It's hard to believe that 2019 is coming to an end! Just last week, our team at Miya Music Therapy met at a delicious cafe called Cacao 70 on Queen Street in downtown Toronto for our end of the year self-reflection/journaling event. It was a real treat for me on multiple levels: seeing the team, eating chocolate (my favourite), and taking the time to slow down and do some self-reflecting.
One of our awesome team members, Steffi, led us through some amazing and thoughtful question/journaling prompts to get us thinking about ways we have personally grown and changed over the year and what is truly important to us each as we move forward into 2020. I found this so valuable! It got me thinking about some questions we can also ask ourselves for professional self-reflection as music therapists. So, here are 10 sets of questions to ask yourself at the end of this year.
Make sure to get out a journal, a pen, and if you're like us at MMT - a bunch of chocolate!
1. Work-Life Balance
Have I had a healthy work-life balance this year? - Am I happy with how many clinical hours I facilitate per week? - Will the number of hours I work inevitably lead to burn out? - Do I have enough time for me? - Do I have enough time to spend with loved ones? - How can I improve this in the new year? - What action steps should I take?
Have I been receiving enough support this year? - Am I seeing a therapist of my own? - Am I feeling supported by my family and friends? - Am I speaking with a clinical supervisor or a peer supervision group to discuss clinical challenges? - How can I make improvements in this area to better my professional health and the outcome for my clients?
Have I made time to enjoy or play music for myself and not just for my clients? - Have I explored and enjoyed new music or new genres? - Has my repertoire grown this year? How can I make sure to continue to or begin to use music more in my own life outside of work? Is there a new instrument I want to learn, but haven't had the chance yet?
4. Theoretical Orientation
Has my theoretical orientation, model, or clinical approach changed at all this year? - What influences these changes? -Am I noticing major changes in outcomes for my clients since these changes occurred? - Could I benefit from further training in any of these areas?
5. True to Myself
Am I being true to myself in terms of my career choices? - Am I happy being a subcontractor/employer/business owner? - Why or why not? - What about my career choices is a clear reflection of who I am and what I want to achieve?
6. Professional Network
Have I enjoyed networking this year? - Have I networked within or outside of the music therapy field? - Did I find this beneficial? - How can I continue to expand my professional network in the year ahead?
7. Professional Development
Have I taken enough time for professional development and continuing education this year? - Have they been in areas that are of true interest to me? - How can I improve these experiences in the new year? - Do I feel I have grown and developed professionally over the past year? - In what ways?
Which professionals inspired me this year? - Whose work do I admire and why? - Have I connected with these individuals? - Can I receive supervision or coaching from them? - Have I thanked them for the inspiration? - What else keeps me feeling inspired? - Is there anything in my physical space that I could improve to help me feel inspired?
9. Keeping Up
How do I keep up with my profession? Is it by reading the latest research, subscribing to journals and news articles in my areas of interest, keeping up on social media, regularly meeting with peers? - Do I enjoy the way I keep up or do I find it draining? - How can I make healthy and positive changes in this area?
10. Goals and Dreams
Has my idea of 'success' changed at all this year?' - What are my professional goals and dreams? - Have my actions and decisions this past year been a reflection of this? - What's stopping me from taking steps to achieve my goals and dreams? - How can I work through what's stopping me? - What action steps can I take in 2020 to get one step closer to achieving my dreams?