“To Know My Insecurities Is To Know Me” : an arts-based reflexive study on a first-year music therapist’s experiences of vulnerability
SubjectResearch Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects::Music; Music therapy; Music therapists; Music -- Psychological aspects; Arts-based research; Reflexivity; Songwriting
This paper details an arts-based self-study utilizing reflexive songwriting to explore my experiences with vulnerability in my first year as a professional music therapist. In a self-designed arts-based research framework, I reflected on the feelings of vulnerability I experienced in my work as they pertain to uncertainty, emotional exposure, risk, perceived inadequacy, and loss of control. I generated personal responses through stream-of-consciousness writing, which informed the composition of two original songs, “Impostor Syndrome” and “Breathe”. I then analyzed these songs for personal meaning and insight. The relationship between feelings of vulnerability, reflexivity, and self-growth was an emergent theme of this process. The results of this study hold implications for further music therapy research involving arts-based, reflexive practices, particularly for new professionals intending to enhance self-awareness.
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