Music is an allowing, permissive way of exploring all aspects of the self.
Music transforms consciousness.
(Helen Bonny)

What is GIM? The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) is a music-centered depth therapy in which a client listens to specifically programmed classical music in a relaxed state. The music acts as a catalyst to evoke, develop and transform images, memories and feelings from deep levels of consciousness. With the help of the therapist, the GIM experience can lead to integration and healing on many levels. GIM has been effective with a wide range of people presenting problems and issues of human concern.

The method was developed by Dr. Helen Bonny in the 1970’s and is based on her research with music and imagery at the Maryland Psychiatric Centre.

What happens in an individual GIM session? At the beginning of each session the therapist gathers relevant information from the client which informs the therapist about their choice of relaxation method and music for the client’s inner exploration. After the pre-talk, the therapist leads the client through a relaxation experience which assists with quieting the mind and with opening to receive the music experience. As the music is playing, the therapist asks questions to support and deepen the client’s experience as they report their images, which may include visual pictures, memories, body sensations, sensory experiences, feelings, and deep insights.

After the music ends, the client discusses their images with the therapist, exploring new insights, and might draw a mandala to help integrate highlights from the session.

What are possible outcomes of GIM sessions? GIM has been effectively used with a wide variety of people, both children and adults. Issues of grief and loss, trauma, relationship, search for meaning, creative blocks, physical difficulties, and spirituality are among areas that are successfully addressed. Clients generally feel they can live a more meaningful and integrated life as a result of this work.

Who can take this training? The GIM Training is designed for interested professionals with a background in music therapy, music, counselling, creative arts therapies, and related health care professions. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required. All levels of this training are endorsed by the Association for Music and Imagery.