Music Therapy at Anchored Hope: Definitions and Other Information
As I join the team at Anchored Hope Therapy with open arms, I continue to hear the question from fellow teammates and healthcare professionals, so what exactly is music therapy? It is my favorite ice breaker conversation when I meet someone new, because many people haven’t fully heard about this allied health profession, though the idea almost always seems something that feels as natural as the presence of music in our lives. In this post I will discuss what music therapy is, who music therapists are, who I am, and finally music therapy session offerings at Anchored Hope.
What is Music Therapy?
Music therapy essentially uses music experiences as an anchor to help someone process, change, or grow in some kind of way. What I like to do is hone in on a person’s already existing relationship with music (anything on the spectrum from avid music listener to a musician in their own right) and use that as the foundation for the work that we do together.
Music experiences in music therapy, either live or recorded, may look like the following in any given session: (1) songwriting, (2) lyric analysis and discussion, (3) mindful music listening, (4) music and movement, (5) singing and instrument play, and (6) improvisational music making.
In mental health care, music therapists may work within the following goals or needs (though certainly not limited to this): (1) Encourage a safe release/expression of emotions (nonverbally and verbally), (2) song discussions as an foundation to process lived experiences, encouraging insight, strengths building, and identity building (3) Encourage meaningful connection and validation of emotions, (4) establish coping skills through awareness of emotions while listening to music, and (5) increase natural mind-body awareness.
Who are Music Therapists?
Music therapists are first and foremost musicians. All of us have had some kind of well-established background in music, and in order to become a music therapist, we need to be proficient in guitar, piano, and voice. We also complete a music therapy degree (Bachelors or Masters) from an American Music Therapy Association accredited college or university. In these programs, we complete 1200 hours of clinical training, including a 6-month internship, with experiences in different settings and specialties. In America, after completion of the program we will then become nationally board-certified (MT-BC) after passing a board exam. Many states, including Maryland, additionally recognize music therapy as a state-licensed profession.
Who is Amanda Rosado, MMT, LPMT, MT-BC?
I am a licensed and board certified music therapist and I have been practicing for over a decade. I received my Bachelor of Music Therapy and Board Certification in 2009, and my Master of Music Therapy in 2018. Throughout my career, I’ve worked in settings such as state psychiatric hospitals, adolescent psychiatric inpatient units, nursing homes, hospice, group homes, and private practice. I also conducted research that examined the experiences of music therapy for adolescents in inpatient care, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Music Therapy Perspectives in 2019.
I am white, Latinx, queer, cis female, middle class, able-bodied, and neurotypical. I am also a long time musician, which has actively contributed to my wellness and identity throughout most of my life. My main instrument is the oboe, which, although I don’t typically use it in session spaces, it still is a main part of my identity. I love free jamming with friends and loved ones, especially singing.
Sharing space with me is about cultivating and sharing collaborative, authentic musical spaces to support you in healing, joy, and understanding. Approaching my work from a person-affirming lens, my therapeutic approach comes almost from what I don’t know, more so than what I do. I approach each session space with open curiosity, and empower folx to control their own body, voice, and narrative. Through the medium of music experiences, I have supported folx in processing trauma and difficult emotions, as a means to not only cope, but also build upon one’s identity, self-expression, and internal resources. Since I’ve worked with folx from teen to end-of-life, I feel like I have unique perspectives on what it means to heal and feel supported throughout one’s lifespan. I uphold a strong intention to maintain spaces that feel emotionally and physically safe and accessible. I commit to learning and growing along with you, and I welcome open, transparent, and honest discussion as we build a trusting relationship together.
What Are the Music Therapy offerings at Anchored Hope Therapy?
I currently have both telehealth and in-person openings for anyone interested in exploring music therapy. I have found that clients either use music therapy as a supplement to traditional therapy, or who have exhausted/explored other avenues of traditional therapy without much growth.
At this time music therapy is an out-of-pocket service. To ensure accessibility, I am now offering the following for those who are interested:
Questions? Feel free to go to https://anchoredhopetherapy.com/contact-us/ or call at 443-291-8090.