Guided Imagery and Music (GIM)

Guided Imagery and Music (GIM)

“When words fail, music speaks.” Hans Christian Andersen

The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) is a form of receptive music therapy, developed by Helen Bonny at the beginning of the 1970s.

It pertains to the process of spontaneous imaging in an altered state of consciousness, while listening to musical programs. GIM utilizes music-facilitated metaphors as a medium of exploration into the individuals’ inner universe, in order to create a new sense of the self and achieve a better quality of life. In particular, GIM enhances inner-self awareness, cultivates resources to manage painful or traumatic situations, improves problem solving abilities and fosters resilience. 

During an individual GIM session you free-associate and music becomes a co-therapist guiding you into your imagery. In its typical form a GIM session consists of the following phases:

  • The preparation which involves an initial conversation, an induction of relaxation and my music program selection.
  • After that, comes the interactive music experience, where you travel to the music and convey your imagery to me through an open, ongoing and verbal connection.
  • Lastly, the closure, when you return to a waking state of consciousness and process your musical experience and its symbolism, through verbal communication and/or expressive activities .

“Music is life itself.” Louis Armstrong