Monday, January 28, 2013

Picture It!: A Visual of Music Therapy Advocacy

January = MT Social Media Advocacy Month!


Introduction: Advocacy --> Recognition --> Access

Since 2005, the American Music Therapy Association and the Certification Board for Music Therapists have collaborated on a State Recognition Operational Plan. The primary purpose of this plan is to get music therapy and our MT-BC credential recognized by individual states so that citizens can more easily access our services. The AMTA Government Relations staff and CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff provide guidance and technical support to state task forces throughout the country as they work towards state recognition. To date, their work has resulted in over 35 active state task forces, 2 licensure bills passed in 2011, 1 licensure bill passed in 2012, and an estimated 7 bills being filed in 2013 that seek to create either title protection or a licensure for music therapy. This month, our focus is on YOU and on getting you excited about advocacy.

What is the State Recognition Operational Plan and
why is it important to music therapy?

The State Recognition Operational Plan is a national initiative being implemented jointly by CBMT and AMTA to obtain state recognition of music therapy and the MT-BC credential. This collaborative effort between AMTA Government Relations staff and CBMT Regulatory Affairs staff provides guidance and technical support to state task forces throughout the country as groups of music therapists work toward recognition as defined by their particular state.

The plan involves increasing awareness of the music therapy profession and of what it means to be board-certified. The ultimate goal is that, in all situations, the MT-BC be a minimum requirement as a service provision in every work setting.
Picture It!
Last year, I shared an original song, "a-d-v-o-c-a-t-e".   In 2013, the theme for our SM Advocacy Month is "CONNECT With Music Therapy." I asked greater Cincinnati clients, families, and fellow colleagues to share with me three words that came to mind when they thought of their experiences regarding music therapy. [some responses I received were so paragraphs, nontheless!] The plan was to see how these words literally connected with each other, as you can see below:

Some of the words included were embedded by yours truly [I wanted people to know that MT is researched, scientific, goal-driven)] but I love that so many of the responses that came in [especially from families whose homes I visit] were very subjective and emotional... lots of folks displayed a very visceral reaction when talking about music therapy. And while each person's view of MT is different--- even therapists practicing across our country have different notions of how they approach our profession--- there seemed to be common threads running thoughout here: positive effects of self-esteem; happiness; accomplishments; using a medium that is music to achieve AMAZING outcomes.

My thanks to all who participated in helping me make a rockin' visual- your words are SO important! As we continue our work together, and music therapists across the country do the same, we strive for others' recognition that music therapy is capable of awesome results.

Other MTs, professionals, families, you see words above that you'd  use to describe music therapy?  What else would you add to the list?