How can I make a living from drum therapy?

by amy devine
(cambridgeshire, england)

Hello, I'm a drummer and I've started doing drum workshops for people with learning difficulties. The few sessions that I've done have gone really well but the problem is, I'm not a trained therapist!! The sessions entail sections on emotion, and how the drum kit, percussion instruments and other drums can convey emotions such as anger, sadness and happiness. We work together on rhythm and create different sounds. So my question is how much do you think i should be charging an hour with no real qualifications. I'm doing my grades and am up to a grade 4, I don't advertise myself as a drum therapist or anything but i know there are people out there who charge £40 an hour and wondered if you thought that was a bit steep. There have been about 5 or 6 residents in each group that I've done.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Kind regards
Amy Devine

Ben's Answer:

I've known fine drummers who do excellent "therapeutic" work with people, but don't have a therapist's license. It would be wrong and misleading to call yourself a "therapist" without the credentials, but you could use another term like "building community through rhythm" or "learning life skills through drumming" - there are lots of possibilities. I couldn't comment on the appropriate fee. It depends on the area you live in, and the usual, average rate for that sort of activity in your community. What people pay you is a reflection of your own self-worth and of the value that they place on what you have to offer. If you are helping people and you know you have something valuable to offer, then don't sell yourself short.

Keep gaining experience and confidence in what you do, and you will get clear about what monetary value to place on your services.

As Joseph Campbell says, "Follow your Bliss!"

Best Wishes,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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