Saturday, December 8, 2012

A MAJOR Moment



      That picture does not even begin to sum up all of my emotions at this point in time.

"Wait....WHAT?" Absolutely cannot believe it has been 5 and a half months already, I literally feel like I was just freaking out about moving to Cleveland.

I'm actually quite scared out of my mind, this means I'm a big girl now, and officially in the real world.

Beyond ecstatic, this internship was the most challenging thing I've ever had to do in my life, and I did it....I DID IT. (knock on wood of course, a week.5 could be a while)

And finally, I am a little sad. I have learned more than I ever thought possible, made brilliant new friends, grown a thick skin, and really felt at home at UH.  I feel like I never want to leave this place!

**I do have future plans, they just have to be solidified before I can let you all in on them ;)**

SO. Here it is:   Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT)

Melodic Intonation Therapy is a Neurologic Music Therapy technique used with clients who have experienced brain damage and have trouble with speech production.  By singing simple phrases to a basic rhythm with a melody that matches inflections found in natural speech will help stimulate the right hemisphere of the brain (for speech production).

I'm pretty sure anyone who has every asked me what Music Therapy is, I use this technique as an example one of the things we do...

But here is the general process:
1. Identify a phrase
2. Grab the clients left hand (to access right sight of brain) and tap a steady rhythm
3. Hum your phrase to a melody in rhythm
4. Add words to your melody (have them watch your mouth)
5. Invite the client to sing the melody with you
6. Therapist will fade out
7. Therapist will initiate call and response: therapist says phrase first then client will repeat
8. Transition into speech instead of singing (brief)
9. Stop rhythm tapping, ask the client a relavent question so they must respond with the phrase they just re-learned
10. Watch them hear themselves speak the phrase correctly and form a huge smile.

I have had the pleasure of working with a WONDERFUL patient who suffered a terrible stroke.  This stroke left them with the ability to completely understand speech, but unable to correctly produce it.  Fixated on the sound "N," they would become very frustrated because they knew what they wanted to say, but just couldn't say it! The family often times got frustrated as well saying "You know how to say 'Bye' JUST SAY IT!"

Dr. Deforia Lane was in the room with me one of the first times we were working with this patient and she explained this frustration PERFECTLY

"You telling [the pt.] to just say the words is like me telling you to just sing You Are My Sunshine backwards!"

Right away, they got it.  We all know the words to you are my sunshine but we would have to do some real cognitive labor to produce it backwards.

Anyway, so I worked with this patient for about 2 weeks (on multiple goals related to their recovery) but on the last session, we implemented MIT, they picked the phrase "my sister-in-law" (because she was in the room visiting). The patient went from literally not being able to say a single one of those words, to articulating them with 100% accuracy.  They heard it, went bug-eyed, covered their mouth, and started dancing! Then the whole room busted out singing "I'M SO EXCITED! AND I JUST CANT HIDE IT!"  
           **working on getting permission to release the videos of these sessions, if I get it I'll post em!

                                That day will be a day I will NEVER forget. 

Here is an example of a music therapist doing MIT----> 1:02

Jaclyn Bradley-Palmer (SHE IS AMAZING, she also works at UH. She's not only a great therapist, but a wonderful person in general!) Jaclyn has been a big source of support and inspiration for me! Thanks Jaclyn!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

If it ain't baroque, don't fix it..unless it becomes a major problem.

Oh my goodness I have not updated in a very long time, please accept my sincerest apologies!

To make it up to you, I'll share my new favorite video right now...Gotta love A Fine Frenzy!

Please also take note, she has hair tinsel--EVERYONE LAUGHED AT ME WHEN I WANTED THIS!

ANYWHO, as usual LOTS has been happening!  I'll give you a quick update of what I've been up to and follow up later this week to describe a couple of the patients I am following and what I'm doing with them!

I just finished up my psych rotation which is a BIG DEAL--I am so proud of myself and am really coming into my own as a therapist.  I had four sessions where I lectured and implemented music interventions related to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
             Session 1: Support systems
             Session 2: Emotional Regulation
             Session 3: Self-Esteem
             Session 4: CBT themes in Lyric Analysis (I let the patients pick songs and talk about
             them, then let the group analyze the song as it relates to their recovery and CBT themes)

I got great feedback from my supervisors, but am very happy this part of the internship is over--it was a HUGE challenge!

I only have about a month left, WHERE DOES TIME GO?!
I am very, VERY much looking forward to coming home for the Thanksgiving holiday

As I finish up, my focus now shifts to following my own patients, finishing the geriatric rotation at the Rock Hall, making a presentation about music therapy to high school students, and finishing my research project.  My research project is all about starting a new music therapy program at a separate University Hospitals campus (right up the road from the Seidman Cancer Center).  I go there once every other week to see patients, familiarize myself with the facility/the 3 or 4 different units, and get to know the staff.  I am also learning about finding grant money for funding, making budgets, and other administrative duties.  This is ultimately setting me up for much success as a professional......................     ;)

Be sure to check back later this week to read stories of a couple of my current patients:
      Patient 1: Referrred for anxiety and agitation
      Patient 2: Referred for pain, and now following for physical therapy co-treating
      Patient 3: Referred for mood modification, an older woman and her husband

Much love you all!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Thanks For Taking a MINUET to REED My Newest Update!


After three months of craziness, highs, lows, new faces, and growth I am writing this update from home in VA.  I got to come home this weekend and be with my friends and family.  This was MUCH needed as I am going into the most intense part of my internship and my work load is getting larger and larger.

Its wonderful to sleep in my own bed and let loose with my friends--last night we all dressed up and headed out to DCs "Nightmare on M Street." Here is a picture of some of us starting off the evening! (Cop, Flubber, Kitty, Surgeon, Nerd, Nurse, Popeye)  There were some AWESOME costumes out--I LOVE Halloween!!

Now onto business:

I have officially started two new rotations: IOP, and Star Rockers.

Star Rockers is another group I get to work with at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!  A small census of 5 wonderful geriatric clients.  The IOP Program is a group for adults with mood disorders.  We use music therapy to address issues the patients discuss in their other groups in new ways in hopes to give them a new or different perspective on things.  It's a little nerve racking because I spend a whole hour talking with these people about some pretty deep things. I am so thankful and honored they open up to me and are engaged in what I present them--over these next 4 weeks I hope to make (even a small) difference in their recovery. My first session went very well, we focused on the topic of support systems.  I worked towards the goal through worksheets, lyric analysis, and a songwriting intervention.  Next week I'll be doing a session about mood modification and mood matching with music. In this rotation, I not only work on my music therapy skills, but also counseling skills!

Last but not least, I also got my 3 Month Evaluation (DUHN DUHN DUHN) <--creepy music...did you get that?

It went very well!!  Every evaluation has great things, aaaaand talks about areas that need improvement.  Nothing my supervisors said came to a complete shock.  It was wonderful to hear them talk about some of the great things I'm doing and how much I have grown.  I also enjoyed the opportunity to be able to express how much I am learning and coming into my own as a professional. Personally, the main thing I want to work on is my confidence in ALL of my skills.  Over the past 3 months, I have gained new skills and refined others, the next step is to recognize all of my strengths and to utilize the skills that I KNOW I have.  If I can do that---I can do soooo much more for my clients!

I thank all of you for your continued support and interest in what I am doing! I pray you all stay safe in HURRICANE SANDY'S path!

"I got chills they're multiplyin......"


(Making light of a terrible circumstance..)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Conference has me BEAT.

Wow, wow, WOW what a great week/weekend!

Just have to briefly mention I have now started going to Hope Lodge twice a month

The Joseph S. & Jeannette M. Silber Hope Lodge is a unique home away from home for people who need temporary, comfortable, supportive accommodations offered free of charge during cancer treatment.

This outreach rotation is just such an honor, the interns at UH get free range of these evenings, planning any kind of music activities/interventions and the people we serve are among the bravest and most wonderful.

Lindsay and I had our first session and we played music bingo; there were about a dozen residents and all of them sang, played instruments, and loved us for a little more than an hour.  One man continued to thank us for bringing what we do to them, saying "You are truly doing God's work."

I cannot wait to continue to visit Hope Lodge during the last stretch of my internship.

most of all...this weekend was AMTA's NATIONAL CONFERENCE in Chicago (well..St. Charles, but close enough right)

It was a total blast, and such a great way to spend my last days as junior intern and say goodbye to Lindsay :(

Lectures I attended:
  • Utilizing the iPad in a Medical Setting
  • AMTA Business Meeting (and a celebration of life)
  • Innovative Expressions: an experiential session showing great intervention ideas
  • Success: Establishing a Music Therapy Program in an Adult General/Specialty Hospital
  • Managing a Medical Music Therapy Program in Changing Economic Times
  • Personal Disclosure in Music Therapy Sessions
  • Vocal Psychotherapy
  • Research Committee--Music Therapy for Pain Management
  • ....not to mention the opening ceremonies with "The Four Bitchin' Babes" (seriously that's what the group was called)
This was my first NATIONAL conference and there were so many lectures during each time slot that I wanted to attend, but had to pick and choose.  I learned a ton, and had fun while doing it, so thanks to all the amazing presenters and the tools you've given me!

All the learning was masked by constant fun--constantly surrounded by beautiful music and people from all over the nation/world that shared my passion was simply amazing! 

Lindsay and I were quite the jet setters this weekend, even stopping in downtown Chicago on our way in for a bit of sight seeing and coffee--Chicago is pretty cool, wish we had more time there!

We spent Thursday-Sunday livin it up at the beautiful Pheasant Run resort..causing a ruckus with our fellow music therapy professionals/students/and even supervisors ;)

Here is a view from our room:

I had a chance to hangout, grab drinks, and go to dinner with some of the best people around: SHENANDOAH UNIVERSITY!!!! (Shoutout to Dr. Rohrbacher, Bronwen, Dr. Tauge, Claire, Brenton, Hannah, Alison, Kara, Kristina, Tracey, Sarah, and Jackie (Hope I didn't forget anyone!)

I enjoyed all the networking I got to do, meeting tons of new professionals and friends that are doing great things in our field.  It was fun to meet the MT's I follow via social media too!

As we said goodbye to 2012's conference a stretch limo awaited to take Lindsay and I to the airport

 Lindsay is off to do some amazing things, she got a job in Columbus, OH working in an acute adult psych facility--I could not be more excited for her, she deserves it!

I cannot begin to tell you how much she has done for me over these crazy 3 months, I am so blessed to have had her!!  She helped me in and out of the hospital, being there for me whenever I needed her, and became a true confidant and friend. I have no idea how Deforia and the rest of UH has put up with us for all this time.  LOVE YOU LINDSAY!!!

With that said...I am OFFICIALLY senior intern.  Boom.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Always stay composed Christine.

This post is just a bit of nothing, or everything, just for fun.

Some VERY VERY cool things are developing and I cannot wait to share them with all of you.
                (Send some positive thoughts my way people!)

First off, this is my horoscope of the day, I absolutely had to share:

Marilyn Monroe (my idol) said "Always stay true to yourself, retain individuality."  This is a statement I live by, and the fact that my horoscope encourages me to encourage others' individuality, and incorporates music ;-), is pretty cool---so everyone, BE YOU and love it!!! Do something original today, and if its not original, just do something for yourself.

Just like Natalie Portman:

(If you haven't seen Garden it)

Embracing who I am and how I contrast, in or out of harmony with others, has been a huge part of this internship, and it has done me WONDERS!  My faults and mistakes give me opportunities to learn, and my strengths help me stand out, give me confidence, and make me a special part of the Music Therapy team at UH Hospitals.  I am going into a field where there really is no monotony and I don't think I'll ever loose myself or get bored. I honestly hope the same for all of those people who don't like their jobs or who feel stuck in the 9-5.

11 Days till National Conference!

My Goals for the week:
             -Build more repertoire!!!
-Finish Hospice Rotation

             -Successfully go on rounds alone
             -Stay confident

Thanks for reading all!! Have a great week!  
I leave you now with an AWESOME music video by the AWESOME group Melodime, you may recognize a few people.....

Sunday, September 23, 2012

On another note...

What an exciting week it has been for me here in Cleveland--new life changes and curve balls, but more importantly a new therapy rotation!  Thursday I began my rotation with TODDLER ROCK.  Toddler rock is a program that brings kids 3-5 years old to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to participate in hour long classes that help them improve socialization, literacy, and language skills—all through music!  This class also helps the teachers by giving them new tools and strategies to use in their classroom.
I am beyond excited to be able to go to the Rock Hall every week and to get to know my class and be surrounded by all the music history.  Our first session was a group introduction with all the therapists and all the kids, probably about 200+ kids/teachers were present for this group.  As the kids sat with their schools I looked around; one group in particular looked like little angels—guess who lucked out and will be working with this class—you got it, me!
Over the course of 10 weeks, we will focus on 4 letters F, C, I, and T so if anyone knows any fun letter songs or games, send them my way!  I really feel that as a music therapist I do VERY well working with kids, I am even considering pursuing a job specifically for this population, but that could be a whole separate blog post in itself!

Things coming up to watch out for that I cannot wait to tell you about:
         I’ll be headed to National Conference.
         I’ll be saying goodbye to Lindsay and becoming SENIOR intern.
         I will be receiving my three-month evaluation
Things I’ve learned this week:
By learning about my patients and hearing their stories, I learn more about myself everyday.
Free coffee is AWESOME.
Even if an adult has a cognitive delay, speak to them as an adult.

If you haven’t heard of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—here is there website, its SUPER awesome and if anyone plans on coming to visit, I’ll take ya there!

Friday, September 14, 2012

GIF the heck outta here!

What I feel like when I have to lead a session on my own for the first time while my supervisors watch.

....when I rock it