Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dragons & Music Therapy. Michael Van Dam, LCSW

Billie Bixbee was rather surprised when he woke up one morning and found a dragon in his room. It was a small dragon, about the size of a kitten. The dragon wagged its tail happily when Billy patted its head. Billy went downstairs to tell his mother. "There's no such thing as a dragon!" said Billy's mother. And she said it like she meant it. In Jack Kent's children's book, "There's NO Such Thing as a DRAGON" we learn that this dragon that Billie insisted was real but that his Mom refused to acknowledge, by the afternoon, filled the whole house with its head hanging out the front door, its tail hanging out the back, and there wasn't a room in the house that didn't have some part of the dragon in it. Only when Billy's Dad came home who too saw that something was wrong did Billy's mother admit that there was indeed a DRAGON in the house. Ironically, the dragon again "wagged its tail happily. Then, even faster than it had grown, the dragon started getting smaller. Soon it was kitten-size again. "I don't mind it this THIS size," said Mother. "Why did it have to grow so BIG?" "I'm not sure, said Billy, "but I think it just wanted to be noticed." Dragons, big or small, are often lodged within our own minds and hearts and too need to be noticed, acknowledged, talked about, comforted, and made small in order for them to not become overwhelming. Yet often there isn't opportunity, permission, or ability to talk about these dragons. As a music therapist, I love to use music to help this happen, both in individual as well as in group therapy. Music has the power to help access, open, and express thoughts and feelings that can be more difficult to do in conversation alone. Dragons that may seem daunting may in surprisingly short amounts of time become quite manageable with a little creative opportunity. Michael Van Dam, LCSW Michael can be reached at 801.815.6152 to schedule an appointment.

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