the support that allows the client to feel safe and be heard. Thus, inwardly creating motivation to interact. This also clearly defines boundaries in a non threatening manner. When the clients world is familiar, they can predict. When their world is predictable, they feel safe, therefore, they can trust. Trust happens quicker for some, than it does for others. Live music, is such an easy and fantastic tool to do this with.
Respecting resistance and persisting towards growth are not seperate subjects. They go hand in hand. “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.” There are many people that prefer safety with only the familiar. However, the fact of life is, that change happens. Change happens with or without our permisssion. This unexpectanacy, is often, out of our control. However, we can control our response to change. This is where the therapist can act within the music and growth can occur. So where does the “respecting resistance” take place at BMMT?
While taking those individual circumstances into consideration, we still have to move forward. The client can not remain in the dark because it is safest and most comfortable. The clients needs to be healthy and grow.
Several Years ago, I wrote a blog on “Out of The Cave” moments (https://backmountainmusictherapy.com/?s=the+shocking+truth+about+crying). An anaology was made about being stuck in a dark cave for a long time. Too much darkness and dampness is not healthy. If the atmosphere we are accoustomed to is dark for a long time, the sunlight is not comfortable. What is good and necessary for us is not comfortable. So therefore, we must consider what our body is accustomed to. Too much sunlight, all at once, could be traumatic, or a shock to our system. We must consider the individual’s system and circumstance. Our job then, is to make that change, adaptation or growth as motivating and as safe as possible, even if sometimes,a little discomfort accompanies.
Next week, how we use the music and it’s elements to achive trust, and growth. We also tackle resistance and how we can support , yet simoultaneously challenge in the music.
(Back Mountain Music Therapy is now actively re-starting our clinic slowly. We are responidng to COVID 19 warnings and making those necessary, safe and adaptable changes to our physical enviornment. As in our work, we are moving in the safest manner possible. BMMT’s owner, Antoinette Morrison, wants to control this aspect as much as possible and that is why the re-opening, is moving progressivly, yet slowly and deliberately.Please feel free to call or contact us if you have any questions)
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