Guided imagery

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Guided Imagery is a technique used by many natural or alternative medicine practitioners as well as some physicians and psychologists for aiding clients and patients to use mental imagery to help with anything from healing their bodies with Cancer guided imagery to solving problems or reducing stress.

Guided Imagery is not limited to physical problems or health issues and is commonly used for emotional healing or psychological issues. It can help resolve emotional wounds, low self-esteem issues, and even help support a person with career goals. Guided Imagery is sometimes considered a form of hypnotherapy. Simple imagery suggestions are given to a client by a trained practitioner typically in a one-on-one fashion, however, it is sometimes done in group sessions. The offering of a series of image suggestions depends upon the needs of the individual. The image suggestions given to a client often involve effective breathing and relaxing techniques at the start of the session, and then progresses further through the main course of the patient's problem by providing a direction toward the solution.

Guided affective imagery[edit]

Guided affective imagery (GAI; also known as katathym imaginative psychotherapy) is a method of psychotherapy. It is a therapeutic technique in which a facilitator uses descriptive language intended to psychologically benefit mental imagery, often involving several or all senses, in the mind of the listener. In this method, the imagination plays an important role together with discussions with the client. It was developed by German psychiatrist Hanscarl Leuner, based on his research in guided mental imagery, "catathymic influences" (the interaction of mental contents and emotional processes), dreams and daydreams.

Guided Imagery and Music[edit]

Helen Lindquist Bonny (1921 – May 25, 2010) was a music therapist who developed "Guided Imagery and Music" often referred to as "GIM". Music therapist Kenneth Bruscia uses the following definition to describe Guided Imagery and Music:

"(GIM) refers to all forms of music-imaging in an expanded state of consciousness, including not only the specific individual and group forms that Bonny developed, but also all variations and modifications in those forms created by her followers."

Helen Bonny studied with E. Thayer Gaston at the University of Kansas in the early 1960s, where she received her bachelor's degree in music education, with a major in music therapy. She continued on to receive a master's degree in music education with an emphasis in research.[1] After completing her PhD in the late 1960s, she began researching the effects of music on imagination, and in 1973 authored a book, co-written with Louis Savary, entitled "Music and Your Mind: Listening with a New Consciousness"[2]

Although Guided Imagery and Music draws from various schools of psychology, Helen Bonny has cited as its main influences the humanistic and the transpersonal psychology of Carl Rogers, and Abraham Maslow. Bonny was also profoundly influenced by the work of Carl Jung.[3]

Helen Bonny's grandson, Miles Bonny is an active recording musician in Kansas City, Mo.

See also[edit]


  • Leuner, H. (1969): Guided Affective Imagery (GAI). A Method of Intensive Psychotherapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy, Vol. 23, No. 1, p. 4–22. pdf
  • Utay, J.; Miller, M. (2006): Guided imagery as an effective therapeutic technique: a brief review of its history and efficacy research. Journal of Instructional Psychology, March 2006
  1. ^ Music Consciousness: The Evolution of Guided Imagery and Music, by Helen Bonny, ed. by Lisa Summer (2002), p. 7
  2. ^ "Pickett, E. A History of the Literature of Guided Imagery of Music. From Guided Imagery and Music ed. by Bruscia, K. & Grocke, D. (2002). pp. xv-xvi
  3. ^ Music Consciousness: The Evolution of Guided Imagery (2002), p. 12