Music Therapy and Autism Across the Lifespan: A Spectrum of Approaches was published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers last June and can be bought at JKP (paperback) or JKP-E (e-book). Delighted with the result and grateful to my Co-Editors, Elizabeth Coombes, Helen Mottram, Emma Maclean, and Josie Nugent.
Thursday, 1 October 2020
I've just had the honour of being interviewed as part of the 'Your Child with Autism Video Summit'. This features many well known figures in the field of autism, and me! It will be going live later in October and I will share full details when I am able to. Very exciting, thankyou to Florencia Djoe for inviting me. It goes live on 19th/20th October and is free.
UPDATE: Details of summit can be found here
Friday, 22 February 2019
I haven't been on here for a while, but thought it would be good to update you with what I've been doing. I'm Chief Editor of a forthcoming publication on Music Therapy and Autism. Entitled 'Music Therapy and Autism Across the Lifespan: A Spectrum of Approaches, it will be published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers on 21st June 2019. It has occupied me and my fabulous co-editors for about two years and has been a dream of mine for about 10 years. My team, Liz Coombes, Emma Maclean, Josie Nugent, and Helen Mottram, have made this a reality with their devotion and expertise. Really exciting! Details of how to buy it will of course appear soon!
Wednesday, 5 August 2015
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Friday, 8 May 2015
Thursday, 19 March 2015
I'm very foolishly running the Milton Keynes Marathon on 4th May. Training is getting tough at the moment - up to 14 miles, will be increasing to 16 next week! Why am I doing this? I want to raise money for the National Autistic Society If you'd like please go to my JustGiving page Thanks, it will really encourage me!
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
What does it mean for the Word to become flesh? Well, the Word is the title given to Jesus as part of the Holy Trinity. In verse 1 it says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In other words, Jesus, as the Word of God, was there in the beginning, not just during the 33 years he was on earth. He is God - how does that make sense, if we also have the Holy Spirit and The Father? There is a Latin phrase often used - Jesus was "totus deus" (wholly divine), not "totum dei" (the whole of God). God is one and three at the same time. St Augustine described the doctrine of the Trinity as a fence around a mystery, in other words it tells us what God isn't, not completely what he is. Whether he is right or not, the Trinity gives us a great insight into how God works and how he wants us to be. Firstly, he is a God of Relationship. The Trinity is a perfect model of interrelatedness, of diversity and unity. There is perfect love between them all. This means that, secondly, we are called to this type of relationship with our brothers and sisters. It can also be argued, thirdly, that the three aspects of God revealed in the Trinity, the Word, the Spirit and the Father can be related to aspects of our humanity, as we are created in His image. The Word (logos in Greek, meaning word, reason, mind and so on) can refer to our rational selves, the minds that God has given us. The Spirit refers to our spiritual aspect, through which we can come closer to God, and which can be the source of deep creativity and inner strength. The Father may represent many things - our picture of parents can be very distorted, but a perfect Father (or Mother) nurtures and protects its creation. We should do the same.
How does the Incarnation fit in to this? I also see it as a model for our lives, for our understanding of the Bible, and many other aspects of our faith. We are made in God's image, but we are sinful, fallen creatures. We still have God's imprint, but it has been tarnished. True human nature would be like that of Christ, unified, through communion with him, in God the Father. The Bible is written by humans, of that there is no doubt. An Incarnational model of scripture argues that it is also the work of God. It is the human detail that gives it authenticity to us, fellow strugglers in this world. You just have to look at the honesty with which John describes the disciples' failure to get what Jesus is talking about to see that this is no piece of religious propaganda. However, with God's authorship behind these human authors, we can see the eternal truth in the Bible.The same applies to evangelism and serving God in the world. God doesn't need our help - He is mighty, we are weak. However, he graciously invites us to be his co-workers and, if we are willing, will do great things through our weakness. The Incarnation also applies to the natural world - as God's creation, it was originally the perfect combination of divine and physical. Like the rest of creation, it is fallen and imperfect, mainly as a result of our abuse of it.
So what's the answer? Christmas, that's what. God coming to us in human form, giving us the chance to redeem our fallen human nature. It's like perfect divinity came to fallen humanity, so that we could then reclaim our original nature as God's perfect creation. The Incarnation becomes revealed in us, as Jesus, through his coming to Earth, and his death and resurrection, bring the divine back into us. This ties in with Carl Jung's theories about archetypes. One of the most significant archetypes in history is that of the Wounded Healer, which reached perfection in Christ. Jung and his followers stated that, in therapy, the archetype can be split - the therapist is the healer, and the client is the weak, wounded one. That stops therapy happening, as each gets stuck in their role. The healer has to get in touch with his wounds, and only then can the wounded get in touch with his inner healer. I have seen this happen in my own work, and it is very powerful. Likewise, Jesus comes down to our level, so we can reach up to his.
So, there's a few thoughts on the subject. It's not meant to be a theological treatise, just some Christmas related ponderings that might set you thinking. Comments welcome. May you have a happy, peaceful and blessed Christmas.