Guided Imagery and Music - The Bonny Method

Guided Imagery and Music - The Bonny Method by Nikki Baker LPC,BCBA

Creating Health through Integrated Counseling LLC


More than four decades ago, Helen Bonny conceived a therapeutic approach involving the use of deep listening in predesigned programs of classical music along with a spoken dialogue guide aimed at healing and self-actualization (Bonny & Goldberg, 2002). In Bonny's final design used to this day, an individual Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) session lasts 1-2 hours and consists of four phases: Prelude (20-30 min.), Induction (10-15 min.), Music Listening and Visual Imaging in an expanded state of consciousness (30-50 min.), and Postlude (20-30 min.). Group sessions can vary in length, structure, use of music, and guided dialogue topic focus. Traditionally, GIM was used in private settings with adults and practiced within a humanistic orientation that emphasizes self-exploration and integration of all aspects of the self (Bonny, 2002). However, GIM has become widely accepted as both a therapeutic and meditation tool.

Who Can Benefit from Guided Imagery and Music?

Guided Imagery and Music sessions can heal physical, emotional and mental imbalances where traditional western medical interventions lack efficacy. The power of visualization underscores the mind-body connection that some fields of medicine have traditionally ignored. Guided imagery and Interactive Guided Imagery are two types of visualization that can help people relieve physical and emotional pain in their lives, as well as increase their levels of well-being. These two therapeutic treatments can be particularly helpful for people who have not found success with traditional medicine or therapy.

Guided Imagery and Music at the Restoration Space


As a Licensed Professional Counselor I was trained in Guided Imagery and Music using the Bonny Method while attending Temple University in the 1990’s by Madeline Clark and Kenneth Brusica Phd. In my experience the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music integrates contemplative practices and counseling. This integration can challenge stories a person carries that contribute to anxiety and suffering as well as beliefs in faulty thoughts. The Restoration Space provides Guided Imagery and Music as part of Counseling Services. Free consultation is available and can be scheduled through the receptionist.