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Anatomy of a Bonny Method Guided Imagery & Music Session (GIM)

Meet & Greet

Meet & Greet

(10-30 min as needed) Clients discuss current issues of focus and set an “Intention” for the session. For new clients a history is taken.
Relaxation

Relaxation

(5 minutes) Clients situate themselves in a comfortable position (typically lying down, pillows and blanket available) in preparation for “travel.” Guide offers brief relaxation instructions to aid traveler in beginning to access a Non-Ordinary State (NOS).
Music Initiated

Music Initiated

Guide begins carefully selected pre-recorded music program (chosen to fit the Travelers’ intention and energy level, all music is of classical origin).
Traveling

Traveling

(10-40 minutes) Travelers experience imagery in various sensory capacities and share with the Guide what is occurring. Images may include lucid dream-like pictures, somatic/body feelings, “senses” and messages of any origin.
Notes and Noted

Notes and Noted

(15-30 minutes) Guide takes notes and accompanies Traveler on their journey with verbal support.
Processing & Excavation

Processing & Excavation

Travelers create a Mandala (circular drawing representing how one views one’s personal world, in this case the world of the experience they’ve just had). Other offerings may include art, music making and therapeutic dialogue to assist in uncovering the unique wisdom of the encounter, and how it relates to their original intention.
Exceptions

Exceptions

In the event that a client is not emotionally up to traveling on any given day, other Music & Imagery experiences can be offered.

The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) is a music and imagery-based therapeutic process integrating Body, Mind and Spirit to access untapped personal wisdom.

Unlike traditional “talk” therapy, GIM is an experience. The clients, or “Travelers,” feel as though they have taken the action, spoken the words, uncovered the treasure, faced down the dragon. One description of the process is like “being in a lucid dream.” Travelers have a sense that they are grounded in reality while simultaneously engaging in sensory imagery, stimulated by carefully chosen music. Once Travelers have “seen” and already practiced success, failure and possibly everything in between internally, empowerment can grow from within for the Traveler, who returns to everyday life. In GIM there is more than conversation about change: there is opportunity for a dress rehearsal.

The Bonny Method was created by Helen Bonny, Music Therapist, Psychologist, trail blazer. As one of the few women involved with the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Baltimore, MD in the early 1970s’ LSD “consciousness expanding” research trials as a music programmer, Bonny discovered, almost by accident, that the same types of “altered states” experiences could be had without the use of the drug. Instead, the magic potion involved very carefully chosen classical music programs designed to mimic the peaks and valleys of the journey with one important exception: the Travelers remember the experience and can participate in the aftermath of utilizing the insights gained during the process.

Indeed there is. Bonny did more than create and develop her special protocol; she also founded an association and developed training program criteria to ensure consistency, competency and further professional development. The association for Music & Imagery (AMI) is located in North Ridgeville, OH, and oversees training standards, research, and continuing education for the Bonny Method. Learn more about AMI here: http://ami-bonnymethod.org/

Session begin with discussion and intention setting. Clients, or “Travelers” choose the focus of each session based on their present needs and the “Guide” chooses the appropriate music program to support the energy and discovery process. Travelers then find a comfortable resting position, and a brief relaxation is offered before the music begins. This interaction can encourage a shift into a “Non-Ordinary” or “Altered” state of consciousness where they feel like they are “traveling” through an experience. Some folks “see” images internally, similar to a dream state, others have somatic-kinesthetic responses in the body and sensory awareness, while others experience a sense of inner knowing— or any combination of these sensations. Sessions are typically 90 minutes in length. This includes prelude, music journey and post-session processing utilizing various tools, including the traditional “Mandala” drawing, live music making and other artistic expressions.

For more detailed information on this method please see: ANATOMY of a Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music Session page.

No. GIM is not hypnosis and Travelers are conscious for the entirety of the experience. We refer to the awareness as a “Non-Ordinary State.” Everyone travels differently and there is no right or wrong way to explore your unconscious and inner self. Many folks remember symbols, feelings, thoughts and insights, but everyone’s journey is individual and different. Each session can vary in content and involvement from the next as one becomes more familiar with the process.

The beauty of this method is that it’s not designed to be long term. Of course clients can choose to participate for as long as they want, or come back to GIM at a later time if new challenges arise or return. As an adjunct or alternative to traditional psychotherapy/talk therapy, GIM comes from a different and fresh perspective. H.O.P.E. recommends no fewer than six sessions to work on an issue, but as many as twenty may be typical.

H.O.P.E. GIM Studio does not accept insurance payments at this time. Payment is expected upon receipt of services rendered and is the responsibility of the individual client. Cash, check or credit cards are accepted payment methods. Sliding scales and pre-payment or session package discounts are available. Our goal is to be of service to anyone who needs this method of support.

GIM is appropriate for anyone who is experiencing a roadblock on the journey of life: transitions, grief, self-discovery, recovery from substance or food addiction, trauma, preparation for specific challenges, anhedonia, and much more. GIM works well in conjunction with other therapy approaches as an adjunct and enhancing process, or can be transformational on its own. If you’ve “tried it all” without desired results, GIM might just be the catalyst for change you’re looking for.

GIM is contraindicated for anyone with severe psychiatric diagnoses (such as Schizophrenia or Dissociative Identity Disorder) or anyone actively using recreational drugs and/or abusing alcohol.

AmyLynn Dimaano is a Board Certified Music Therapist, Certified Drug & Alcohol Counselor, and is currently in the advanced level of training in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. AmyLynn has been practicing as a Board Certified Music Therapist since 2008 in the fields of Mental Health, Addiction, and Eating Disorders.

GIM Sessions are available in Redlands, CA, at the H.O.P.E. studio location and can also be booked at Alternative Options Counseling Center in Cerritos, CA, by appointment only. Find out more about Alternative Options Counseling Center: www.altoptions.com

AmyLynn is not a Marriage and Family Therapist or a Doctor of any kind. AmyLynn will refer clients as needed to other professionals for anything outside of the scope of practice of Music Therapy.

For the Wellness Professional:

Complimentary demonstration sessions are offered to licensed and professional clinicians. Please contact AmyLynn to schedule or for more information. We love referrals!