I have made a very important discovery while building Key Changes. It may be one you made a long time ago, never had to make, or have yet to realize, but no matter where you are in the process, some attention to it is beneficial.
That discovery is the concept of self ownership.
I’m not talking about the ownership of my business, although that has helped me reach this place. I am talking about truly owning what you do, successes and mistakes.
A year ago, I wasn’t happy where I was with my professional goals. I felt under appreciated, under utilized, not taken seriously, and as if each day at work was a year. I found myself doing only what I had to do to get through each day, and as a result, I wasn’t doing my job the best I possibly could. I had to constantly remind myself that I am here for the children so as to avoid getting caught up in arguments and bureaucracy that went no where. I felt cut off from the rest of my profession, and the situation was made even worse when I reached out to AMTA and CBMT and they were just as shocked about the situation and circumstances I was in as everyone else.
However, still life as a therapist went on. I would have good sessions, great sessions, and train wrecks. I still did my duty wit the train wrecks and good sessions and evaluated what I could do to make it better. I came up with new session ideas and searched for resources. But my heart just wasn’t in it. I didn’t own what I was doing. I would, in some situations, be interrupted in the middle of a session to be told to do something that was pointless or repetitive or could have waited the twenty minutes until the session was over. I felt like I was constantly fighting an uphill battle, not just against my patients symptoms and attitudes and perceptions, but against the entire system I was working within.
When I made the decision to open my own practice, it was as if a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I began to take pride in my work again, and truly focus on advancing and honing my skills. I feel like I became a better therapist to the kids that I was taking care of towards the end of my time there. I felt sad about leaving, but I knew that to take better care of myself and my future clients, it was necessary.
When I opened my practice and began connecting with all of the wonderful therapists on twitter, facebook, and other blogs, I felt like we had things in common. When I saw my first client as a private practitioner, it was a normal assessment, nothing amazing, but it just felt so good. It was mine. It belonged to me. I was the owner of everything that happened, the good, the bad, the horrible. Regardless of which was the wind blew, it was my wind and no one elses, and that was the best feeling in the world.
I have to indirectly thank Rachel Rambach for indirectly sending my brain down this path. I had a moment of writer’s block and her telling me about her presentation at the 2009 American Music Therapy Association National Conference got my gears turning. Her presentation was on Music Therapy in the Blogosphere, and I commented that there was a lot of Kimberly Sena Moore in the slides. Rachel told me that at that time, there weren’t many music therapy bloggers, so my mind went to where I was at that point in time.