Guided imagery and music: using the Bonny method to evoke emotion and access the unconscious

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2009 Jan;47(1):29-33. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20090101-02.


The healing power of music has been recognized since ancient times. The use of music has been documented in diverse cultures worldwide, for ailments ranging from pain and cancer to depression and posttraumati stress disorder. The various models of music therapy are based on different theoretical traditions, including behaviorist, humanist, and psychodynamic approache This article describes the music therapy approach known as the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) therapy, reviews its research base, and presents a first-person account of the experience of GIM treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy / education
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Music Therapy / education
  • Music Therapy / methods*
  • Patient Selection
  • Professional Role
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Repression, Psychology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Unconscious, Psychology*