Special Issue 11 (1) 2019 “Exploring the spiritual in music: Interdisciplinary dialogues in music, wellbeing and education” – Article (first published on 24 November 2019)
Music, spirituality and wellbeing: Experiences of trans-subjective-participation in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM)
Integrative GIM Training Programme, UK
In this theoretical article I discuss case examples from Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), a music-centred form of psychotherapy. In GIM, the client’s imagery experience evolves whilst listening to a sequence of pre-recorded music in an altered or non-ordinary state of consciousness. In the article I explore spiritual experience in GIM as it relates to the trans-subjective-participation in which I believe clients’ personal experience to be grounded. This is at a level of consciousness which transcends individual existence, time and space, and even death. I illustrate my thinking with examples from work in palliative and bereavement care where clients have been able to experience the bonds with their loved ones being maintained beyond death, for instance. Such experiences of connectedness at a spiritual level can be very real for clients, even though they may be imagined. They are real-illusions, as I discuss, putting clients authentically in touch with the spiritual dimension, even though the latter as thing-in-itself remains utterly beyond imagining. Other case examples illustrate the collective dimension of trans-subjective-participation in GIM as this relates to trauma and its healing.
The Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), imagery, spiritual experience, altered states of consciousness, palliative care, bereavement, trans-subjective-participation, real-illusion
Martin Lawes, FAMI, isa music therapist additionally trained in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM). He is founder of the Integrative GIM Training Programme which delivers training in London. [email@example.com]