Whether you are looking for music therapy services for your organization, a loved one, or for yourself, it is likely that you will get in touch with several companies or individual therapists before you decide which is the best fit for you.
It can sometimes feel overwhelming to figure out which therapist is the right fit for you or your organization. There are a few things you can do to help make that initial decision, such as browsing their website and booking a consultation call to ask questions and get a better feel for the services which they offer. When on a consultation call, there are some questions you will likely ask including the cost of services and what a typical session might look like. However, I find that the following 3 questions tend to be less common, yet can be very helpful in helping you to make a decision.
1. What are your qualifications?
Certified Music Therapists should have a university degree in music therapy, a 1000-hour supervised clinical internship, have passed board certification, and be an active member (MTA) of the Canadian Association of Music Therapists. This is important to be aware of if you are looking for a music therapist who is certified. The term ‘music therapist’ is not regulated in Canada, and therefore anyone can technically call themselves a music therapist. However, not everyone can call themselves a certified music therapist. When you are inquiring about services this may be an important piece to clarify.
Many certified music therapists have additional credentials and trainings that may be of interest to you. For example, some of the music therapists on our team are also Registered Psychotherapists, Neurologic Music Therapists, or are trained in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. Having this background information will likely help to inform your decision as to which music therapist you feel drawn to working with.
2. What is your philosophy or approach to your music therapy practice?
Many music therapists take on an eclectic approach, drawing from various philosophies and models of practice and pulling from them depending on what their clients needs are. Other music therapists tend to draw upon approaches that resonate with them more deeply or that they have done extensive learning and training in such as a music-centred approach, humanistic approach, or psychodynamic approach. Learning more about your potential music therapist's philosophy and approach can go a long way in figuring out therapist-client compatibility.
3. Have you worked with clients with similar needs or circumstances?
Although many music therapists have experience working with a wide range of clientele, others tend to specialize and work more frequently with one or two populations. For example, if you are inquiring about services for adults with mental disorders, it is important to not assume that your potential music therapist has vast experience with this population and to inquire about the types of experiences they do have. Even if your potential music therapist does not have experience working with a particular disorder or need, you may find that their other experiences and education lend themselves quite well to fit the needs you are inquiring about. Hopefully, by getting a sense of your potential music therapists past experience, it will help to inform your decision about which therapist is the right fit for you.
Of course, at the end of the day, sometimes selecting a music therapist to work with you, your company, or your loved one comes down to booking a first session, seeing how it felt and going with your gut feeling.
We wish you the best in your search! If you are interested in working with one of the certified music therapists on our team you can learn a little bit more about them here, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-951-2788.