Tuesday, October 12, 2010

So, here's a question for you, happy readers...

Back in April of this year (yes, the one that's passing us by so quickly) I had a series of posts about a presentation I did at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of the American Music Therapy Association on Taboo Topics in Music Therapy (Part I was the Introduction, Part II was the handout, and, of course, Part III- which was The List).

I was asked by the conference chairperson if I would do a follow-up, because it was an interesting topic (thank you) and because people felt as if we'd barely scratched the surface of the issue (very true).

So, I'm thinking and agonizing (shocking, I'm sure- I mean, who would have ever thought I, of all people, would think and agonize?) over which aspects of the vast array of taboos to talk about.

Here are some options I've got floating around in my mind: 

*We could take the handout (which I could happily reprise), have people fill it out and use  participants' case examples to look at as a group. 

*Or we could take a specific aspect of The List (So Far) and focus on a particular topic. Some examples of that could be:

*"Feelings for and about our clients and our clients' feelings about us" (which could be an entire graduate class, frankly)

*"Fantasies we have about ourselves and our clients" (these could include fantasies that we'll fix our clients' lives, we'll make them happy, rescue fantasies and beyond)

*"What to do when you make a mistake" (my friend Judy and I did this one a few years ago, "The Myth of the Perfect Music Therapist, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Mistakes", and I've been trying- trying, I tell you- to post the handout, but for some reason it's just not working properly) 

*And, a variation on the above theme, "Feelings of incompetence as a music therapist" (which could get awkward).

I'm sure there are more options. I'm thinking that the ones I've mentioned are things I could talk about with some intelligence/experience. I would be willing to tackle, or at least create a forum, for other issues on the list (fears of clients committing suicide, fears of getting attacked, clients and boundary violations- particularly in the age of social media and such, therapist/client prejudices, and so on and so forth). 

Here, of course, is where my question to you, kind blog readers, emerges:  

If you had a choice (and some of you may, because some of you live in this region), which aspects of taboo topics would you want to explore in a presentation?

I'm presuming that I would probably only have about an hour and a half to hash out heavy stuff. It is, of course, possible to put in two proposals and I could ask if I could do two presentations, both of which would be follow-ups to last year's talk.

So have at it, folks. I look forward to your thoughts/comments! 


Natalie Mullis, MT-BC said...

I really like the idea of having people write down their ideas of what they'd like to discuss/experiences. You could do a brief intro for anyone who isn't familiar about what constitutes a "taboo" topic, and then allow them to brain pick (name free if desired, of course). You could allot x number of minutes to each topic, and get through as many as you can. I think it'd be a good way to underscore the fact that since these are taboo topics, conversation can be perpetual about the topic themselves, the handling of the topic, and what could be different.

Roia said...

Thanks, Natalie. I got two comments over at Facebook from people who wanted me to address the issue of music therapists struggling to deal with feelings of incompetence and one who suggested I do a whole CMTE.

I think you make a very good point that conversation on these topics can (and probably should) be a perpetual topic. If I'm understanding you, I believe you're suggesting I go with the option of bringing the handout and inviting people to work through it and then share their experiences?

Thanks again!