When I walked into my first Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music session, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Everything I heard about it had sounded kind of whimsical and “out there”, but I was intrigued never-the-less. I was seeking some clarity in a complicated relationship at the time, and wanted a better work-life balance.
In the session, my therapist started by asking me all about myself, my relationships, and about things I care about. Then she invited me to lay down on a mat and get comfortable with the various pillows and blankets she had laid out. Once ready, she began leading me through a relaxation exercise: “And now allow your breath to move into your feet, each toe, helping your feet to relax and let go of any tension...”.
I found myself relaxing instantly to the sound of her voice, and as she finished leading me through my body she said: “Imagine yourself in a comfortable place in nature. Notice what’s around you here. As the music begins, allow it to meet you in this place and to take you where you need to go today…”.
As the music began, I felt that I was floating along through a garden and suddenly found myself surrounded with flowers. As I began to move through this new imaginary world of my own, my therapist asked me questions that helped me to engage with my imagery and gave me permission to explore.
After about thirty minutes (which felt like a well-filled 3 hours), she gently led me back to reality. We processed my experiences, questioning interesting experiences, and celebrating experiences of joy. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. It was beautiful, joyful, freeing, and it changed everything. Through my first experience and now into my thirtieth, I continue to find personal insight, clarity, truths, and new questions to explore. This therapy has become an integral part of my life in a way that I cannot fully explain.
The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM) is not like other forms of therapy. Through session work you will have the opportunity to dive into immersive journeys of the self, accompanied by carefully chosen music programs. First developed by Helen Bonny in the 1970s, this approach to therapy uses the combined power of music and the imagination to help you access your internal world as a way to explore the self, relationships, past/current/future challenges, transitions, and more. BMGIM can be effective for those who simply seek experiences in personal growth. However, it has been found to be effective in individuals affected by trauma, anxiety, grief, life transitions, chronic medical and physical conditions, depression, body image, and identity issues.