Jazz, Medicine and Collaborative Practice
Stu Webb, who thought about collaborative divorce first in the early 1990’s, and is considered the founder of collaborative law, loves jazz. So do I. I listened to my 9th year of fabulous jazz music at the Detroit International Jazz Festival over Labor Day weekend, and also listen to jazz at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. I have also been healed by a medical team at the Mayo Clinic in the 1980’s. I see a link between these practices –it’s collaboration.
What makes collaborative team divorce like jazz and team medical practice?
1) Specialized trained professionals who bring unique skills to the team. In collaborative practice, the mental health professionals, financial professionals, and attorneys all have received unique training and experience. Jazz musicians–singers, sax players, trumpeters, drummers and others have all been trained in their own instruments. In the medical model, doctors specialize in different areas, nurses, and technicians have unique expertise.
2) The added value of collaboration by a team. Their unique skills and voices coming together give an added value, advice and music that could not happen without all of them together. For me, the Mayo medical model diagnosed a problem that required a detailed history of my several generation’s family medical history, plus specialists’ expertise and brainstorming together. Also, creative experiment with my diet (this was the 1980’s when diet and nutrition were not generally regarded as a mainstream medical approach).
3) Improvisation and creativity. Jazz musicians improvise, connect and play off each other in ways that could not happen with orchestrated works or solo compositions. Collaborative practitioners improvise based upon the immediate needs and realities of the families and children, and listen to the other professionals, connect with them, and create new options for the family. Medical teams creatively experiment, in my case with my diet, and find new solutions to medical issues.
This is the power and music of collaborative practice.
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