In the beginning…

Hello and welcome to my new blog! I will start by introducing myself and what I hope to get from this new venture.

My name is Belinda Soper and I’m a Music Therapist working in London. I’ve been qualified for just over 2 years now and have finally managed to build up a full week of work. I’m not going to lie to you, it’s been hard work and now that I have lots of clients it’s still hard work but in a good way!

I have quite a varied week of work which keeps me on my toes. I work for the NHS two days a week on a mental health unit for adults. The unit has six wards and I work across the four acute wards.  Here, I am part of a large inpatient therapy team including other Arts Psychotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Activity Co-ordinators. I mainly run open groups on the wards serving a population of patients with psychosis, mood disorders and personality disorders. I carry out individual assessment sessions for those patients who are more isolated or unable to engage in groups. I’ve recently started a new singing group project on the unit as well which I’m sure will get a whole blog post of its own very soon!

For another two days a week I work at a further education college for young adults with learning disabilities. The students are profoundly disabled and we have a lot of young people with autism and challenging behaviour. The college is residential but has day students as well. Here I have a full timetable of class groups and individual sessions which I share with the other Music Therapist Alice. My groups are very much focused on promoting social skills, peer awareness and communication. There is a large therapy team at the college including Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, a Counsellor, Relaxation Therapist, Art Therapist, Aromatherapist and a few Psychologists…. phew!

Finally, for my remaining day of the week I fit in some supervision and some private clients. This is my day of driving around seeing clients in their own homes or in community settings. This little private practice has varied over time. Sometimes I have lots of children on my books although at the moment I’m mainly doing more work with adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues.

So, that’s a summary of my week of work. Since qualifying I’ve been building up to this point and I hope to settle into this pattern for a while and hopefully share what I learn along the way. When I started my Music Therapy training we were told the course was one huge learning curve. I’ve since learnt that being a qualified Music Therapist means continuing on that learning curve; constantly learning, absorbing, reflecting, adapting and being amazed by the experiences we share with our clients.

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