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Find The Way Counselling

Finding Harmony Within: How Learning to Play the Bass Mirrors the Journey of Therapy

Self-care is important for everyone – so when I launched my private practice I decided to start learning the bass as a way of relaxing and having a new hobby.

I soon realised the similarities between the two pathways.

Just as my skills as a trained therapist can help a client toward self-discovery and healing, the process of learning to play the bass involves patience, dedication and a never-ending curiosity to learn as much as I can about different players and genres of music.

In this blog post, I’ll explore the striking parallels between learning to play the bass and the therapeutic journey, and how both experiences contribute to a harmonious and balanced life.

  1. Starting with the Basics: Building a Strong Foundation In both therapy and learning to play the bass, a solid foundation is crucial. Just as a therapist helps clients explore their past experiences and emotions, I had to learn how to play simple basslines, songs and scales.
  2. Facing Challenges: Overcoming Obstacles Just as clients confront their emotional challenges in therapy, I encountered technical hurdles like learning to mute the strings I didn’t want to play, using two fingers to pluck the strings rather than one and learning to navigate the fret board. Both experiences require persistence and the ability to push through difficulties. Just as therapy encourages clients to confront and navigate their fears, I tuned thoughts such as: “I can’t play that song, it’s too difficult!” to: “I can’t play it – yet!”
  3. The Power of Practice: Repetition and Growth Therapeutic progress and musical proficiency both depend on consistent practice. In therapy, clients develop new coping mechanisms and perspectives through self-reflection and self-awareness. By continuously practising and reinforcing difficult techniques and songs, I form neural pathways in my brain which in turn forms muscle memory for memorising songs.
  4. Expressing Emotions: Finding Your Voice In therapy, clients are encouraged to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions freely. Similarly, playing the bass gives me a creative outlet to convey and express my feelings through music – whether I’m playing an intense heavy rock bassline or the upbeat rhythm of a groove.    
  5. Collaboration and Connection The bond between therapist and client is vital for progress. Likewise, playing with a band requires cohesion and cooperation. Musicians must listen to one another, respond, and adapt.
  6. Stepping into the Spotlight: Embracing Vulnerability Therapy often involves unveiling vulnerabilities and sharing personal stories, allowing clients to heal and grow. Similarly, performing on stage as a bass player demands vulnerability, as musicians showcase their skills to an audience. This act of sharing one’s inner self fosters personal growth and a deeper connection with others.

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