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: The purpose of this preliminary study was to explore the listening experiences of outpatient depression sufferers who underwent guided imagery and music therapy (GIM). A purposive sampling method was performed at the psychiatric outpatient clinic of a medical center in southern Taiwan from April 2003 to June 2004. The five subjects in this study all underwent a total of eight sessions of individual GIM therapy. The researcher invited a therapist to implement the GIM therapy sessions. Researchers conducted a semi-structured, in-depth telephone interview with each subject within 24 to 48 hours after each therapy session. Eight interviews were accomplished and transcribed for each case, and then subject to content analysis. The results showed a total of 55 important listening episodes, which could be categorized into the following 5 themes: (1) leisurely wandering in very natural sceneries; (2) creation of surreal virtual surroundings; (3) recollection of past life experiences; (4) submersion in thematic music melodies; and (5) experiencing various physical relaxation events. The triggering effect represented a combination of multiple factors, including music, the individual, the therapist and environment. The theme of each patient's imagery episode was a result of the effect of the four factors, with music having the greatest impact. This study hopes to present the listening experiences of depression sufferers in GIM therapy; to make suggestions for future investigations into subsequent impacts and changes that GIM has on patients; and to, perhaps, serve as references for future clinical practice or studies.

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