Nikki joined the Orri team as an Eating Disorder Associate in April 2019 and now works as our Creative Arts Therapist. We sat her down to learn more about her approach and role within Orri…
How long have you been a clinician for and what were you doing before Orri?
I joined the Orri team as an EDA (Eating Disorders Associate) in April 2019 whilst I was completing my MA in Music Therapy. Since qualifying as a Music Therapist, I have stepped into a new role at Orri as Creative Arts Eating Disorder Therapist.
Can you tell us about the type of therapy/discipline that you practice?
As a music therapist and a general-all-round-advocate for all things creative, I passionately believe in finding new outlets for self-expression outside of words. Sometimes feelings are hard to articulate, and music offers a space to connect to emotions that may ordinarily be tricky to access. My training is primarily centred in Psychodynamic traditions, though I consider myself to be a flexible practitioner whose main priority is to come alongside my clients, meet them where they are, and work in a way that suits them! Therapy is not a ‘1 size fits all’ process.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The combination of coming alongside our clients and bearing witness to their journeys has got to take top spot, closely followed by working in a collaborative team and environment that so highly values creativity and joy!
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
It is never easy to see somebody struggling. I often have to combat feelings of wanting to ‘save’ and ‘fix’ and remind myself of the strength of just being with someone amidst their pain.
What do you wish people knew about music therapy?
People often believe that you have to have a certain amount of perceived musical ability or to be ‘good’ at music in order to access music therapy. If anything, I would say it is quite the opposite! I believe that ANYONE can engage with music therapy and explore sound and connection to play and exploration. Music therapy focuses on the process of making music and not the end product. It can sometimes sound traditionally unusual and even a bit messy, but it’s a great outlet to explores new ways of listening and responding to people and allowing them to feel heard.
What do you feel is most unique about Orri?
Orri values individuality and understands that no one person’s process will look like another’s. Everyone’s narrative is unique and I love that Orri applauds and welcomes this in their approach!
Outside of work, what do you do for your own mental wellbeing?
Music in any form (believe it or not..!) is my 100% my outlet for self-care. I love to attend gigs and still do a fair amount of singing with various bands too!
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
ANYTHING by Brene Brown. She’s my hero.
Do you have a mental health hero?
The clients I work with are without hesitation my mental health heroes. The strength, resilience and vulnerability they engage with everyday by simply showing up is incredible.
If you had one piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?
As scary as it may seem to reach out and say ‘yes’ to the process of therapy, I believe it has the potential to be one of the most important ‘yes’s’ that someone could make. It is for everyone and does not discriminate. You deserve to be seen and heard!