Sometimes we don’t have the words to express what’s inside us.

Or sometimes we don’t feel comfortable enough expressing them. Which had been the case for one of the clients I work with weekly at an adult medical day program. He has always been eager to drum in my therapy groups but rarely contributes verbally. It was easy to just assume he’s shy.

When I spoke with him in private it became clear. He literally grew up on streets where he learned it was not safe to communicate verbally with most people. Even decades later this belief remains true for him even with daily evidence in his new environment suggesting otherwise.

But he talks through the drum. And this is important.

Through the drum he has found a safe way to not only express himself but to also connect socially with dozens of others at this day program. Over time he is learning that it can be safe to connect, support others, and be supported himself. And this spills over into the types of interactions that we consider more typical.

What I share is much more than drumming.