The Bonny Institute

News Archive

The Bonny Institute offers educational programs which introduce and further the work of Helen Lindquist Bonny.

Future Plans - a New Video!

The Board is interested in looking to ways the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music can be more widely utilized by professionals in music therapy and other therapies, as well as in hospital settings and personal meditation.

We look forward to the production of a new video resource based upon the life and work of Helen L. Bonny. We see this as a way of preserving her legacy and extending it to generations yet to come.

We welcome New Board Members

The Board welcomed new members Gillian Spencer, a writer for television and medical intuitive, New York City; Bonnie Miller, artist and faculty member at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts; and Diane Ritchey Vaux, psychotherapist, Port Townsend, Washington, who serves as Secretary of the Board.

Helen Bonny signing new book.

Helen Bonny signing new book.

Board of Directors

Board Meeting at Aisling Retreat Center, from right to left: Marilyn Clark, Sara Hart, Erich Bonny, Nancy Conner, Sophie Fineran, Scot Hagerman, Karlyn Ward

Virginia Walker

Thanks to Virginia Walker for consistent support to the Bonny Foundation.

Helen in Japan with Fumio and Etsuko Kuribyashi.


Congratulations to Dr. Barbe Creagh!

Barbe has successfully completed her PhD study with Union Graduate School. Her doctoral research, Transformative Mourning: Testing the Efficacy of GIM as a Bereavement Intervention for Widowed Persons, was the topic of her presentation to a GIM Sharing group in Chicago, Illinois.

Special Symposium on Music and Consciousness

The Bonny Institute sponsored a special symposium, Music and Consciousness: A Gathering of Pathfinders. Continuing Education Credits were given through CBMT. People from around the world gathered at Holiday Inn Oceanside, Vero Beach, Florida from March 18-20, 2004. Presenters included:

The Symposium took place in lovely Vero Beach, Florida

The Symposium took place in lovely Vero Beach, Florida


Lisa Feghali has completed the Bonny Foundation requirements for advanced training in GIM

A board-certified music therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Lisa holds a Bachelor's degree in music therapy from the University of Miami and a Master's degree in social work from Barry University. She has employed GIM and group GIM with adults through her private practice, adolescents in inpatient treatment, and older adults in a residing setting. Her final project explored the effects of group GIM on mood in older women living in a health care facility.

Congratulations to new Bonny Foundation graduates Katie Hartley Opher, Dottie Pienta and Therese West

Katie Hartley Opher entered the GIM training with excellent sensitivity to her clients, a strong belief in the power of music, and an openness for learning. As a trainee Katie developed an excellent understanding of GIM, and she became especially adept at clinical group applications of GIM. We congratulate her on a job well done!

Dottie's mentor Lisa Summer writes: "Dottie entered the GIM training with experience in music therapy and nursing. She brought to her work an extraordinary sensitivity to her clients, a beautifully quiet and strong presence, and an openness for learning. As a GIM student Dottie developed an excellent understanding of in-depth psychotherapeutic process through music and she became especially adept at clinical applications of GIM."

Therese West is a Board Certified Music Therapist with over 18 years of clinical experience across a wide range of settings and populations, including mental health, rehabilitation, medicine, and hospice. She has used the Bonny Method of GIM as a research focus in both her masters thesis and her doctoral dissertation. As a music therapist in oncology and medical settings, Therese is interested in both the possible indications and contra-indications for music-evoked imagery with patients experiencing acute stress related to hospitalization, disease, or treatment. Therese has served as a therapist and research assistant in the Center for Psycho-Oncology Research at the University of Miami. Other work in progress includes a pilot project to study potential effects of a series of GIM sessions on mood, salivary cortisol, and melatonin in women with breast cancer. A new Fellow of the AMI, Therese is Assistant Professor of Music Therapy and Music Education at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and serves on the GIM training staff walof the Therapeutic Arts Institute (San Francisco).

Newly Published Books Explore GIM

Music and Consciousness: The Evolution of Guided Imagery and Music by Helen Lindquist Bonny,
Barcelona Publishers, 2002.

Book cover: Guided Imagery and Music Guided Imagery and Music: The Bonny Mothod and Beyond edited by Kenneth E. Bruscia and Denise E. Grocke
Barcelona Publishers, 2002.


Temple University Agrees to House Archives

We are pleased to announce the forming of an official archives for the work of Helen Bonny and the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. In co-operation with the Bonny Foundation, the Department of Special Collections and the Music Therapy Department at Temple have created an archives of books, articles, tapes, videos, personal correspondence and notes which will hold the history and development of the Bonny Method. These archives are available for students who are studying the Bonny Method and will be an invaluable resource.

Anyone having pertinent materials should notify the Bonny Foundation. Archivists tell us that marked up copies with notes on them are particularly interesting in mapping history. Click for more information.

Re-Visioning the Future

The last Bonny Foundation training seminar was held January 10-14, 2002 in Chicago, Illinois. The newly developed Music Passages program is continuing under Marilyn's personal sponsorship. The Foundation Board has embarked on a self-study process to discern future direction. Marilyn Clark has stepped down as director as of January 31, 2002 and has joined the Board. The Board welcomes suggestions from constituents and support from contributors The website is the best place for updates on this process.

The Bonny Foundation training program was designed and taught by Lisa Summer, Fran Goldberg and Helen Bonny, experts in the field. The unique mentoring program for advanced students enabled a personal touch from these experts and others that deepened the learning and growth processes for all involved. We are very grateful for the excellent trainings that Lisa, Fran, Helen and other Bonny Foundation trainers provided for the many students who have gone through our GIM training.

As we close the training program, Fran and Lisa are carrying on their fine work in a new GIM training venture. (Please email Fran [email protected] for more information.) We have confidence that there are many excellent options for the interested student. The Association for Music and Imagery, the professional association that sets guidelines and standards for the Bonny Method and related techniques, carries an up-to-date listing of endorsed trainers and training programs in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. (click here for more information)

Music Passages: Journeys in Experiential Spirituality, is a response to the contemporary spiritual quest that is so obviously a part of our culture today. It was developed in consultation with Helen Bonny who has consistently advocated for the use of music as a bridge to divine presence. The harmonic structures, the tone colors of the instruments, the invitation of the melodies, the inspiration and intention of the composers create a sound space within which we can experience spirituality. In these retreats, a central activity is listening to music with a deep and prayerful intention of connection with oneself and with the divine presence. These retreats are both personally meaningful and relaxing for the participants. Please contact Marilyn Clark for information on upcoming retreat programs.

Bon Voyage!

Helen Bonny waves good-bye

As I wave good-bye to full participation in Bonny Foundation events in Salina, I wave hello to new opportunities to travel worldwide...

A recent trip in November to Gifu City, Japan to present GIM to 1600 eager Music Therapists with fellow keynote speakers Lisa Summer and Joe Moreno is a case in point. Bonny Foundation students Fumio and Etsuko Kuribyashi and Yasuko Sugihara entertained and hosted us royally as Lisa and I visited holy places and enjoyed the exotic, unique and wonderful Japanese culture. In September, I was sharing insights at the European GIM conference on Elba Island, Italy. Also on the program were Marilyn Clark, Margareta Warja, Ken Bruscia and many of our GIM colleagues and friends. Sara Duffield was my companion as we visited Cremona where the great violins were made.

Recent years have brought closer collaboration with other GIM training sites and with our parent organization, AMI. Our students have come from many countries: Sweden, Germany, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico: and our trainers have visited these and many other countries to introduce the Bonny Method to professionals in their own language and place.

My greatest joy is to watch the seeds of an idea be spread and germinate. This cannot happen unless the idea has taken a form that proves to be a blessing to the recipient. I am humbled and honored to have been granted the grace to be a part of the birth and growth of GIM. I look forward with great anticipation to its exponential growth and meaningful usefulness in the future.

Helen Bonny