In a world that often seems fixated on youth and the idea of achieving success at a young age, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that if you haven’t accomplished your goals by a certain age, you’ve somehow missed your chance. As a mental health counselor, I’ve seen firsthand how this belief can weigh heavily on individuals, leading to feelings of despair, inadequacy, and even depression.
But I’m here to tell you (and serve as an example—I started my second career as a counselor at age 40!) that you are not too old, and it is not too late to pursue your goals and find fulfillment in life.
I’ve always been a “practice what you preach” kind of person, especially now that I’m a counselor. Of all the suggestions I make for self-care, tracking emotions, coping strategies, and processing, the one that comes up the most is, without a doubt, journaling.
I’ve been keeping a journal since I was in sixth grade in every imaginable form—starting with spiral composition notebooks, graduating to leather-bound blank books, transitioning to digital with Notes on my phone, and my current go-to: the Day One journaling app (not sponsored, but highly recommend). No matter the vessel; it’s the act itself that holds the therapeutic power.
My first-ever career ambition was to become a pediatrician. I was convinced that it was the perfect job for me, and even shadowed my own doctor for a day in eighth grade. I can’t remember exactly when my goals began to shift, but eventually I set my sights on more creative fields, particularly music and journalism.
During my senior year of high school, I applied to a number of both music programs and journalism schools for college. I waited until the last possible moment to decide which path to take, and ultimately pursued my passion for singing. I was halfway through my bachelor’s degree as a vocal performance major when I learned about music therapy. I had the opportunity to observe a music therapist who lived in the area, and after my first meeting with her, I felt like I had discovered a profession that was tailor-made for me.
I’ve known from an early age how powerful music can be. It can stir emotions, evoke memories, and bring people together—it’s often referred to as a “universal language”. Music was so important to me that I majored in it during college, and it was during my sophomore year that a professor introduced me to the field of music therapy.
I’ve been a board-certified music therapist for 16 years now, and I’ve seen first-hand how this modality can enhance people’s lives in numerous ways. Let’s dive in and explore what music therapy is really about, and how it might even work for you.
Graduating from high school and leaving home to start college is one of the most exciting parts of life. So many memories of that summer after graduation are seared into my memory, and most of them are centered around my preparations to leave the Midwest and embark on my college adventure in Florida. It’s a time of newfound independence, self-discovery, and academic growth.
However, as exciting as that newfound independence, self-discovery and growth can be, the transition can also be extremely overwhelming. Many new college students grapple with the adjustment, myself included. In fact, my first time seeing a counselor was during my freshman year for that very reason. In this blog post, we’ll explore what college students can do to adapt to their new life stage and how counseling can be a valuable resource in this journey.
Embarking on the journey of counseling can be a daunting step, especially for those who feel apprehensive about seeking help. Whether it’s due to stigma, fear of judgment, or uncertainty about the process, these concerns can create barriers to accessing the support you need. I know first-hand, because I’ve been there too.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the transformative benefits of counseling and address common apprehensions that you yourself might be experiencing.
Welcome! My name is Rachel Rambach, board-certified music therapist and mental health counselor serving central Illinois. I practice from a strengths-based, solution-focused perspective and love working with individuals, couples and families who are navigating life transitions.