Anglia Ruskin Research Online (ARRO)
Feasibility of GIM in ED treatment.pdf (595.95 kB)

Feasibility of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music in eating disorder treatment: Clients' perceived benefits and challenges

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-07, 15:12 authored by Annie Heiderscheit

Individuals diagnosed with eating disorders (ED) experience persistent symptoms related to eating and food intake. These symptoms significantly impact an individual's overall physical health and psychosocial functioning. They often have psychiatric comorbidities that contribute to the complexity of the disorder and necessitate a psychotherapeutic approach to uncover and work through unresolved emotions and experiences. GIM is an in-depth music psychotherapy method utilizing therapist-programmed music to support uncovering and examining underlying and unresolved issues. The literature surrounding GIM with clients with EDs is limited to clinical case studies. This feasibility study integrated GIM sessions into clients' usual ED treatment. Eight adult females engaged in ED treatment received a total of 116 GIM sessions over a 12-month period. Participants rated the feasibility of GIM in ED treatment as 6 (very easy) and rated the helpfulness of GIM as 6.5 (very helpful). Analysis of the questionnaires identified nine subthemes and three themes that emerged related to perceived benefits. The three themes include insight (feeling stuck, fear factor, and need for change), emotional processes (identifying emotions, experiencing emotions, and processing emotions), and growth (discovering inner strengths, developing self-belief, and letting go). Challenges identified included: fear of the unfamiliar and learning to trust self.



  • Yes



Page range


Publication title

The Arts in Psychotherapy




Elsevier BV

File version

  • Published version


  • eng

Item sub-type

Journal Article

Affiliated with

  • Cambridge Institute of Music Therapy Research (CIMTR) Outputs