Me and the Mad Hatters
When I'm not writing songs, recording, and touring, I work in the field of psychology and therapy. For ten years I lived in Zurich, Switzerland where I dealt with clients in both institutional psychiatric settings and private practice. I worked one-on-one with the most difficult, supposedly incurable folks whom the mental health profession considered "lost cases." In addition, I conducted and continue to do research on mental illness. Here's what I've discovered.
I don’t usually use music in my psychotherapy practice but I want to tell you about a client who had a strange musical experience in our session. Sandy, a 46 year-old receptionist, had been depressed ever since her divorce a year earlier, and despite doing her best to get on with life she couldn’t seem to break out of her sadness. I asked her to describe her feelings in detail and she said, “I feel lost and sad and empty but I try not to focus on it. It’s such a struggle.”
As far back as I can remember I’ve been in love with both music and psychology. As a child I’d take time between singing songs with the radio to inexplicably ask my parents things like, “Why are some people happy and some sad?” and “Why do people fight? When I got older I took time between playing rock n roll shows to get a PhD in psychology.