Martin Lawes

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HCPC registered, DipMT (Bristol), FAMI
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

Dorchester, Dorset, DT1
Available for new clients
Available for new clients

This professional is available for new clients.

About me

If you feel anxious, depressed, lost, or stuck, if you've experienced bereavement, trauma or abuse, or have relationship, family, work, stress-related or other difficulties impacting on your well-being, a therapeutic approach that is not simply talking based, but also involves the creative arts may be helpful.

Those who receive therapy often most benefit when the process enables them to work through difficulties in their own way and find answers from within themselves that lead to change. The counsellor or therapist's role is to support and enable the process, the involvement of the creative arts adding an additional dimension to the work that can have many benefits.

Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) is an approach of this type. It combines verbal therapy with creative processing of the emotional core of the difficulties affecting you. This may make it easier to accept, manage and understand what you are struggling with, and help transform problems as new perspectives come to light.

There are different GIM methods that we might use. One approach, Music and Imagery (MI), would involve your being supported to choose music to listen to that matched your feelings, and then creating an image using art materials whilst listening to your chosen music. The music could potentially be of almost any type. It might come from your own pool of preferred music or alternatives might be provided for you to choose from. You don't need any particular artistic talent or experience, just a willingness to explore this way of working and discover how it might be of benefit to you.

Other GIM approaches involve visualization whilst listening to music in a deeply relaxed state, the process a bit like dreaming awake. You would be supported verbally throughout the process as you accessed your imaginative mind to work on difficulties. This type of depth work may be able to facilitate emotional transformation and allow solutions to problems to be discovered that may otherwise remain completely hidden and inaccessible. The process also has the potential to enable spiritual exploration and transformation.

GIM has been in existence for over 50 years and is practiced throughout the world, though you may not have heard of it before. If you want to find out more, I've written two articles for Counselling Directory which you can find at the bottom of my profile. One is about music and feelings and how music can help in therapy because it is closer to our experience as we live and feel it than words are. The other article is about imagery in everyday life and therapy. Both articles explain more about how MI and GIM work.

You may also like to have a look at the website of the training programme I run for arts therapists, counsellors, psychotherapists and others who wish to train in the method ( There is a lot more information about GIM there, including links to articles about it.

Training, qualifications & experience

I've been practising as a music psychotherapist for over twenty-five years. I have a post-graduate diploma in music therapy and am additionally qualified in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) in which I'm a specialist. I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), am a professional member of the British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT), and a Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery (AMI).

In addition to my private practice where I work with self-referring adults, I've worked in various special needs education, palliative care, and psychiatric settings (including acute and forensic psychiatry and an eating disorders unit). I'm also an approved provider for Adopt South West, where I work with young people. I've been endorsed by the AMI as a GIM trainer, am a registered supervisor with the BAMT and am published in 5 international peer-reviewed journals.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited

Registered / Accredited

Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 16 professions.

They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.

Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.

Other areas of counselling I deal with

Beyond helping with specific areas of difficulty, Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) can support personal, creative and spiritual development more generally.

For those whose work involves the creative arts, whether performing or teaching, for example, GIM may provide an especially helpful and accessible way to address work-related issues. GIM also provides a unique way for musicians to develop and deepen their relationship with music.


£50.00 per session
Free initial telephone or online session

Additional information

The fee for GIM therapy is £50 per hour. However, sessions last longer than this depending on the GIM method used and are charged accordingly. Where purely verbal therapy typically takes place weekly, GIM sessions are normally held every 2 weeks, making the costs comparable to verbal therapy.

Free initial consultation

I offer a free no obligation 20-minute, initial consultation via zoom or telephone which you can book through clicking on the link at the top of my profile. If the times listed don't suit you, please email me and we can arrange something to suit us both that way. The initial consultation would provide an opportunity for you to share something of what you may be finding difficult and what your hopes/goals for therapy are, to ask questions, to get an initial impression of me and whether you might feel comfortable working with me, to find out more about GIM and whether it may help you, and to clarify fees.

Your first therapy session

Following the free initial consultation, if we decided that we may be able to work together we would arrange your first therapy session where I live in Dorchester, or online if you wanted online sessions. This would provide an opportunity for you to share in more detail about your life and what you may be finding difficult. It would include your first GIM experience to help you decide whether you'd like to arrange further sessions. 

When you begin any kind of therapy or counselling, it will inevitably take time to get used to the process and hopefully begin to appreciate the benefit of sessions.  Working with the creative arts can be very helpful and potentially have more to offer than verbal therapy alone, but also takes time to get used to. We'd go gently, using the GIM methods that best suited your needs and seemed most helpful as we went along.

GIM has the potential to help quite quickly, though for deep-rooted difficulties with childhood origins, the process may take longer. One approach might be to aim to have a short series of sessions initially, which could if necessary be extended after we review what may or may not be helpful moving forwards. 

When I work

I am generally available during the day and evening on weekdays, depending on other commitments.

Dorchester, Dorset, DT1

Type of session

In person

Types of client

Young people (13-17)
Young adults (18-24)
Adults (25-64)
Older Adults (65+)

Key details

DBS check

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In person

I am a registered supervisor with the British Association for Music Therapy (BAMT). Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) and music therapy supervision.

View supervision profile

Martin Lawes
Martin Lawes