How clients experience and benefit from music therapy often depends on the approach that the therapist has and the rapport that gets built between the therapist and the client. Micaela takes on a nuanced approach that emphasizes relational learning over dominant behavioural practices in the field of pediatric therapy. This means that she works alongside clients and is focused on building common understandings. With this approach, it is possible to collaboratively develop a sustainable and individualized experience of therapy. With some clients, we are routine-oriented, focused on skill-building. With other clients, we are laid back and explorative about the process of making music. Neither is better than the other in general, but some approaches fit better with one person compared to another.
In general, music can act as a medium for self-understanding, expression, communication, and its accessible nature provides opportunities to do so. Micaela focuses on both the process and product of therapeutic work with clients, acknowledging that both can serve a useful and fulfilling purpose to one’s own development.
Philosophy & Cultural Competence
Micaela is passionate about Educational Psychology (how we learn) and Moral Philosophy (how we come to understand what is right and what is wrong) and incorporates dialogue and knowledge from these areas into her work with clients. She is currently in the final year of her Master’s in Educational Psychology and takes an interest particularly in improving inclusive education practices. The hope is to make the scholastic system truly accessible and enriching for all children. Inclusion is an umbrella term that includes supporting equitable practices for children experiencing marginalization and systemic barriers within many aspects of life, including education.
Micaela acknowledges that her work is with primarily autistic and ADHD children and youth that often experience social marginalization (exclusion for acting divergently from social norms) and prioritizes listening to their experiences in the world (school, friends, family) to inform how she can work most caringly and ethically to support their development as people. She believes that every child is capable of discovering new information about themselves and others and believes that this process builds a sense of empowerment that will lead to a better quality of life in a variety of ways. Play is a valued skill that can often facilitate this process for children and youth.