Introducing the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM)

Dear friends

My name is Maria Samara. I am an English, German and Greek speaking Music Therapist, MA-SFMT, accredited by the Swiss Association for Music Therapy (SFMT) and a GIM (Guided Imagery and Music) trainee, (Advanced Level IIId, under supervision) and I would like to introduce you to the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM).

GIM is a receptive music therapy, and one of the five international models of music therapy which requires advanced clinical training.  “It consists of an in-depth approach to music psychotherapy. A creative process, which involves listening to music in a relaxed state, to elicit imagery, symbols and/or feelings for the purpose of creativity, therapeutic intervention, self understanding and spiritual experience” (E. Bonny).

It can be applied to almost all populations and age groups (incl. young adults), as a healing tool to address a broad range of psychological and self-development issues.

More specifically, GIM can:

  • Activate our innate capacity for healing and transformation,
  • Help “…explore the most significant aspects of the psyche” (L. Summer)
  • Provide encouragement to get through difficult emotions and life situations,
  • Help reduce fears and anxieties,
  • Reduce stress and enhance a state of well-being,
  • Allow unresolved issues to surface, be addressed, and even come to closure
  • Help to remove mental and emotional blocks.

A GIM session consists of:

  • The Pre-Talk: Information is taken and issues of the here- and- now are addressed.
  • The Relaxation and Induction: The Therapist-Guide helps the client into a relaxed state of body and mind, so that he/she can be ready to “be- with” and “in” the music.
  • The Travel:    The main part of the session. The client, while in a relaxed state,   engages in a reflective dialogue with the guide, aimed to facilitate a spontaneous unfolding of images, feelings, senses, thoughts or memories elicited by the music.
  • Mandala: Other forms of Art are used to represent the significant parts of the experience. (Mandala, music making, other.)
  • The Post-Talk: Exploration and conversation on the inner meaning and interpretations of the images, senses, feelings that have occurred during the music listening.


Let’s see how a client describes the GIM experience:

“I was fascinated and hopeful with the idea of using music to travel to the deepest part of myself, to face my monsters and my fears. I was also a little scared, because once you open a Pandora box; you never know what might come out of it. The travel itself is amazing: it’s like dreaming, while you are actually awake. It’s an experience that I would love to be able to describe with words, but it is so unique, that you must really live it yourself and I also think that probably for everyone is different. The goal is to be able to reconnect with yourself, with your emotions and with your monsters, to discover yourself; it makes you face things that probably you wouldn’t be able to share in a normal verbal therapy session.”(“The Lost Voice”)

Maria has an innate capacity and honing in on the issue which needs addressing, the music helps you come in touch with your own thoughts on the matter. After trying various methods of therapy, I find that GIM is by far the most efficient and enjoyable (who would have thought!) way of dealing with personal issues.

Find more about Music Therapy, GIM Music Therapy or about me and my work here, or contact me at 0766 280 047, if you feel that you, or a person that you love and care, can benefit from GIM Music Therapy. I will be more that glad to help you.


Thank you.

Maria Samara

Music Therapist, MA-SFMT






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