DOI: 10.36850/epwz-jj23 ISSN: 2667-1204

“But I didn’t understand your handwriting!” Uncovering the significance of therapy progress notes for parents in music therapy

Tamar Hadar
  • General Materials Science

In this piece, I will explore a mistake I made by randomly handing a progress note to a parent at the end of a music therapy session, while overlooking the power imbalances embedded in such an act. I will share a clinical vignette involving Xavier, the father of a little girl named Blossom, who was only 10 months old, had many physical challenges, had severely impaired eyesight, and at the time could only sparsely respond to her loving environment. I will begin by describing a moment in the session when the father expressed his frustration from not being able to understand my handwriting in the progress note handed to him. Then, I will explore the unattended, underlying cultural and relational gaps in therapy that were captured in the virtually unnoticed gesture of handing a parent a scribbled progress note. Finally, I will examine the therapeutic requests expressed in such an important critique, which I failed to acknowledge as the family's therapist, focusing on aspects relating specifically to music therapy.

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