Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is failure an option?

Oh. My. God.  Today was long.  It was annoying.  It was frustrating.  It made me wish I did anything but music therapy.  

As guilty as I'm going to feel, I have to say it.  Sometimes I hate my job.  Okay, so now you know. I felt like a complete failure by the end of the day anyway, so I may as well publicly (yes, publicly) admit that sometimes it sucks raw eggs to be a music therapist, and I entertain evil thoughts about some of the guys I see for music therapy.  

Initially, I was just having a boring day, because a lot of my clients seemed to be out and unavailable.  Then, when they were available, they were exhausted (yes, I am rolling my eyes heavenward, why do you ask?).  

Well, okay, the real problem was one particular client who has been challenging me for...let's see how long have I worked with him? Almost five years maybe? Let's just say there has never been a time in our work together that didn't make me wonder "why the hell am I still doing this? Why is he still getting music therapy?" (or, to quote a wonderful bumper sticker I bought many years ago, "where am I going, and why am I in this hand basket?"). 

Yes, there's something wonderful and likable about him, but, for pity's sake!  I am tired of asking him to stop licking the walls, the table, the dirty clothes bins, etc.  I am ready to claw out my own eyeballs from asking him to stop writing all over his face with the ball point pen.  And, for crying out loud, enough with the kicking, punching and pinching at me!  

I think I'm most upset, because I have sincerely tried and tried, and the reality is I can do no more for this man.  I just don't have the energy to keep arguing with him.  If he doesn't want to change, then he doesn't want to change, and I'm wasting both our time trying.  

The distress part for me (until now anyway) has been that, to my way of thinking, I have to keep trying.  See, now this is why I needed to take a break from working for a little while- so I could finally recognize that my thought process was ridiculous.  It is now glaringly obvious to me that "trying" in this case is more about my need to not fail than about his need for music therapy.

I wonder if other music (and non-music) therapists go through this madness.  Or am I just insanely Don Quixotic about it all ("to fight for the right- without question or pause- to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause...etc.").  Clinical supervision anyone?

*Heavy sigh.*


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