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.
    Q What training do BMGIM therapists have?

    BMGIM is utilized by certified BMGIM fellows (FAMI) who have completed 3+ years of training including seminars, studies in different areas of psychology, and clinical field work. In order to seek training in this approach, one must hold a master's degree in a related field such as music therapy, counseling, social work, or psychology.

    Q Why music?

    Music plays a very important role in most of our lives and is deeply connected to our experiences, memories, and emotions. Through our associations, music inspires imagery which can grow and change in parallel with musical changes that occur, and therefore can elicit inner imagery journeys.

    Q Who is Bonny?

    Dr. Helen Bonny is the founder of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery in Music. She dedicated her life to connecting and teaching others about the healing power of music. She developed GIM out of her research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center exploring the consciousness-expanding effects of LSD when paired with music. Through her work, she discovered that music alone was just as powerful, if not more effective, in evoking change.

    Helen Bonny went on to study music education, music therapy, and conduct research on the effects of music and the imagination.

    Q What is music therapy?

    Music therapy is an evidenced-based profession that combines the adaptive use of music and therapeutic relationship to effect positive change and wellness in a variety of clinical populations. Music therapists hold degrees in music therapy and are board-certified by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.

    The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music is considered an advanced therapeutic approach utilized by trained professionals within the mental health field. While not purely a music therapy technique, BMGIM pairs well with a music therapist’s skill set due to its focus on music.

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    • Tuesday08:00 AM - 08:00 PM


    • Adjustment Disorder
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    • LGBTQ+
    • Life Transitions
    • PTSD and Trauma
    • Relationship Counseling
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    • English


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