It is so important that participants feel safe when they do the songwriting workshops. These workshops are not about me or anyone else who teaches them. Those that have lived through traumatic experiences need to realize their own potential for growth and change to occur and that healing transformation is possible.
I say especially through writing your story or even part of your story in song. I never knew my own songwriting was what kept me alive through a painful childhood that I didn't even realize was painful. I internalized everything but put all that into my songs. These memories only come to the surface later in my life. I kept them well hidden from myself until I was way into my 40's, even 50's. Only through working with these survivors did I come to a deeper understanding of my own issues and truly begin to heal.
I'm not saying I'm healed yet but peer-to-peer programs such as mine do wonders as there is no judgment, we have all been to those dark places, the holes that suck us in and threaten to extinguish any life we may be grasping to hold on to. The sheer joy in music and song is responsible for my survival. Songbird Sings programs are an opportunity to be validated for what you have gone through by others in the workshops who say, "me too." This community that builds over time allows for healing and change to occur.