How to thrive when working in isolation

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Anita L. Gadberry, Ph.D., MT-BC and JoAnn Jordan, MT-BC

Whether you are the only music therapist in your country, or the only one for miles around, working in isolated conditions can be challenging. How does one bring in considerable income and remain engaged in the profession when you are all alone? The presenters will offer tips and techniques to thrive in sequestered conditions.

Being a music therapist may be challenging in itself with all the roles one needs to master. Yet when there are no other music therapists in your proximity to lean on, it gets even more difficult. Two music therapists will share their experiences in private practice, getting and keeping contracts, while maintaining one’s health and interest in the profession. Discussion will focus on where to start and how to grow, advocacy, networking, continuing education, and supervision. Suggestions that all music therapists can incorporate for professional longevity will be highlighted.

Professional Development

  1. Assess areas for professional growth and set goals.
  2. Review current research and literature in music therapy and related disciplines.
  3. Participate in continuing education.
  4. Engage in collaborative work with colleagues.
  5. Seek out and utilize supervision and/or consultation.

Professional Responsibilities

  1. Respond to public inquiries about music therapy.
  2. Conduct information sharing sessions, such as in-service workshops, for professionals and/or the community.
  3. Communicate with colleagues regarding professional issues.
  4. Maintain professional and effective working relationships with colleagues and community members.

Dr. Anita Gadberry is an associate professor and the director of music therapy at the University of North Dakota. Prior to becoming an academic, she had a successful private practice that served many populations yet specialized in autism spectrum disorder.

JoAnn Jordan has over 30 years experience working with older adults and preschoolers. She also provides intergenerational groups with her business-Music Sparks- in Kays, Kansas.