The Integrative Philosophy of the Programme
The Training Programme is an integrative one at a number of different levels:
The aim is to equip music therapists, musicians, psychotherapists and others with a suitable therapeutic training and qualification to integrate a spectrum of MI and GIM methods to expand and develop their existing practice. This could, for example, involve a music therapist both developing a private practice in GIM (perhaps offering therapy for the public, trainee music therapists and musicians), and also using MI and GIM methods in regular music therapy settings. Similarly, a counsellor or psychotherapist could exclusively offer GIM or MI sessions to a client or incorporate the method from time to time to access rich dream like material in the context of verbal psychotherapy. The method can be integrated with other approaches such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) in processing trauma, for example. There are also close, potentially enriching links, with practice in hypnotherapy, homeopathy, the other creative arts therapies, body based therapies and so on. The possibilities are many.
The programme emphasizes the holistic nature of the therapeutic process in GIM, and its integration of mind, body and spirit. A number of different theoretical perspectives are integrated to embrace the richness and complexity of the work.
A particular aim of the programme is to foster the integration of MI and GIM into UK music therapy as part of its continuing evolution and development. GIM is, for example, in many ways an ideal therapy for music therapists in training. It has the potential not only to help trainees explore their psychological issues but also their relationship to music. Improvisation and creative exploration in other modalities can also be included. Training in the method has the potential to extend music therapist's 'tool kit' in its application to other types of music therapy practice. For example to work with client's imagery as this may be generated through clinical improvisation, or to integrate work in other creative modalities such as art or drama with an improvisation based approach.
There is a music-centred approach to the way the method is taught, emphasizing the music's role as 'co-therapist'. Those who train often find it deepens their relationship with music and develops the integration of music into both their personal and professional lives:
GIM has changed me and my thinking a lot. . . . I think the reason I shifted to GIM is that I found it to be the most life changing experience. If I explain it in terms of my own GIM experiences as a client, I would say that it was not the supposedly “therapeutic” elements of GIM, it was not the meaning of the images, it was not the relationship to the guide that was life changing. Those were all very important and certainly relevant to my psychotherapeutic needs, but what was life changing was the new relationship to music that I developed. This is what changed me both personally and professionally: it was a new ability to enter music in ways which were just absolutely unknown to me – as a performer and as an improviser (Bruscia & Stige 2000: 84-96).
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