Music Therapy with Hilary
Hello, I’m Hilary, I’m an HCPC-registered music therapist, and I was diagnosed with autism as an adult.
“Where words fail, music speaks” (Hans Christian Anderson)
Music is a universal language, providing a way to communicate beyond words, whether words are difficult for you in general, or there are experiences, feelings and thoughts which you feel you cannot put into words. There may be many different kinds of issues and feelings that are arising for you after receiving your autism diagnosis. Through a post-diagnostic music therapy session, we can begin to explore and discover these new feelings and thoughts, as well as look back at memories or experiences which you may now be viewing in a different light, and look at the changes in your sense of identity which you may now be experiencing.
You do not need any experience of music to have a music therapy session. One option is to identify some different songs or pieces of music which reflect how you are feeling now about your diagnosis and your life in general. We could make some playlists together, including playlists of songs that express how you would like to feel (such as confident, self-accepting, hopeful) as you come to terms with your autism diagnosis and start to build a new and positive sense of autistic identity! We can also improvise/play some music together: there are some simple apps which you can download to play music if you do not have any instruments at home. Or, I can play some music for you in the moment (usually improvised), to give you some space to relax: I can also offer some simple guided meditations/visualisations if this appeals to you.
I have played music for almost my whole life (since the age of 7): music has always been deeply important to me, providing solace in times of distress, a way to express my feelings, a way to communicate with others that does not involve words, and a way to connect with other people, whether other musicians or audience members. After performing and teaching music for nearly twenty years, I chose to retrain as a music therapist, achieving a Masters degree in Music Therapy (with distinction) from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2019. I practice music therapy with a Neurodiversity-affirmative and person-centred approach, supported by my extensive knowledge of music and my deep commitment to sharing the transformative power of music with others.