INTRODUCTION My name is Michaela de Cruz and I am a Music Therapist with a Masters in Music Therapy from Guildhall School of Music and Drama and over 20 years of experience as a professional musician. I set up MdC Music Therapy with the aim of providing a dedicated and devoted space where you can be supported by a music therapist in connecting with your musical, creative, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and physical self through active music making and building a trusting therapeutic relationship. I see these as the key ingredients in fostering a stronger connection with yourself and your well-being, and your connection to others, as well as in facilitating the shifts and changes you may wish to make in your life. I believe in each person’s innate musicality (Trevarthen and Malloch 2000) and recognise each person’s musical and creative core. There are many things which can impact on and impair our vital connection to this core, including trauma and distress, difficult attachment patterns and relationships, and differences in mental and physical health and abilities. I believe strongly in the capacity of music to restore this connection, which can empower those of us who experience it to access our authentic musicality and creativity, leading to a better and more accepting understanding of ourselves and others. As an integrative therapist, I draw from psychodynamic, relational-cultural and humanistic approaches, helping my clients to think about their unique needs and identify their own resources using a client-led, person-centred ethos, supported by a variety of musical and psychotherapeutic techniques and theories. SERVICES I am currently only offering online music therapy services. All potential clients/families will be offered an initial free 30-minute phone consultation, followed by a minimum of 3 assessment sessions for us to get to know each other and outline primary needs and goals together. Weekly adult client sessions will last for 50 minutes and cost £60 per session. Weekly family sessions will last for 60 minutes and cost £90 per session. All fees are negotiable on a sliding scale depending on circumstances. Package rates are also available and require a 50% upfront payment. Sessions will otherwise be invoiced on a monthly basis. FAQs Below are some commonly asked questions about music therapy: What is the first thing I need to know about music therapy?
There is NO RIGHT OR WRONG in music therapy. Every expression is respected as a valid form of communication. The only rule is that clients and therapists alike use the instruments and music in a way that does not cause any harm to themselves or others and prioritises the safety of everyone and the security of the space. This is how trust can be built in a musical and therapeutic relationship.
Do I need to know how to play the instruments to be in music therapy?
You absolutely do not need to know how to play any instruments to be in music therapy. Music Therapy is about exploring different ways of being with yourself and another through music and sound. The therapist, who is musically trained, is there to support you in addressing any difficulties you may have, or in thinking about different ways of communicating and relating through the music.
How does music therapy work?
Music therapy or music psychotherapy is an evidence-based psychological intervention and music therapists are trained at a specialist level to employ psychodynamic thinking to support and treat clients. Because it is practiced as a form of psychotherapy, it is an interactive form of therapy during which music is made by both the client(s) and the therapist, and where the therapeutic “work” often happens in the musical relationship. There are many different approaches, however music is usually improvised, i.e. “made up” on the spot, and the communication and the dialogue in the music are created by the way in which the therapist and client respond to each other in the music. These responses may be discussed verbally after the musical play to support the client’s deepening insight and to illuminate the client’s communication and social patterns.
Together with a growing body of research into the benefits of music in promoting the development and rehabilitation of speech, motor skills and other more physical and sensory responses, music therapy is one of the most versatile forms of therapy available; well-placed to tend to the body, mind, psyche, and soul.
What are the differences between music lessons and music therapy?
The aims of music therapy are to support clients with a range of needs, including communication and emotional difficulties. Although gaining some musical skill could sometimes be a by-product of music therapy, it is never the main aim. It must be made very clear that the music therapist is not your music teacher. The therapist-client relationship is different from that of a teacher-student and requires a particular kind of sensitivity, confidentiality, and training. If you do want to learn music at any point, the therapist can support you in achieving that goal through nurturing your confidence and motivation and possibly helping to signpost you to someone who could help.
How many sessions must I have?
There is no set amount, however therapy is about building a relationship between client and therapist. As such, a recommended amount is a minimum of 10-12 sessions. The number of sessions will always be decided together with the client or the client’s carer(s) after an assessment process of 3 sessions.
Can anyone have music therapy?
Music therapy is particularly helpful for those who have trouble communicating verbally. The power of music in evoking emotions and in allowing people to express themselves without having to find the “right words” is one of the reasons music therapy is so effective. Having said that, anyone who is interested in experiencing music therapy is welcome. An attitude of openness and curiosity can be helpful in discovering yourself through musical encounters, however that same attitude can also be something that one can find through the process of music therapy.
N.B. If there is a waiting list, priority will be given to those with more severe and debilitating difficulties.
If I am having online music therapy sessions, how will they work?
Whilst engaging in music therapy over a video conferencing app may not be the most ideal, many music therapists had to adapt when faced with how to continue supporting their clients when COVID-19 struck and playing music together in the same room was no longer possible. At MdC Music Therapy, we are committed to serving you during the health crisis and beyond by striving to be innovative and creative about online musical support. We have so far introduced a “music therapy experiment” on social media to reach out to people, and we have used novel ways of keeping music at the heart of our work with clients by thinking outside the box about how instruments can be used during online sessions, using technology to produce music and soundscapes inspired by sessions with clients, songwriting with clients, and using music as a response to our clients’ stories and feeling states. We pledge to always protect your best interests and to be transparent with you about how music therapy is adapting during this time.
– Master of Arts in Music Therapy from Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London) – Safeguarding Training Level 3 – Zero Suicide Alliance >> Suicide Awareness Training – Diploma in Jazz (with Piano as First Study) from Lasalle College of the Arts (Singapore) MUSIC THERAPY EXPERIENCE: – Worked with children with autism and their families in an NHS Child Development Centre – Worked with nursery-aged children in an infant school, providing group music therapy for children with varying levels of need and abilities – Worked in adult mental health in a community outpatient NHS setting, providing individual and group music therapy for individuals living with mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders – Private music therapy practice since 2019 I have been in personal psychotherapy for 3 years and have regular music therapy supervision with a BAMT-registered supervisor.
Health and Care Professions Council Registration No: AS16717 British Association for Music Therapy Member since 2018 National Allied Health Professionals BAME Network Member Association for Music Therapy Singapore Member since 2020
Assessment fees: £150 for 3 sessions (including referral and signposting to other services if needed) £60 for a 50-minute individual session (please ask for package rates) £90 for a 60-minute family session All fees are negotiable on a sliding scale depending on clients’ circumstances.