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Benefits of GIM

Music and Imagery therapy can:

  • Effect personal change, getting to the heart of the matter.
  • Offer support around times of life transitions, such as loss.
  • Be potentially powerful and yet work in a gentle way through the music.
  • Ease anxiety, stress or depression, helping to bring into awareness the root cause of these.
  • Be a supportive therapy for living with severe or life-threatening illnesses.
  • Be effective in helping to change addictive patterns.
  • Help in recovery from trauma and abuse of any kind.
  • Fulfil the personal development work required for therapists, health professionals or students in training.
  • Enhance a deeper connection with creativity.
  • Offer a more creative, spiritual approach to personal development.
  • Help in accessing inner resources for well-being.


Some commonly asked questions about GIM:

What qualifications do GIM practitioners have?
All GIM practitioners are fully qualified and highly experienced therapists, typically music therapists or psychotherapists, who have gone on to complete an approved three year post-clinical specialisation in the Bonny method of GIM. Following this they become fellows of the "Association of Music and Imagery" (FAMI). AMI has a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice that members are expected to follow.
Whilst not all GIM fellows remain members of AMI, those (in the UK) who are qualified as music therapists are required to be registered with the Health & Care Professionals Council (HCPC) which publishes its own standards of proficiency to ensure safe and effective professional practice. Those whose original training is different (for example, psychotherapists) are usually registered with an alternative appropriate professional body likely to have its own code of ethics and standards of practice. Individual practitioners will be able to advise you about which professional bodies they are registered with.

Is it dangerous?
No. GIM sessions do involve a deep relaxation and the imagery work often occurs in an altered state of consciousness, but this is one of the key elements in the effectiveness of this therapy. By working in a relaxed state, the subconscious can access feelings, experiences and intuitive knowledge that may take years to reach in conventional talking therapy. At the deepest levels the body knows how to heal itself or which direction is right. GIM practitioners are trained to work at these depths and to modify the approach if necessary so as to make it accessible and appropriate for each client.

Will I be told what to imagine?
No. Despite the formal name, the only therapist-directed part of the session is the guided relaxation. The heart of the session is spontaneous with images, feelings or body sensations being allowed to arise and reported to the therapist. There is no suggestion of images as there might be, for instance, during a visualisation relaxation at the end of a yoga class.

What happens if I don't have any images or fall asleep?
Experience shows that people are generally surprised by how easily they are able to experience imagery in the context of sessions. Imagery in GIM doesn’t only mean visual imagery, but includes the thoughts, body experiences, feelings and memories people have alongside or instead of visual imagery. The taster session is designed to give you some idea of this to help you decide whether the therapy is for you. It can take a few sessions for the music and imagery experience to deepen so as to achieve its full potential.
Some people wonder whether they will simply fall asleep, especially when they are tired. This rarely happens in most therapists' experience, and then only for brief moments that can be a part of the process.

How many sessions am I likely to need?
This will vary according to individual circumstances and needs. After the first consultation, a series of sessions will be agreed, typically between three and six, with the option of extending as new areas of exploration unfold.

Why would I choose GIM therapy?
For anyone looking for emotional and psychological support or a structured form of personal development and growth, GIM therapy may have a lot to offer. Working on a deeper level than conventional talking therapies, GIM therapy is often able to the heart of the matter effectively and efficiently.
Although our minds are wonderful instruments, sometimes talking over and over the same thing doesn't help us go beyond a cognitive and rational understanding of ourselves. Usually, the root cause of a situation or issue lies at a deeper level within our emotional and psychological makeup. GIM therapy provides the tools, the access point, for working at this deeper level and provides a way in which we can tune in and listen to the emotional part of ourselves - to our own emotional and body intelligence.

Is it like hypnotherapy?
No. There is no suggestion during the relaxed phase of the session, so the mind is free to explore its own healing process by way of emotions, memories or images. In fact, this is one of the things that makes GIM therapy so powerful - the idea that the mind, emotions and body have a built-in intelligence and know what they need to do. A GIM therapy session just gives the space and support for this process to work.

Is there research or documentation to support the Bonny Method?
Yes. Both qualitative and quantitive research methods have been applied in the study of GIM. Many written accounts of explorations into the potentials, effectiveness and applications of GIM appear in professional journals and books, resource newsletters and in peer reviewed publications such as The Journal of the Association for Music and Imagery. A comprehensive listing of research and other articles related to GIM is available from the University of Aalborg, Denmark



"The process is wonderfully healing in its own right..... but I was soon to discover it is also a powerful catalyst for continued transformation in your life."

"My experience with GIM was really magical, leading me to a new place of my own creation. Deeply healing in a special, lasting way."

"This has been the most valuable 'alternative therapy' I have ever experienced. It has opened up my understanding of myself in amazing and very supportive ways."

"It helped to make sense of emotions and reflect on experiences . . .Overall I found it interesting and helpful, unexpectedly incisive and revealing. Generally healing and therapeutic.’"