Professional Advocacy Fatigue: Implications for Music Therapists and Music Therapy

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Natalie has been a music therapist since 1999, practicing in Australia and Canada with various populations. Focusing clinically in mental health with offenders, Natalie graduated with a Master’s of Mental Health Science in 2015. She now runs a practice providing supervision and professional development to health and helping professionals.

What do you think of when you hear the term ‘professional advocacy fatigue’? Most music therapists understand burnout and compassion fatigue, however, there is little discussion of how the constant requirement to advocate on behalf of music therapy, its value, and its inclusion in many health and community settings affects those that shoulder that responsibility – music therapists themselves. This presentation considers this phenomenon in the music therapy community, its affect on music therapists, and the consequences of what might be termed ‘professional advocacy fatigue’. Advocacy at micro and macro levels will be investigated, and recommendations for awareness and management discussed.