The Viennese Institute for Music Therapy was founded in 1997 by Dr Elena Fitzthum, Dr Dorothea Oberegelsbacher and Dr Dorothee Storz as an association institute. For many years 2 main institutions have formed the music therapy landscape in Austria. Since 1959, the present-day University of Music and Performing Arts has continuously served as a training institution for future music therapists. In addition, the Austrian Professional Association of Music Therapists (ÖBM), founded in 1984, takes care of professional policy, public awareness of the music therapy profession as well as exchange and development within the music therapy community. On this background, the founders of the WIM intended to establish a "third force" representing the Viennese School of Music Therapy in Austria. The following objectives served as guiding principles in order to fill a gap between the university and the professional association: the offer of further education in music therapy, the integration of music therapy in psychotherapy, promotion and development of music therapy in the tradition and understanding of the Viennese School, and the promotion of music therapy as an autonomous health profession.
Meanwhile, the situation of music therapy in Austria has changed and developed. In 2009, the professional music therapy law entered in force, and two new training programs were established in Krems and Graz.
In recent years the focus of the WIM was on the book series "Viennese Contributions to Music Therapy" (published since 1997) and on the further education series “Jour Fixe”, “Update” and “Werkstatt”.