Staff meetings

Posted: January 14, 2011 in Related Issues

One of the problems about working in a clinic is that I have to go to staff meetings.  That in itself is not so awful – gets me a free lunch.  However, the problem is that I’m the only music therapist working in a behavioral clinic, and the agenda is primarily filled with issues I can’t relate to.  For example, as a music therapist, I’m responsible for writing quarterly reports (every three months), whereas the BTs have to do monthlies.  The have a whole format they have to follow, target behaviors they’re tracking, a whole laundry list of stuff that has to be straightened out.  So, it seems like I have to sit there for 75% of a 90 minute meeting without having anything that is helpful to my situation.

At the end, they’re trying to get people to do a presentation about clients, telling the background and getting some feedback on other techniques that might work.  This is at least somewhat interesting to me as I can provide a completely different perspective.  We had a presentation a few months ago where the BT was having trouble with the client not speaking to her.  It’s not an inability to speak, it’s just a teenage silent treatment.  Since we often think about the role of silence in music therapy, I made the suggestion that she (the BT) try to not speak and do all communication nonverbally.  I haven’t heard any follow-up, so I don’t know if she tried my idea.

Other than that, it feels like staff meetings are a waste of my time.  But it’s one of the requirements, and I go.  For yesterday’s meeting, I was feeling sick and REALLY did not want to be there.  But, as I mentioned, free lunch.

  1. Roia says:

    I can totally relate to aggravating meetings. I rarely go to team meetings, because 1) if I did I’d never get to sessions, and 2) there isn’t usually a real discussion about the client and any feeling of collaboration between the team members. Sigh. I think I’m a little jealous of the free lunch though. The only other meetings I usually go to are those for our department (which is the Recreation Department), and so much of the meeting doesn’t really apply to us (“us” being the three music therapists). More sighing.

    I’m so glad to hear you mention the element of silence in music therapy. A lot of people don’t think about it much, because they believe that they have to always have the next activity ready to go. Silence is powerful, and your BT (behavioral tech?) might do well to explore her own reactions to the client’s silent treatment. Could offer her important insight as to what’s going on with her client.

  2. themtguy says:

    It’s not exactly FREE…we all have to sign up to bring stuff in every once in a while. But most of the times, it’s free.

    Thanks for the comment. I’ve been more aware of the importance of silence since being exposed to the works of John Cage in high school. I’ve always found it fascinating to listen to what happens between the notes.

    • Roia says:

      I’m impressed. It took me many years after college to be able to tolerate the likes of Cage. My clients have taught me a lot. :- ) What I find fascinating is how silence is different with each person.

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