Bands have unique challenges that many therapists just don’t understand.
Not only is there an understanding that you should be able to access creativity at all times, but there’s also your own inner critic and high expectations for yourself that you have to grapple with.
Another problem I see so often is that most people in bands are often introverts who are expected to be extroverts. It’s like you’re on this rollercoaster: For one, there’s this expectation for you to be out late at parties or clubs, surrounded by drugs, alcohol, and so many people that you get overwhelmed. But then during the day you end up isolating yourself, hiding from the world and dreading going back out at night.
Sometimes being in a band is like being in a family.
You each have your roles and responsibilities. You also spend so much time together, but everyone has a different personality, which can lead members to feel unheard, disrespected, and bitter. Naturally, emotions run high when you care so much about the end-result of what you’re creating together.
It’s no wonder why bands also have the same struggles that families have. No one can hit you where it hurts the way a family member or a bandmate can. When we work so closely with other people, it’s easy to push the wrong buttons and create rifts in the relationship that make working together feel like a dysfunctional family dinner.
Collaboration can sometimes feel like a land mine, fraught with tension and a sense of “walking on eggshells.”
What sometimes makes things even more difficult is when your actual family – the one you grew up with – didn’t give you a good example of how to handle conflict.
The band members that I work with tend to come from two distinct camps.
For some, they were raised in families where they had to take on the role of “parent” early on. If you grew up in a family where you had to take care of those who were supposed to take care of you, then putting others needs before yours is second nature. You’re able to be supportive to your band mates about ideas they have, but you don’t trust or believe in your own ideas. You find yourself second-guessing your ideas and resent yourself and your band for it. Your voice is lost in the group.
If you came from a family where you felt so out of control in the chaos, you probably discovered that the only way to survive was to find ways to control your environment. In order to get something you needed, you had to fight for it. Now as a band mate, you find it really difficult to deal with unexpected changes to set times, touring, or having to cancel a show-last minute. You feel letdown by those around you and you sometimes wonder if you and your band should just go your own way.
How I can help
Being able to sit down with someone who gets it and can help you and your band members clarify your needs and expectations is so important. Together, we’ll take a look at what’s working in your band, along with the challenges that are standing in your way to success. This will not only relieve anxiety, but it will also allow for more creative and meaningful collaboration. By providing that space for everyone to feel heard, I’ll help your band so that you can get back to doing what you do best: making something meaningful to share with the world.
So lets get started. Click below to set up your free phone consultation for music and entertainment industry therapy in West LA or DTLA offices.