Meet Our Music Therapists: Introducing Ainslie Martin
Ainslie is a Registered Psychotherapist and Certified Music Therapist who works with patients from Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatry (CAIP). She helps youth expand their use of music in order to support mental wellness. Here is her story about what it is like to be a music therapist who works with children and youth receiving mental health care at Grand River Hospital:
Creative expression has always come naturally to me. I love theatre, writing, art and music. I feel the most “me” when I’m creating.
This is also the case for many of the youth I meet. I often hear, “Music is my biggest coping strategy”. For kids, music has a kind of magnetic appeal. It’s hard to resist the opportunity to play an instrument, write a song or talk about the lyrics that you just can’t get out of your head.
Music can be the bridge to therapeutic work. I was recently facilitating a song-writing group, and a patient with significant social anxiety was watching from the hallway. He had not attended any groups on the unit. He found himself drawn into the creative process and started shouting lyrics from the doorway. When the other patients noticed, they invited him to join them. Music therapy was the only group he attended while at CAIP.
Music therapy is a safe space to move out of your comfort zone: to feel, to express, to try something new, to get unstuck. I often hear, “I feel like a weight has lifted,” “I didn’t know I could do that” or “I didn’t know that part of me was still there.”
— Ainslie Martin – Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatry (CAIP)