Frequently Asked Questions

What is Guided Imagery and Music (GIM)?

GIM is a method of using music listening to stimulate imagery that is used in a therapeutic process. GIM can be incredibly cathartic and transpersonal, often re-structuring our old beliefs and ideas, which then allows individuals to move forward in their lives. Other participants find it to be a very supportive method for connecting with their inner creative process or connecting with emotions that need to be released. One of the best ways to get an idea of what GIM is, is to read the quotes and posts by individuals who have had GIM sessions, or by scheduling a one time session to see what it is like, and whether it is right for you.

For more information on the origins of GIM see The Association for Music and Imagery.

What can I expect from a GIM session?

A GIM session lasts approximately 90 minutes. The session begins with a verbal check-in, often like a traditional talk therapy session, in order to learn more about your current state- mentally, physically, emotionally. This helps me to determine the best way to move forward into the music. This is followed by a brief relaxation method and initial imagery focus before the music begins. During the music listening, we dialogue about what you are experiencing with the music. When the music ends, we process the images through various modalities- sometimes talking, sometimes through artwork, journaling, or playing/ singing together. Sounds simple, right? It is a very simple method that leads to a very complex unfolding of events. For examples, read the testimonials.

What kind of music is used in a GIM session?

Most often, the music is what is referred to as “Classical music.” Think symphony, orchestral music and you’ll get the right idea. We sometimes use film scores, or global/ world music. It is predominantly music without words. Music is chosen that is complex enough to hold different images for different individuals. The music structures the experience, but the images and experiences come from you and your rich life experiences.

What if I’m not a musician?

You do not need to be a musician to utilize GIM. Most of my clients are not musicians, only individuals who are open to what music has to offer.

What is music therapy?

Music therapy is a broader method of using music to work with individuals and groups in support of the physiological, psychological, or social needs of that individual or group. Guided Imagery and Music was developed by a Music Therapist, but GIM therapists come from many different backgrounds, some are music therapists, some are psychologists, counselors, nurses, and other allied health professionals. I am a music therapist and a GIM therapist. My work with clients is primarily using GIM, but I also have some music therapy clients who do not utilize GIM sessions.

Whereas GIM involves listening to complex classical music, music therapy may involve actively playing instruments, singing, listening to music, composing songs, drumming, etc…  The music can be from any genre or time period. It depends on what the individual’s needs are and how music and the music therapist can best support and meet those needs.

What are your credentials?

I am a board certified music therapist (MT-BC). For more information on the MT-BC credential see the Certification Board for Music Therapists website.

I am also a fellow of the association for music and imagery (FAMI). Becoming a GIM therapist requires years of training through an approved training program. AMI is the organization that approves training programs and designates the Fellow credential. For more information see The Association for Music and Imagery.