Long before I was a songwriting psychotherapist, I was a songwriting adolescent, playing the piano by ear. After being gifted my first guitar at 18, I became a songwriting undergrad at Cal Berkeley, then a songwriting house painter in Seattle. And as lucrative as that may sound, it was soon time for a change, and I became a songwriting grad student in Boulder. Now that I’ve been in private practice for the last ten years, I think of myself as a songwriting psychotherapist.
While getting my master’s in music therapy (and counseling), there was a brief time when I considered myself a music therapist. But then things shifted again, and I embraced an identity as a psychotherapist who had a musical hobby on the side. And if you saw my tax returns for those years, it was clear which one of those endeavors paid for the other.
While making my second album, “Golden Some Day,” I realized that my music wasn’t likely to take off until I committed myself more fully to its creation. Furthermore, I knew I had to redouble me efforts on the music business side of the equation to see results. So I made the mental switch to thinking of myself as a musician and songwriter first, and a psychotherapist second.
Then I started working with music consultant Loren Weisman, and he helped me bring these disparate worlds together. I fleshed out my new tagline: Americana Singer Songwriter Psychotherapist. Rather than having to choose between them or even prioritize them, I wrapped my arms around them all. My musical blend of folk, bluegrass, and acoustic rock fits nicely under the expansive Americana umbrella, and being a psychotherapist has more to do with my view of the world than it does my profession.
I value things like self awareness, emotional intensity, and authenticity. I look for them in myself, my clients, and my friends. These are also the same qualities I strive to put into my music.
There are always other ways I could describe myself – father, brother, son, golfer, dreamer, etc. But for now, in my ever-evolving sense of identity, I am a songwriting psychotherapist. And if Jerry Garcia were still here, I hope he’d find that cool.
Americana singer songwriter Jeremy Dion puts as much energy into his guitar playing as he does his songwriting. Dion is an Americana Singer Songwriter Psychotherapist.
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