Music Imagery Psychotherapy

Studio for Music

In addition to being a UKCP-registered Integrative Psychotherapist, I am also an HCPC-registered Arts Psychotherapist and a Fellow of the Association of Music and Imagery. I am continually updating my skills in this cutting-edge field and at present, am the only UKCP-registered psychotherapist in the UK trained to offer Music Imagery Psychotherapy.
Music Imagery Psychotherapy rests upon a long tradition which recognizes the healing, restorative power of our imagination, our ‘unconscious’ being, our earliest, pre-verbal experiences. Its therapeutic potential is evoked powerfully by music and imagery within this safe, structured setting and may often get to the heart of issues quickly. I offer 60-75 minute sessions, as a stand-alone series (6-12), or if desired, integrated into standard psychotherapy.  As a stand-alone series, I am also available to offer these in modified form to young people (aged 12 upwards). All sessions take place in my beautiful studio in Southwick and cost £70.

Cathy Rowland IconWhat is Music Imagery Psychotherapy and how does it work?

Music Imagery Psychotherapy is an offshoot of the powerful Guided Imagery in Music modality, originally created by the renowned American music therapist Helen Bonny. These sessions are carefully structured and seek to integrate into your life the natural healing, imaginary capacities of music.

Cathy Rowland IconWhat happens in a session?

In the first session I do an intake questionnaire and then there is an opportunity for us to try out the process, to explore how it may best benefit you going forwards.

In the following sessions, the basic structure is:

Check in and sharing a current issue or problem.

Guided mindfulness exercise and collaborative choice of the ‘right’ pre-recorded music.

Short relaxation to focus the mind for the music-drawing upon a specific issue.

Music is played during which engagement with art materials deepens the experience.

Closing discussion to integrate new positive insights, feelings, resources.

Cathy Rowland IconWhy use music?

Although using prerecorded music may sound uninspiring, the music which will feel ‘right’ for you in this setting may become powerfully transformational. This is because as research suggests, music which speaks personally to you will tap very quickly into deeper areas of your mind, cutting through superficial busyness, engaging right-brained parts of you which existed before you learnt to speak, the source of your imagination and creativity. It may also have subtle but powerful effects upon your body and healthy, parasympathetic, nervous system, evoking deeper calming feelings of wellbeing.

The music choice therefore is an important point in the session. It is done collaboratively; for while you make the choice, my training enables me to guide you towards the fertile possibilities. Often, the ‘right’ music becomes a change agent, beginning an inner process from which may emerge new positive feelings and perspectives.

Although these sessions do typically appeal to people with artistic backgrounds, no artistic ability whatsoever is required to benefit, as it taps into your natural human responses to music and imagination. Recent neuroscience has described the healing effects of cross-hemispheric links, using our left-brained language to make sense of right-brained non-verbal processes. This is something I sense often happens during the closing discussion when people share about new feelings, and ideas which help change their outlook. The power of music means that these sessions are completely bespoke; the right music within this setting from whatever genre, speaking personally to each being, regardless of age or background.

Cathy Rowland IconWho can benefit?

Given the stresses and strains of modern living, I believe most people would benefit from this cutting-edge therapy, given the flexibility with which it is implemented. It is especially helpful for people experiencing the following:


depression, low moods

bereavement, loss

relationship problems

work problems

addictions of different types

health problems, illness or disability

difficult life transitions

life as lacking purpose or meaning

feeling out of touch with their natural creativity

would like to experience more beauty (of music) in their lives

If you would like to explore if this feels right for you, please feel free to get in touch and ask me any questions.

Cathy Rowland IconWhat are the benefits?

These will of course depend upon what you bring and most need from these sessions. The process deepens over time, and so after a minimum of six sessions, clients have typically reported the following:

Feeling connected to a calmer place inside.

Feeling more hopeful about the problem. Feeling more resourced.

Feeling more energised and motivated to tackle an issue.

Feeling moved by the music and connected in a positive way, rather than avoiding feelings.

Able to accept and sit with difficult scary feelings.

Feeling more patient and compassionate with self.

Feeling more emotionally balanced.