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Frequently Asked Questions

What is music therapy? Music therapy is the application of music and the science of how it impacts the body, brain, and nervous system, to achieve non-musical functional goals, in a relationship with a board-certified music therapist. Goals can address sensory, motor, emotional, social, communication and cognitive domains. This means that after the application of music therapy interventions, the benefits and skills gained by the individual should be seen in non-musical contexts. Music therapy can include the use of active music-making like singing and instrument play, moving to music, music listening and perception, songwriting, improvisation, or recorded music as a tool to achieve those goals. Music therapists must have at least a bachelor's degree in music therapy, followed by completion of a clinical internship of 1,200 hours, and then pass the board certification exam administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. You can learn more at musictherapy.org.

What is DIR®/Floortime? According to Profectum, the organization through which Derlin Hsu received certificate training, "The Profectum Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based Model is an intervention providing a developmental framework for interdisciplinary assessment for autism and other developmental and mental health challenges. It is a comprehensive foundation model that utilizes affect-based interactions and experiences tailored to individual needs to promote development" (Profectum, n.d.). You can learn more at profectum.org/dir.

What does an in-person session look like? Goals and recommendations ascertained in the initial assessment period guide treatment. These are agreed upon by the individual and/or caregivers, and therapist together. Using the tools of music, we address individual/family goals. (See above "What is music therapy" for more info.) Sessions can include music making with instruments, moving to music, music listening, dialogue, vocal play, a cappella singing, use of improvised or preferred songs, playing with toys, pretend play or engaging in whatever the individual is interested in. Since the foundation for all learning is engagement and trust within relationships, this can involve music, and sometimes it may not, depending on what the individual shows engagement in. Sessions will likely include the use of sensory integration strategies to help with self-regulation and caregiver collaboration. We can use the instruments I bring in as well as whatever instruments, and interests the individual or child/family have in the home. Again, materials will depend on individual-led interests and/or play.

What is involved in virtual telehealth therapy consultations? This consultation typically happens specifically for family/caregivers of a client receiving music therapy, and when we need to talk about the client with caregivers. Out of respect for them and to avoid talking about them as if they were not there, I recommend discussion about the client with caregivers only. If deemed therapeutically appropriate for a client (pedatric) to participate in a virtual session, we typically start sessions with the caregiver briefly, followed by time with the client and caregiver together, concluded by a debrief with the caregiver. (We speak directly with those receiving therapy and include them in the dialogue.) If deemed therapeutically appropriate and beneficial, virtual sessions may be offered to the adult individual who is able to manipulate a computer with assistance or independently.

Do you work with neurodivergent adults? Yes, absolutely. The foundational pieces in music therapy and DIR®/Floortime are important and applicable for all ages because they are based in the science of human development and neuroplasticity. Music therapy can create lasting change for any brain that wants to engage in it!

What is your payment method? Payment is private pay/out of pocket and billed at the end of the month. Insurance is not accepted at this time. Sliding scale is a possibility on a case by case basis, just contact me to discuss your situation. My goal is to make therapy accessible and equitable while also ensuring an equitable compensation for my labor. Regional Center has the Self-Determination program which allows you to spend a budgeted amount on services of your choosing. This may be one way to pay for music therapy services. See: https://www.rceb.org/clients/self-determination/

Can you collaborate with other clinicians? Yes, absolutely. I love connecting and collaborating with other clinicians to holistically address all desired goals and outcomes for you or your loved one. Just contact me directly regarding this.

Children Playing Bongo Drums
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