from a Music Therapist
A music therapist will have current credentials, indicated by the letters MT-BC. "BC" stands for "board certified": a designation which indicates that the therapist has:
- graduated from a university program approved by the American Music Therapy Association, Inc. (AMTA);
- completed an approved internship; and
- passed the national competency exam given by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT). (Board certification is renewed every five years through re-taking the national exam, or by accumulating continuing education credits approved by the CBMT. A recent music therapy graduate should be able to show you a receipt of an application to sit for the board certification exam.)
A music therapist will adhere to our Scope of Practice, as outlined by AMTA and CBMT, and to the Code of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct from those associations. Copies of these documents are available by calling the association phone numbers listed below.
Among the standards of practice that a music therapist should demonstrate are the following:
- individualized assessments for each client;
- recommendations for or against treatment based on the assessment;
- written, time-specific goals and objectives for each client;
- a written treatment plan which specifies music therapy strategies and techniques which will be used to address the goals and objectives;
- regular music therapy sessions with strategies and techniques chosen on the basis of the assessment and goals.
- regular re-evaluation of the effectiveness of the interventions being used; written documentation; and
- dismissal of the client from music therapy when the services are no longer necessary or appropriate.
The music therapist will be able to discuss a treatment plan with professionals and family members, relating it both to current music therapy practice and the client's specific needs.
The music therapist will keep regular hours, give prompt notification of changes in the schedule or absences, and arrange to make up missed sessions if appropriate.
The music therapist will work only within his or her area of expertise (music therapy) and will co-treat with another professional when treatment involves therapeutic areas under another professional's domain.
Music therapists will maintain appropriate therapeutic boundaries with their clients and honor the administrative structure of the school, hospital, institution or facility at which they work. The music therapist will maintain strict confidentiality.
The music therapist will give adequate notice when relocating or when circumstances require that services be transferred to another therapist. The music therapist will make every effort to assist in locating other music therapists, and will participate in the hiring process when appropriate.
The music therapist will bill only for services that he or she has directly provided or supervised by agreement with the client or facility.
The music therapist will maintain a membership with his or her national association (in the United States, this would be the American Music Therapy Association) so as to receive current research and clinical journals, legislative news, and other important information.
The music therapist will demonstrate energy and enthusiasm for clients/students through:
- a caring and professional attitude;
- the creative production of appropriate materials and strategies;
- networking with other music therapists; and
- seeking out professional learning opportunities.
For more information, contact:
American Music Therapy Association
Certification Board for Music Therapists
Prelude Music Therapy (817) 481-2323