What is music therapy?
Music therapy can be defined as the process of addressing people’s physical, emotional, psychosocial and spiritual needs within a therapeutic relationship that has music at its heart. Music therapists will encourage their clients to be creative and will also need to have good counselling skills, the ability to form meaningful relationships and to listen to and accompany the music and the words that emerge from within them.
Who has inspired you on your music therapy journey?
I’ve been inspired by many people over the last 20 years or so: a course leader at university who encouraged me to bring authenticity to my work; the stories of Irvin Yalom, which never lose their power; and my supervisor for almost all of my career – one of the wisest human beings I’ve ever met. But perhaps most of all, it’s my clients, who continue to inspire me to keep looking, thinking and exploring.
What does spirituality mean to you?
It’s the essence of being human, and everything that goes with that.
Most useful piece of advice for a student or newly qualified therapist
Watch your pace, always, and don’t stop listening.
Do you have a favourite quote?
‘When you listen generously to people, they can hear truth in themselves, often for the first time’.
Favourite counselling book?
The Gift of Therapy. Irvin Yalom.
Favourite podcast or website?
I’ve recently been introduced to the incredible work of the Zen Caregiving Project in San Francisco; practical, imaginative and inspiring.
Favourite piece of music?
Impossible to answer this one; but my top 10 music features in the October 2021 issue of Thresholds.
Top tip for a successful supervision session
Prepare well, welcome the challenges and enjoy the learning.
What is the most important issue facing the counselling world today?
The question of how to respond creatively in a post-pandemic world that is often driven by ‘the science’. There is a need to reinforce the importance and power of human relationships; the ability to be alongside, to listen, to accompany and to touch.