Therapy using Music and Imagery

How can it help me?

If you are looking for a creative and deeply effective approach to supporting you with life challenges, Therapy using Music and Imagery will be of interest to you. This therapy, in its most in depth form is called Guided Imagery and Music (GIM). It helps you go straight to the heart of issues, move through blocks, gain insight and feel creatively resourced. 

GIM affects change quickly.

The powerful, yet gentle method involving listening to pre-recorded music in a deeply relaxed state evokes sensory images, emotions, insights and brings new awareness. 

It is gentle in the sense that your evoked responses to the music or ‘images’ are only naturally revealed when you are ready. An innate resonance happens in this respect. It is powerful and effective as the music takes you to the core of what you are with, by-passing the busy mind chatter. You don’t need to consider yourself musical to benefit, as we are all musical in that music affects everyone.

The whole process or journey is a supported, creative experience, with the music being central.

Music Imagery Therapy is especially helpful if you are:

  •  Seeking support and clarity around times of change
  • Looking for a more creative, spiritual approach to your personal development
  • Suffering from stress, anxiety, depression or feeling ‘stuck’ 
  • Recovering from the effects of trauma 
  • A musician, artist, writer, film maker or other creative, wanting to enhance your creativity
  • A trainee in the arts therapies, counselling or psychotherapy and looking for a creative therapy to support you with your personal process 
  • Seeking end of life support 

I guide you in a relaxation process, which allows you to journey with the music in a deep and safe way. I support you in this relaxed state to access more of your inner self, so that deeper feelings, experiences and intuitive knowledge can come into your full awareness and help you in your life. 

I am Helen Mason, a very experienced, fully qualified music therapist, registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (hcpc). I am also trained in using the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM) and a Fellow with the Association of Music and Imagery. I am based in Bristol, UK and I offer sessions online using zoom with enhanced security and optimum audio settings for music.

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It helped me to gain clarity and insight, which gave me strength and confidence to make significant changes in my life.”

Jane, therapist

What is it?

What is Music Imagery Therapy?

Music Imagery Therapy is a depth oriented music psychotherapy method. It is based on the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM) developed by Helen L. Bonny, Ph.D. using specially designed music programmes mostly with classical music.

Your experience of the music reflects your self, personal relationships, feelings, and life experiences. This brings new awareness, leading to significant personal insight. The music taps into deeper levels of being which brings to light change, support, connection and inner resources.

What happens in a session?

In a Music Imagery Therapy (MI Therapy) session I guide you through these four stages:

  • 1. Initial Share 

    You talk about how you are, what’s arising and what you feel you need.

  • 2. Guided Relaxation 

    I help you ease into a deeply relaxed state using visualization and breath. Ideally, you lie down for this and for the ‘journey’ whilst I sit close by in support (when it is an in-person session). This set up is re-created for online sessions.

  • 3. Journey with Music 

    This is to a selected pre-recorded programme of music, usually classical music, which lasts between 30-45 minutes. Whilst in a deeply relaxed state, you describe your experience to me as it is happening with the music. I support you with the unfolding and deepening of the imagery or journey experience.

  • 4. Integration 

    I help you move from the deeply relaxed journeying state back to a normal awake place and support you with integrating. This helps you take the experience into your life in a useful way.

Sessions are for a 90 or 60 minute series, depending on what you are needing. For a 60 minute session, the music programme is shorter. 

The exquisite and unique power of music, used in MI Therapy, combined with feeling relaxed and well supported, opens and connects you to your inner resources. The music provides support, reminds you of beauty through its aesthetic qualities, enables deeper connection and enhances creativity.

Fees

Initial 60 minute session – reduced fee £40 

60 minute MI session – £60

90 minute GIM session – £90

60 minute GIM supervision – £48

My fees are flexible and can be discussed in the initial session.

I carry 2 low cost places for those in financial hardship, where the fees are negotiable. Please ask if these places are available.

Working with Helen as my guide allowed me to explore uncharted psychological terrain in a safe and supportive environment, allowing me to connect with hidden events from the past.”

Paul F

Testimonials

A Client’s Experience

Excerpt of an article published in SPARK magazine in the ‘Mind Body Spirit’ section. Spark journalist Hannah Latham shares her experience of Guided Imagery in Music with Helen Mason.  


I was brought up in the 70s when talking about your feelings was acceptable for the first time and Co-Counselling was one of the groundbreaking community movements that came with it. This was just what my parents needed to counteract their oppressive childhoods and they threw themselves in. I was taught to articulate my emotions with great finesse, however a downside is that I am very adept at talking around my feelings.

The mugging I experienced three months ago threw me way off balance after a couple of years of what seemed like right-of-passage rush hour (father dying, civil partnership, buying a house, etc). Having always been curious about creative therapies, I thought music therapy might bypass my defences and breakdown new fears of answering the door to strangers and people walking behind me.

Helen Mason has been a music therapist for fourteen years and has mainly worked within the NHS. She has done a further qualification in Guided Imagery in Music. We decided three sessions would be a good starting point.

After giving a brief account of my life and troubles and saying what I wanted to get out of this, I lie on a couch under blankets and close my eyes. Helen talks me into a relaxed state and visualizing a safe place, then puts on a selection of classical music, which I am to let take me on a journey that I describe out loud. I’m apprehensive nothing will happen. The music starts and I immediately go to a sad, dark, womb-like place where I want to be held, then a void that I have experienced before in meditation. It’s full of potential and strength and I revisit this place throughout these sessions. As the music hits peaks and troughs I go with it; floating down a river… on my father’s allotment… facing my mugger… in a field full of my friends. Some are charged with emotions I didn’t know I had, some with questions, some with nothing. When the music is at its climax my feelings seem too much, but once I voice them I move on. Sometimes I shed tears or laugher.

I often found myself engulfed by a piece of music I knew intimately but had no clue how it went. Apparently this is common because of the relaxed state of mind you are in.

The experience is rich and intense and when the music ends Helen slowly brings me back into the room. We talk through my journeys, which she has scribed.

I am blown away. The issues I presented were nothing compared to what was underneath. I came off anti-depressants five months ago after four years and it seems my subconscious is ready to take on what’s surrounding that – I’m ready to feel again. There’s a lot of violence there, which has been polarised by the mugging.

Over the three sessions I explore darkness, which is at times scary, however Helen is both gentle and sensitive, coaxing me on when I seem stuck. It’s a moving and powerful process that bypassed my conscious mind, cutting to the heart of what was really going on and putting me in touch with my own strength. Accept my own darkness is what I’m working on now and my fears around safety have naturally changed into awareness of my surroundings.”

…Helen is both gentle and sensitive, coaxing me on when I seem stuck.”

Hannah, a writer

About Helen

Compassion meets professionalism


Helen Mason | BAHons(Oxon), 
Dip.Mus.Th, FAMI, CRCT Dip

I am a qualified music therapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a member of the Association of Music and Imagery (AMI ). I am qualified as a Fellow of the Association of Music and Imagery (FAMI) having done an in depth training in Guided Imagery and Music, (GIM) based on the Bonny Method. I also have a diploma in couples therapy. 

I have 26 years experience working as a music therapist with a diverse range of client groups, mostly adults, in a variety of settings. I have worked for over 15 years within the NHS and was instrumental in setting up and developing an arts psychotherapies department for adult mental health, taking the lead role for 7 years.

Now, my work is in private practice with MI Therapy and also Couples Therapy, and I have worked in private practice for over 10 years. I am based in Bristol, UK and I offer sessions online using zoom with enhanced security and optimum audio settings for music. 

I also offer supervision for Guided Imagery and Music practitioners and students in training.

I have always been passionate about music and my background was as a performing musician. I play several instruments and love spending time composing and co-creating music. 

I bring my creativity, sensitivity, integrity, compassion and professionalism to what I offer in MI Therapy.

Contact

Does this resonate with you?

If you would like to book an initial session to see how it is to work with Therapy using Music and Imagery with me, or if you have any other enquiries, please get in touch.

If you prefer send a brief message below.

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