Hello my SoulSongblog friends!!!
Well Nashville has recovered from the ice and snow storm and now it seems that Mother Nature is throwing out temperatures like a powerball machine...30, 65, 14, 72, 36...geesh!! That's fahrenheit not celsius my Canadian peeps. We go from winter boots to flip flops, gloves then t-shirts...I'm so confused!! But at least we can get the vehicles down the driveway...yay!!!
So this is blog #3 (you can go back and read the other two if you missed them at lisabrokop.com/soulsongsblog). The first two talked about my concept of song therapy and how I came up with the idea, what a 'soul song' is and also my good friends testimony from her song therapy session with me. I have another testimony to share in my next blog but first I'd like to share a bit about what I'm doing to be a certified mental health coach.
Formal education for me has been somewhat limited in my life. I graduated from grade 12 (barely) in Surrey, BC, Canada and never went to college or university. Some of you already know that music has always been my focus and I was recording and releasing music to radio and touring across Canada by the time I was 16. So anything beyond highschool was definitely not on my list of priorities at that time! I chose to go with the 'street smarts' approach if you will...ha! But I'm finding that during this part of my life I have a strong desire to learn more, to gain knowledge and perhaps study something new. Learning more about mental health has definitely been at the forefront of those thoughts so I prayed about it, wondering what direction to go in. But as I prayed I felt like God was saying to wait...don't strive. And then not too long after that prayer I received a call from one of my church leaders who told me that they had just been contacted by the Amercan Association of Christian Counselors about their '2020 Dare2Care Initiative'. The AACC was inviting our church to join with 750 other churches around the country to offer training to some of our members to become Mental Health First Responders. Funding was already in place so the course would be offered free of charge and she wanted to know if I might want to participate. I said ABSOLUTELY!!! It seemed like perfect opportunity!
As of right now I'm about halfway through the course. Everything is online and I am able to work at my own pace and within whatever schedule works for me. The main goal of the course is to learn how to 'recognize, respond and refer' as we come along side someone who may be with mental illness. Often people come to their church first before seeking treatment anywhere else so we will be trained to respond in a way that will get them the treatment they need. We are NOT therapists. We are coaches. We will be there to listen, encourage and help direct them to the places and people who can truly get to the root of the problem.
I think it's important to emphasize the difference between a coach and a therapist. From what I understand, a therapist will focus on past traumas and issues to change self destructive habits and work through painful feelings. A coach will work with a client to clarify goals and identify obstacles and problematic behaviors and help create an action plan to achieve desired results. A coach will work with a clients current starting point and go onward from there where as a therapist may need to go deeper into the subconscious to find resolution and is trained to do that. A coach is not. Knowing the difference and understanding where the boundaries lie between these two is extremely important for the emotional safety of the client.
I'm so grateful that the AACC has offered this because I believe the need is going to grow exponentially now that we have gone through almost an entire year of living in a pandemic. Anxiety levels, addiction and suicide numbers have risen dramatically since March of 2020. We have all witnessed immense societal change including quarantining, zoom classes, endless Netflix shows and separation from family and friends. For some, the effects of the pandemic have created new problems, for others this pandemic has just added to an already existing problem making it seem insurmountable. Financial stress, job loss, failing grades for our children/teenagers, isolation and loss of community are all taking their toll on us.
All of this say, people are going to need to help. And people need to know its ok to ask for help because we can't do it alone! But I believe every person has the ability within themselves to overcome any obstacle no matter how impossible it may seem especially when we align ourselves with will of God and His plans for us.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, 'For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'
I never would have guessed in a million years that I would be taking this direction at this point in my life but when I leave it up to God things usually end up being nothing like what I had planned...lol...but somehow even on the hardest day there seems to be more joy and contentment when I don't try to do it my way...just sayin..:)
Well, Mother nature decided to bring the perfect weather for blog writing. Nashville is in the middle of an ice/snow storm and we don't have very many salt trucks so they are definitely not making it out to the side streets and we live on a pretty steep hill so getting a vehicle down the drive is not gonna happen. But lucky for us, when this happens the entire city panics and becomes completely incapacitated and no one expects anything from you..ha! Oh, and we're also in a pandemic so it just makes good sense to stay home ..right??
But lets talk song therapy!! I'd like to tell you about my very first experience with it. Well the truth is, I didn't even know that's what I was doing. I had scheduled a session to write a song with a friend who had a topic she wanted to write about. She's not a musician and had only dabbled with writing a bit and thought it would be fun to give it a try. She began to tell me about the death of someone she'd been in a long term relationship with and what that was like. I began to make some notes and asked her some questions and she had some ideas too and after 2 hours of talking and singing and talking some more we had a finished product and a unique song that was all hers! And she said, "You should be a therapist!" It was then that a lightbulb went on in my head...maybe there's more therapeutic value to this than I realized. And that's how the idea of Song Therapy was born.
Now I do need to make it clear that I'm NOT a therapist and will never pretend to be. Eventually I will have credentials to be a mental health coach. I'm about halfway through the program but being a 'coach' versus being a 'therapist' is really quite different and important to separate the two, but that's another blog. (Coming soon)
Back to her testimony from the experience. She asked to remain anonymous so I've left her name out but here's what she said:
"Going into this experience I thought, well it'll be something unique to do and didn't realize how beneficial it would be. What I got out of it was amazing! I found closure with the death of my significant other through this song. It is a form of art that will stand the test of time and is a beautiful homage to an experience that caused me great pain. I found that Lisa is very easy to talk to and has a way of pulling things out of you in a gentle way. I would definitely recommend it and I would do it again with other issues in my life 100%. During these hard times with covid and day to day life this is a very healing way to deal with things. Thumbs up Lisa!"
This Soul Song was about a small chapter in her life...she has survived and persevered through some huge obstacles from the day she was born. She is extremely brave courageous and I am honored that she allowed me to be included on this small piece of her healing journey. Wishing her love, light and every blessing!!!
This is my new blog!! I’m pretty excited about some new things on the rise and I’d like to share them with you!
I have to say that as strange as 2020 was with everything going on in the world it has been a complete reset button for me and has allowed me to see things from a different perspective and learn some very valuable lessons. And has brought some new ideas to the forefront of my mind.
You might be wondering why I’m calling this my soul songs blog so I’ll fill you in on that. I’ve been working on a new concept I like to call Song therapy which in a nut shell means giving voice to ones story or life experience through song in hopes of finding healing in the process. I’ve always had a passion for mental health and of course I’ve always had a passion for music and I feel like I’m being led in the direction of bringing those two things together in the form of Song Therapy! This is all very new but I have had the opportunity to do this with a handful of people so far and it has been truly amazing and so rewarding to witness the healing that happens when they begin to see their own words/stories come to life in a song!! And that is where the term soul song comes from...it’s the result of a song therapy session...a soul song..👏
I also want to use this blog to share my thoughts on other topics as well. Not so much about my career as a performer etc but about the real life stuff...soul song stuff!!! Like being a mom...homeschooling during a pandemic...how I’m studying to be a mental health coach (yup, I really am) and of course more about Song Therapy!!! And of course, the foundation for all of it, prayer, praise and the Word! In other words..God stuff..:)
So I feel like the ‘SoulSongBlog’ might be a good umbrella for some conversation about things that matter to me and that I hope will strike a chord with you as well!!!
Would love for you to join me on this new venture!!! Stay tuned...
PS- If you’d like to know more about SongTherapy and would like to have your own SoulSong..please message me through lisabrokop.com/contactus