Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Therapy and Music

I have, for the past seven years, made my living as a psychotherapist. And as much as I dream of making the switch to full-time musician, I am keenly aware of the lyrical treasure trove that my current profession affords. Few other contexts would allow me to probe the human psyche quite so thoroughly, to so consistently ponder the intricacies of relationship, and to explore the innumerable ways we come to know ourselves through relationship with others.

Many is the time I have begun the lyrical portion of the songwriting process contemplating people and issues that were presented in my office. Yet by the time I reach the second verse, I realize that I am in fact writing not about my client, but rather about my own life. This reflects a commonly held belief in the therapeutic world that we, as therapists, attract the types of issues (in the form of clients) that we ourselves need to examine in our own existence. And I remain convinced that this phenomenon is not relegated to the therapeutic world.

We are all attracting people and events through which we have the opportunity to see ourselves more clearly. Sadly, few of us recognize the magnificence of this occurrence, and spend more of our time cursing the other (person, event, etc.) rather than feeling gratitude towards ourselves for creating the unique and perfect circumstances for our own evolution.

As a songwriter and a therapist, these are some of the many things I ponder. May we all continue to expand our self-awareness.

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