Let me walk you through how I landed here, exploring neuropsychotherapy and how it informs my practice.
It began as a new graduate working in a private psychiatric hospital. This particular hospital (possibly alongside many adult mental health settings) delivered therapeutic programs, generally informed byCognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and psychoeducation. It was such a great place to start my work and really dig my feet into the world of mental health - however I didn't ever 100% identify with CBT. So I explored a multitude of psychological paradigms - Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Trauma Model Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy - but continued to feel dissatisfied with how my work aligned with these practices. It just didn't quite fit.
In hindsight, it makes sense. I was trained as an eclectic therapist and my most influential supervisor came from an existential framework...but I was having an identity crisis as a music therapist - and I really felt it impacting the quality of my work. Where did my work fit and how was I to know when to draw from which model of practice?
Then after some time, I landed in a family music therapy organisation - where the practice was embedded with principles from the Circle of Security, Solutions Focused Therapy and responsive teaching. I was lucky enough to have really quality internal (music therapist) and external supervisors (social worker) who helped me integrate these models of practice. These frameworks really connected - and it was through these frameworks that I was introduced to the 'Polyvagal Theory', Dan Siegel's work on interpersonal neurobiology and Bruce Perry's Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics. I loved this work - and what made it better was that all of these theories pointed to the use of music and music therapy. My external supervisor was also a driving force in 'third wave therapies' and introduced me to multiple other paradigms, including narrative therapy.
It was through this integrative approach, I began to piece it all together. I saw that there was a role for behavioural, cognitive, humanistic, existential and biomedical practices of music therapy - and I began to draw from each of these areas quite intuitively. It felt natural and I felt like I'd found my music therapy skin.
Fast forward to the year 2014 - and I stumble across Neuropsychotherapy. I realise that neuropsychotherapy covered everything that I'd learned across my eight years of music therapy training and practice. It was an eclectic, holistic, multi-disciplinary model of psychotherapy that acknowledged influences from most psychological schools. It solidified so many things for me - and as a result my practice went from strength to strength. My clinical reasoning became more natural, I was able to speak in the same language as non-music therapy colleagues - and I was able to explain more clearly why someone may require music therapy over cognitive, talking based interventions.
Only thing was...my Australian music therapy colleagues didn't understand me and I didn't know how to explain this work to music therapists.
So here I am today attempting to talk about some of these ideas, generate discussion and see what unfolds...Let's see what comes up :)
NB: I've clearly tried as many therapeutic models on as possible - such a theory nerd!!