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Music Therapy Conversations

Aug 14, 2019

In Episode 29. Luke talks to music therapist and GIM practitioner/trainer Martin Lawes.

Martin qualified as a music therapist in 1999. Since then his work has been in special needs education, in adult mental health (including eating disorders, acute and forensic psychiatry) and in palliative care. He is a BAMT registered supervisor and has been visiting lecturer on several of the music therapy MA trainings.

Martin is additionally qualified in Guided Imagery and Music, GIM. He is a former chair of both the Education and Training Committee, and the board of the European Association of Music and Imagery, EAMI. Martin is also an approved GIM trainer and founder of the London based Integrative GIM Training Programme which is delivered by a team of experienced GIM trainers and researchers from the UK, Europe and the US. Martin’s aspiration is that GIM will gradually become as established in UK music therapy as it is in some other European countries, with therapists equipped to use a range of research-based GIM and simpler Music and Imagery, or MI methods, that complement their existing ways of working and extend what they have to offer clients.

Martin has published a number of articles. One is about the evaluation of music therapy with children with autism. Others are about the application of contemporary psychoanalytic thinking to music therapy and about GIM. Martin currently has an article in press in the BJMT about the therapist’s use of reverie, or ‘dreaming in music’ as he calls it, in improvisation-based music therapy.

Luke and Martin talk about the music experience which led Martin to train in music therapy, about GIM and MI, and about ‘dreaming in music’.

Information about GIM

Information about GIM and training in it can be found at:


Lawes M (2001) Aesthetic Experience and the Healing Process: The story of a Therapist's Rediscovery of Music. British Journal of Music Therapy, 15(1).

Lawes M (2002) Beauty, Emotion and Music: Aesthetic Encounter in the Therapeutic Process. In J. Fachner & D. Aldridge (Eds.), Dialogue and Debate - Conference Proceedings of the 10th World Congress on Music Therapy, Oxford, England (pp. 1040-1068). Witten, Germany: MusicTherapyWorld.Net. Available at:

Lawes M (2012) Reporting on outcomes: An adaptation of the ‘AQR-instrument’ used to evaluate music therapy in autism. Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy, 4(2), 110-120. Available at:

Lawes M (2013) Meaning, dreaming, relating and levels of consciousness in music psychotherapy: a psychoanalytic, developmental and transpersonal paradigm. Journal of Music and Meaning, 11:  85-132. Available at:  

Lawes M (2016) Perspectives on the real, the imaginary and the music in GIM. Journal of the Association for Music and Imagery, 15, pp. 93-124.

Lawes M (2017) Music as dynamic experience of unfolding wholeness in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM): A psychoanalytic, musical, transpersonal and trans-scientific paradigm. Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy, Special Issue 9(2): 275-299. Available at:

Lawes M (in press) On Improvisation as Dreaming and the Therapist’s Authentic use of Self in Music Therapy. British Journal of Music Therapy.