In this video, Psychology & Counseling student Jake Brennan shares a musical composition he made as he processed what learned in his Goddard internship. Read his statement below:
“As an artist I am always reflecting on what is going on within and around me through my art. Last year, I started interning as a full-time clinician at an in-patient substance abuse treatment center. The work is intense. I love it, and many times at the end of the day I find I have put most of what I have into learning how best to sit and talk and listen with clients in the one-on-one setting. This is good, yet often leaves me both mentally and emotionally exhausted.
“The songs I write and way I play guitar reflect my experiences; they are my most meaningful way of expressing myself and making sense of the world around me.
“I noticed in the first months of my internship that my style of playing guitar was significantly affected. I found unconventional open tunings that I’d never played before, and was forced to relearn the guitar using different musical shapes, scales, and phrasings than I was used to. In doing this, I was able to experience myself from a different musical perspective. I took what I knew, what was familiar, and de-familiarized it. Looking back, I see this was a way for me to process the challenges I was experiencing through my artistic expression. I needed to use different tunings because my familiar mode of expression needed changing in order to meet the unfamiliarity of my work.
“The music I created during the beginning of my internship represents a new way of experiencing myself, and a new form of expression. The medium is the same, but it needed to be changed and made new in order for me to continue to find myself in it. I see my music from this time period as a fitting representation of what I was learning to do with counseling.”