Music Therapy reimagined
I can offer a richly creative process to help cope with mental health issues, and have experience of working with adults with stress, trauma, anxiety, and depression in my private practice and NHS work.
Together, we will explore issues in a safe way, and may use a combination of approaches depending on your needs, preference, and whether we meet in person or online. Scroll down for further information on the different apporaches on offer to learn more about how they may help you.
Guided Imagery & Music (GIM)
The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music: GIM, is a type of depth music psychotherapy that accesses the inner world and deeper layers of consciousness, which can enable you to find different perspectives on issues you may be struggling with. It can strengthen your relationship to your sense of self, and help you discover previously inaccessible resources, which may support you as you move forward in life. If you are interested in personal development, have issues with anxiety, depression or trauma, complex pain or life-limiting illness, GIM may offer a creative and transformational approach to help you find answers. It can also aid exploration of the transpersonal or spiritual aspects of life.
A typical session lasts approximately 1.5 hours and includes a preliminary conversation followed by a relaxation focusing on the breath. A musical programme is chosen to support exploration of issues raised at the beginning of the session, and you will talk to the therapist, who will guide you through the experience as your imagination unfolds relevant stories, images, sensations, symbols and metaphors, to help you understand your situation better. This process is similar to Jung's Active Imagination technique, but in GIM, music helps support the development of your imagery. Insights gained from the music experience may be integrated by drawing a mandala, (see below for further information) and verbal processing with the therapist to close the session.
As an advanced trainee I am closely supervised by my primary trainer Leslie Bunt and the session fee reflects this level of training. For further information on GIM please visit: https://ami-bonnymethod.org/
Carl Jung refers to the mandala as “the psychological expression of the totality of the self,"
they can be found in many different cultures, and have been used since ancient times to aid spiritual growth, healing, and in mediation rituals. In GIM sessions, they are often used as part of the therapeutic process, and can support the exploration of insights gained from the musical experience. To help facilitate this process, I have completed the Certificate Programme in the therapeutic use of mandalas, which was developed by Susanne Fincher and Marilyn Clark. The Creating Mandalas website has more details:
Below are some examples of mandalas and a link to a short video. By reminding myself of a good memory and choosing music to reinforce that feeling, I have created a mandala which I can look at whenever I need a reminder of positive feelings. You can easily try this at home, and only need a piece of paper with a circle drawn on it , your favourite music, and some drawing materials!
Music on this recording: Reflections, copyright Ola Gjeilo
Supervision is a journey of two, it is like an improvised song: it creates itself in the here and now, out of material from the past. It starts from a specific title, word, or sentence, and travels to the unknown, that is based on the known.
(Dorit Amir, 2001)
I enjoy helping supervisees to explore the client/therapist relationship through the use of music and other creative media such as mandalas and dreamwork, and have considerable experience of providing online supervision as well as face to face sessions. I completed the first clinical supervision training for music therapists at the University of the West of England, and have supervised therapists working with adults with learning disabilities, running community choirs, in continuing care, acute mental health settings, and with older adults with mental health issues and dementia.
In 2018 I presented my work at the BAMT conference; you can find out more about it in this recently published article written with a supervisee, documenting some of the processes that can happen in online supervision, in the Approaches International Journal:
This is an active approach to therapy which involves therapist and client co-creating music to facilitate self-expression, communication, and explore feelings that may be too difficult to share in words. A typical session includes time for you to freely explore the instruments provided, such as tuned and untuned percussion or keyboard, whilst being supported by the therapist's sounds. It might also include singing familiar songs, writing songs about your experiences, and discussing the lyrics of pieces that might be important to you. Creating music together can help convey feelings in a safe way, and help you to feel heard and responded to, which might be a new and liberating experience.
You do not need to be musical to take part in music therapy. Sessions usually last 30-50 minutes depending on the person’s needs, and whether its a group or individual session.
I have more than 20 years experience as a music therapist, and have helped children and adults with special needs and profound learning disabilities, as well as people living with dementia who need social interaction and to stimulation. I have also helped adults struggling with a range of mental health issues in the NHS and voluntary settings.
For further information on music therapy visit the British Association for Music Therapy:
£65 PER SESSION FOR MUSIC THERAPY
£55 PER SESSION FOR CLINICAL SUPERVISION
£50 PER SESSION FOR GIM /BMGIM SESSIONS & MANDALA WORK
I OFFER A SLIDING SCALE OF FEES AND CONCESSIONARY RATES, PLEASE ASK ME FOR FURTHER INFORMATION