The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music

The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM)

The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) is a music-centered depth approach to transformational therapy that uses selected sequences of classical music to support the generation of and movement through inner experiences. In GIM, the music serves as a catalyst and container for imagery that allows one to access and explore both the depths and the heights of the human experience.

What happens in a typical session of GIM?

  1. The typical GIM session begins with a preliminary conversation during which the therapist assesses the mood and energy level of the client and selects the music program for the session.
  2. The client then reclines as the therapist offers suggestions for relaxing the body and focusing the mind in preparation for the music.
  3. Once the music begins the therapist does not make suggestions as is typical in other forms of imagery with music. Instead, the client takes the therapist along on his/her journey by describing the experience as it unfolds. The therapist's role is one of facilitator and witness, to support the client's engagement with whatever experience may come.
  4. After the 35-45 minute period of music, the therapist facilitates a return to waking consciousness, and the client and therapist review the session together.

Training in the Bonny Method

Appalachian State University offers all levels of training in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music for qualified professional therapists through its affiliation with the Appalachian GIM Institute, LLC, which is endorsed by the Association for Music and Imagery (AMI).. Each combines didactic instruction with supervised, experiential learning. Personal experiences in the Bonny Method are included at each level. Trainees who satisfactorily complete all levels of training are eligible to apply to AMI for registration as a Fellow of AMI, the professional designation in the Bonny Method of GIM.

The philosophy of Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) training at Appalachian is founded on belief in

  • the self-actualizing potential of every human being
  • the wisdom of the Psyche, when heeded, to lead one toward growth
  • the power of music to facilitate such growth, and
  • the capacity of the human imagination to provide a door into the Self, thereby serving as a conduit for growth-inducing experience.

Grounded in Jungian and experiential models of psychotherapy, as well as the transpersonal psychology of Frances Vaughn and Ken Wilber, we view increased awareness; reconciliation and integration of opposites, both with self and between self and others; and exploration of transpersonal and archetypal experiences to be foundations for personal and spiritual growth.

See the Schedule and Costs for upcoming Bonny Method training sessions. 

Please contact Dr. Cathy McKinney for more information:

Bonny Method of GIM Trainers

Training Assistants

Music Therapy at Appalachian State University

Learn more about Music Therapy programs in the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University: