chapter  11
Accessing Strength from Within: Music Imagery and Mandalas
ByLouise Dimiceli-Mitran
Pages 15

The field of music therapy practice encompasses many treatment modalities and a full range of client populations. Within the field, the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) distinguishes itself as a reconstructive, depth-oriented psychotherapy in which specifically programmed classical music is used to generate a dynamic unfolding of inner experience (Bonny and Goldberg, 1996/2002). It is holistic, client-centered, humanistic, transpersonal, and allows for emergence of all aspects of the human experience including psychological, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual. The music adds the element of aesthetic beauty to the therapeutic process engaging the senses and thus the body as well as nonverbally activating emotional material. Inherent to the method, the music is considered a co-therapist, providing structure for exploring difficult topics, expanding the field of expression without limiting the flow, acting as a container for the experience and reflecting the client’s emotions in a supportive, elegant, articulate way. It also facilitates easy movement into altered states of consciousness by providing oceanic experiences which may have life-changing properties for the individual. GIM is indicated for those who have healthy, strong egos and while it may be considered a strengths-based therapy because it allows clients to find solutions from within, it can fall short to the degree that it is inaccessible to those who lack a sufficiently strong ego for the work.