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What is the Guided Imagery and Music form of music therapy?

Guided Imagery and Music is a gentle psychotherapeutic approach characterized by the use of specially sequenced western classical music designed to stimulate and sustain a dynamic unfolding of imagery experiences. Your music and imagery experiences are reflections of you and are unique to your personal relationships, feelings, and personality. With the music as my co-therapist, I would be honoured to witness and guide your journey with the music, and use it to help you integrate all aspects of yourself as you move towards healing and transformation.


“Exploring your inner world can facilitate healing and transformation.”

Why would someone see a music therapist for GIM?

  • Already use music as a resource and support
  • Not ready for the discussion format of verbal therapy
  • Emotionally stuck
  • Needing to make a difficult decision
  • Anxiety
  • Life transitions
  • Personal growth
  • Self-esteem
  • End of life
  • Spiritually searching

What symptoms would be addressed?

  • Anxiety
  • Feeling stuck
  • Anger
  • Shame
  • Relationship issues
  • Resentment
  • Indecision
  • Grief and loss
  • Self-esteem
  • Spirituality

What would a GIM session look like?

In a session lasting up to 1.5 hours, you and your facilitator discuss your current life situation, set goals for your work together, and establish a focus for the session. After a guided relaxation, you then turn your attention to listening to the selected music, allowing it to become a vehicle for exploring deeper states of consciousness. You verbalize to the facilitator the images, feelings, sensations, memories, and other awareness evoked by the music. The imaginal realm provides a rich milieu for personal insight. Your facilitator interacts verbally with you to help you develop and expand your imagery experiences. At the close of the music, your facilitator assists your return from the deepened state and reinforces your insights you have gleaned from the exploration.

How does GIM work?

Your music and imagery experiences are reflections of you and are unique to your personal relationships, feelings, and personality. Exploring the imagery that surfaces during the music can reveal insights into your deeper self, your deeper wisdom, your psyche. The imagery can also be a metaphor and can provide meaning about your current life circumstances, give you new insights or unveil new perspectives. You may have glimpses of transpersonal inspiration that both challenge and nurture your sense of who you are and who you can become.

Who developed the protocol for GIM?

Guided Imagery and Music was conceived and developed by Helen L. Bonny, PhD.  Inspired by a mystical experience with music while playing the violin, Dr. Bonny felt called to bring others to the healing power of music. Over several years, Dr. Bonny combined her unique understanding of music, her extensive therapeutic training, and her spiritual insight, to research and develop The Bonny Method of Guided imagery and Music. At the present time, many professionals in a variety of therapeutic and healing modalities have been trained in The Bonny Method of GIM and are actively working with it in their chosen field.

Composed by Linda Keiser Mardis and Marilyn Clark for the use of the Association for Music and Imagery © 2008

Click here to learn more and connect with Alissa Dueck, Music Therapist (MTA), Fellow of the Association of Music and Imagery candidate (FAMI).