I am not frequently asked what the letters after my name stand for. But I do recognize puzzled expressions and am quick to explain the significance of the letters even if not puzzlement is observed.
Most music therapists are ready and prepared with a quick ‘speech’ about what our profession is, but are they prepared with a speech about the credential that proves our competence? I am. It’s short, sweet, and (I like to think) to the point. Here it is for you:
“MT-BC which stands for Music Therapist-Board Certified is my promise to you that I work to stay up to date on research and practice in the field. It guarantees that you are receiving the best possible care that I can provide with the tools that have been shown to work.”
Those two sentences might seem like they are a bit repetitious, but I find that it is important to not only highlight the fact that I am working to stay abreast of changes in the field, but that I am also incorporating them into my practice. Not being a parent myself, I can only guess at the priorities a parent might have about who their child interacts with, and how, but I try to think in the shoes of the most discerning parent possible, so I am prepared to have my credentials researched (I am still listed under my maiden name–Rousseau– for some reason), as well as to offer references to my work. This may be overkill, but then I may be a bit of an overbearing mother one day!
I think it is very important to emphasize our credentials. Especially as so many areas of the country are taking steps to move towards some form of state recognition, getting the knowledge of the credential out there should be hand in hand with educating the public about music therapy!
So share with me!
Parents, tell me your thoughts about education and continuing education requirements for those that provide care to your children.
Therapists, tell me if you have a ‘speech’ for the MT-BC or how you approach educating about it.