Special Issue 9 (2) 2017 “Guided Imagery and Music: Contemporary European perspectives and developments” – Article (first published on 22 December 2017)
Fairy tale composing as an alternative creative processing in group GIM
Evdokia Smirnioti, Sofia Trifonopoulou & Eleni Tsolka
Fairy tales have universal themes and can be viewed as dramatic representations of basic psychological processes. They encourage creative thinking, universalise human problems and establish hope for the future. In Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) practice, self-understanding and personal growth is approached through imagery evoked by music-listening; however, the emerging imagery may be fragmented, unclear or incoherent. Writing a fairy tale may be used to integrate the GIM experience into a coherent narrative, to promote meaning-reconstruction and re-scripting of one’s life. Furthermore, the enactment of fairy tales, as well as the interactive group process, may enhance personal insight and group functioning. This article describes the process in which Group Guided Imagery and Music (grpGIM) material is transformed into a fairy tale which is then narrated. In grpGIM, verbal interaction occurs between group members, or group members and the guide (group co-coordinator), while listening to the music. The project presented in this article has evolved through the authors’ personal experience of a musical and creative analysis of Ηelen Βonny’s Quiet Music Program (HBQMP). It is suggested that the writing of fairy tales could be an alternative, creative post-session analysis of the emerging grpGIM material.
group GIM (grpGIM), fairy tales, groups, narration
Evdokia Smirnioti is a psychologist and musician. She is an advanced trainee in GIM and a clinical psychology student at the Hellenic American University. Evdokia has participated in various musical groups (composition, performance, production). Her practice has included the rehabilitation of adult mental health patients in the community, along with work with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and global developmental delay. Evdokia has co-authored a children’s book on ADHD and currently works with adults and patients with cancer.
Sofia Trifonopoulou is a psychologist and an advanced trainee in GIM. Her practice includes individual and family counselling. She has also worked with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and global developmental delay, as well as children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in special schools. Sofia currently works as a school psychologist in the Greek public sector.
Eleni Tsolka is a qualified music therapist and an advanced trainee in GIM. She is also a primary school teacher and a music teacher. She has worked mainly with children with social, emotional and behavioural problems, people with autism spectrum disorder, and refugees. At the moment, Eleni is working as a freelance music therapist in mainstream schools and other settings in East Sussex, UK.