Successful Berklee Alumni #40: Dr. Jenny Martin

Dr. Jenny Martin



Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 5 min.) or download it.


Graduated in 2006 with a major in Songwriting.  Principal instrument:  voice.

Position:  Licenced Psychotherapist in private practice.  Jenny is one of a half dozen people in the Mindful Path practice in Chicago, but her clients are her own.  She typically sees clients, many of whom are abuse victims or GLBT, for the long term psychotherapy.  As a (very) side job, she teaches a graduate course at Adler University for others working on their PsyD degrees. “Teaching doctoral students is wonderful, and is a great way for me to ‘keep my tools sharp.'”

UPDATE:  (Fall 2016):  Shortly after being interviewed, Jenny left the Mindful Path group practice to found her own private practice:  Gemstone Wellness

Overview:  Coming from a music-themed high school, Jenny majored in psychology at the University of Michigan for two years, but found it unsatisfying at the undergrad level and a good friend convinced her to transfer to Berklee.  She did her last two years at Berklee, but during the first year that same friend withdrew from Berklee and later committed suicide.  Jenny found this personally devastating.

After graduation, Jenny worked briefly at Bug Music in New York, then a friend at Cherry Lane music got her a job there, working in the royalties department, while writing music in her spare time.  Ultimately, Jenny found the work unsatisfying, and felt that opportunities to be a staff-songwriter were drying up, so she left her job and moved home to decide what she wanted to do.  She felt that a career as a psychotherapist would be a fulfilling way to honor her friend and be herself, and in 2009 enrolled in a six-year program at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, getting her doctorate in 2014 and her professional license in 2015.  A connection she’d met through a post-doc job introduced her to the person putting together the Mindful Path practice, and she decided to work with them.


You can see Jenny’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes:  “There’s nothing more meaningful to me than sitting in a space with someone, being authentic and hear people’s truth and be with them in raw, vulnerable moments.  I get to live with that all day.  People ask if it’s hard to hear suffering, but I feel like we all go through that at some point, so it means a lot to me to be there in those moments.  It feels like I’m home.”

“One of my first placements during grad school was working with women in the Cook Country Jail.  These woman had been through trauma, but I found the power of music to work there–the women were singing, drumming on tables, etc.  I figured i’d see about writing a group song.  It started a whole process for me, diving into research what happens to your brain when you’re creating music–incredible things happen–and I did my doctoral dissertation on that.”

“Studying songwriting at Berklee got me comfortable being vulnerable in front of a group, and connecting to my sense of self.  “Songwriting and Psychotherapy are similar in some ways:  they’re both improvising, and the only way you’re going to do a good job is to LISTEN.”



See the full index of Successful Berklee Grads.


1931415_522016842109_6780_nJenny as a Berklee student.   ”  Telling your true story was how I did music, now I do it through psychotherapy….The Berklee experience–being in an artistic community all the time and being challenged to find myself–gave me everything I needed.  I had a beautiful time and will always cherish my years at Berklee.”

If you want to hear an album from her songwriting days, she has it up on ITunes.






13230281_10100568812107979_6155196831390403248_nJenny at the Mount Everest base camp.  ” An advantage of working with a group of psychotherapists was that when I went travelling to Nepal for the full month of May, my colleagues were able to see my clients while I was away.”

Jenny also advises anyone considering a career as a psychotherapist to “Go all the way and get that doctorate.  It’s a lot of work, but the doctorate opens up a level of freedom to create things and answer only to yourself.  It’s worth it.”