This is a post from Iosif Kartapanis, a music therapist who did his training in the USA but recently established his own private practice in Cyprus. I asked him to write a post because international perspectives are valuable in understanding the global impact and diversity of our profession. He will be writing more, and I encourage you to comment and ask questions. He will be a great resource for anyone thinking of working outside the United States. Thanks, Iosif!
I met Matt at the last AMTA National conference. He was, at that time, in the process of setting up his website, something that I found really exciting. I now have the privilege of writing a series of entries on the process of becoming a professional music therapists in Cyprus, an Island in the Mediterranean.
My name is Iosif Kartapanis and I finished my BA in music therapy at The University of Georgia. After the 4 years of studying and adjusting to the south, I move to Salt Lake City for my internship at Primary Children’s Medical Center with Mrs. Lillieth Grand, adjusting all over again to a different culture. When I finished the internship at the end of 2009, I decided to move back to Cyprus. It was then that all the adventure began.
Cyprus is a very small island, and if you think that the south is conservative, Cyprus will make you rethink of that. But before I start going more into Cypriot mentality, I would like to give a small background of music therapy in Cyprus.
There are Currently, around to 30 music therapy professionals and students. This number was counted in one of the meetings that music therapists held on the island in order to form an association. Music Therapists are currently employed by the government in special schools. They are also employed by organizations such as the Autistic Association of Cyprus and psychiatric services. A lot of the music therapists though have private practices.
In February of 2010, I set up my own private practice. The Cyprus Institute of Music Therapy is not only providing music therapy services, but also music lessons, and it contracts with the Autistic Association of Cyprus. It is really difficult to get Cypriots to try new things (in which music therapy is categorized). Music therapy is relatively new to the island and most people when they hear about it expect that is only used for stress. In order to further improve people’s understanding of music therapy, I have begun giving presentations on what is music therapy and its applications.
There is Much more to say but I would leave it for the next post. If you want to know specific things I think there is a way to comment here, so please feel free to ask.