Welcome to Guided Imagery and Music Therapy Services!

What is the Bonny Method?

•An advanced form of music therapy practice 

• A music-centered therapy which uses specifically selected recorded music to stimulate and support a dynamic unfolding of inner experiences in service of physical, psychological, and spiritual health and wellbeing (Association for Music and Imagery, 2005) 

• Supports the belief that each individual has the capacity for self-healing and knowledge 

• Bonny Method therapist supports the client through the healing and discovery process. 

Bonny Method Sessions

Bonny Method Sessions

 Classical Bonny Method sessions are in four sections: prelude, induction, guided music listening (usually to recorded classical music), and postlude. While the music plays, the client and therapist participate in an ongoing verbal dialogue about the client's imagery experience, which has been evoked by the music. 

  • Traditional sessions are approximately one-and-one-half to two hours in length. 
  • Adaptations of Bonny Method are practiced depending upon the therapeutic setting and the client's needs. These include: creating artwork to music, writing to music, collaborative group artwork or movement to music, short individual sessions, and continuous verbal directions by the  therapist while the music is playing.
  • An introductory session with a trained Bonny Method practitioner will help to determine a client's suitability for Bonny Method work and will discern whether a classical or adapted Bonny Method approach is most recommended. 
  • The Bonny Method may not be appropriate for all persons. The introductory meeting is for the Bonny Method practitioner to determine whether this method is well-suited for the client. If the practitioner determines that the Bonny Method is not appropriate for the client, the practitioner will refer the client to other, more suitable therapists.
  • The Bonny Method is not a form of verbal psychotherapy and should not be used as a substitute for verbal counseling.

Association for Music and Imagery (AMI)

All Bonny Method practitioners, or Fellows, are trained by programs approved by the Association for Music and Imagery (AMI). AMI also approves all Bonny Method Fellow or Trainer applications. 

Bonny Method Training

Pre-Requisites for Training Levels

Level One

To qualify for Level I training, students must have received one personal Bonny Method session or have attended an Introduction to the Bonny Method continuing education course. 

Level Two

To take the Level II course, the student must apply to the Atlantis Institute, give 10 personal sessions, receive 4 personal sessions, complete one musical analysis assignment, and read 5 related books. Half of the requirements are meant to be done prior to the training and the other half is meant to be done following the training. 

Level Three

Students must attend 3 Level III courses that contain Advanced Clinical, Archetype and Myth, Transpersonal Healing, Music and the Psyche, and Supervisory training. Students must apply and be accepted by the Atlantis Institute. To successfully complete the training and become a Fellow of the Association for Music and Imagery, Level III students must give 75 client sessions, receive 15 personal sessions, receive 15 supervisions, read 15 books and write reports, complete and present a 10-session case study at one of the Level III trainings, and analyze in writing all 19 of the required Atlantis GIM music programs. 

Meet the Trainers

Both Nicki Cohen and Santiago Vilá were taught to be Trainers through the Atlantis Institute for Consciousness and Music, which is directed by Sierra Stearns and Carol Bush. The Atlantis Institute has prepared many excellent Bonny Method Trainers.

Nicki Cohen and Santiago Vilá

Nicki Cohen

Nicki Cohen, Ph.D.,MT-BC is a Fellow and Trainer of the AMI. She teaches for the Atlantis Institute in Denton, TX, where Nicki is also a Professor of Music Therapy at Texas Woman's University.. She has a private GIM practice that incorporates music therapy techniques and modified forms of the Bonny Method as needed. Nicki conducts all levels of GIM trainings, and also offers workshops, supervisions, and therapeutic sessions. She is willing to teach internationally.  Nicki just published a book  entitled, Advanced Methods in Music Therapy Practice by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Nicki loves to sing, play her ukulele and accordion, listen to her finches fidgit and  beep, drink tea, and laugh. She is forever grateful to Helen Bonny, her mentor,  for how GIM has fully transformed her life.  

Santiago Vilá

Santiago Vilá has been the music therapy coordinator of Tákim Institute in Bogotá, Colombia since 2011. He is a professional drummer and holds a Master´s Degree in Music Therapy from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He is Fellow and Primary Trainer of the Association for Music and Imagery. Although Spanish is his mother tongue, he speaks fluently in English and Italian. Kriya Yoga is essential in his soul journey, and he incorporates meditation techniques in the therapeutic processes. In his private practice, he uses GIM specially for spiritual growth, recovery from trauma and addictions. 

According to Santi, "Since I lived that first peak experience, the healing nature of that expanded state caused by music has been the source of inspiration to accompany others in their healing and transformation paths." 

Contact Santiago at santidrum@gmail.com  or  www.takim.co

The Students

To study the Bonny Method, one must believe in the wisdom of the Self to heal when given support and non-directive guidance. Students can be music therapists, counselors, spiritual directors.  or other related professionals who believe in the power of music and imagery as means of transformation. A student who pursues Bonny Method training must have a strong and close relationship with music, clinical experience as a mental health therapist, the required certification for their profession, and have a master's degree by the time they finish their training. 

Session Rates

Individual Bonny Method Sessions

$90 per 1.5-2 hour session

$60 for a Bonny Method trainee

$50 for a demonstration session, limit of one

Group Session

$120 per group session with maximum of 6 members


$75 per supervision


$75 per consultation


The amount will be based on number of days and topic. Contact Nicki Cohen using  the form at the end of this website if you are interested in a workshop on the Bonny Method or a similar topic. 

Nicki Cohen: Publications and Presentations

  • Cohen, N. (2017). Helen Bonny: The Seed or the Flower? Southwestern AMTA conference, Lubbock, TX.
  • Cohen, N. (2017). Advanced methods of  music therapy practice. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, UK.
  • Cohen, N. (2017). Helen Bonny: The Seed or the Flower? Conference of the Association for Music and Imagery, Montreal, Quebec, CA
  • Cohen, N. (2015).  Kud’sha b’reekh hu (from the Sacred Wellspring). In Siddur Kol Ami.Congregation Kol Ami, Flower Mound, TX.
  • Cohen, N. (2015). The floating leaf: A case study of guided imagery and music for a person with brain damage. In Guided imagery and music: A spectrum of approach. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Cohen, N. (2016). Principles of objectivist research. In Music therapy research (3rd. ed.). Barcelona Publishers. Commissioned Chapter.
  • Cohen, N. (2013). Neurogenic communication disorders. In Guidelines for music therapy practice: Medical care of adults (ed. J. Allen). Barcelona Publishers.  
  • Cohen, N. (2002). Ethical considerations in guided imagery and music. In K. Bruscia and D. Grocke (Eds.) Guided imagery and music: The Bonny method and beyond (pp. 483-496). Gilsum, NH: Barcelona Publishers.
  • Cohen, N. (2011). Featured Speaker in The Healing Powers of Music. Channel 33, Dallas.
  • Cohen, N. (2010). To Tense and Release: Reconsidering Relaxation Strategies. American Music Therapy Association Conference, Cleveland, OH.
  • Cohen, N. (2010).Therapeutic music as narrative. Narrative and Healing, the telemedicine component of LitSite Alaska. University of Alaska, Anchorage.  
  • Cohen, N. (2009). Featured Speaker in TWU Music Therapy [DVD]. Annis Leung, Director and Producer.
  • Cohen, N. (2009).The Rock and Roll Threshold: How Loud is Too Loud?
    American Music Therapy Association Conference, San Diego, CA.
  • Cohen, N. (2008). Featured Speaker in Invited by Music: Explorations in Consciousness [DVD]. The Bonny Institute.
  • Cohen, N. (2008).The 10 Lenses: How Cultural Diversity Impacts Music Therapy Practice. Presented at the American Music Therapy Association Conference.
  • Cohen, N.  (2007). Bonny Method Practice and Cultural Diversity: Finding the Balance. Presented at the Association for Music and Imagery Conference.
  • Cohen, N. (2006). Cultural Diversity and Music Therapy: Finding the Balance. Presented at the American Music Therapy Association Conference.
  • Cohen, N.  (2005). Musical choices: An interview with Helen Lindquist Bonny. Journal of the Association for Music and Imagery, 9, 1-26.
  • Summer, L., Cohen, N., Goldberg, F., McKinney, C., & West, T. (2005). Music and Imagery: Roundtable for Current Practice and Training. Association for Music and Imagery Conference, Vancouver, B.C.,Canada.
  • Cohen, N. (2004). Applications of GIM Research to Music Therapy Practice. Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Cohen, N. (2002). Ethical considerations in guided imagery and music. In K. Bruscia and D. Grocke (Eds.) Guided imagery and music: The Bonny Method and beyond. Barcelona Publishers.
  • Cohen, N., & Burns, D. (2002). Music Relaxation Techniques: Considerations for the Music Therapist. American Music Therapy Association Conference, Atlanta, GA 
  • Cohen, N. (2001). Music and Imagery Techniques. Sookmyung University, Seoul, South Korea
  • Cohen, N.  (2000). The Sounds of Loss: Music and Imagery in Bereavement Support. 13th International Congress on Care of the Terminally Ill, Montreal, Canada.

2018 Bonny Method Classes in Texas


The following Bonny Method trainings will be offered 

during 2018 in Denton, TX:

  • Level III Archetype/Myth: January 3-8, 2018
    Tuition/Board = $900
    Deadline = December 10, 2017.
  • Level II: April 20-22, June 1-3, 2018 Tuition = $950
  • Level I: May 24-28, 2018
    Tuition & Board = $745
    Deadline = May 10, 2018. 
  • Circles of the Self: August 2-5, 2018. Premier Best Western, Tuition = $375   Materials = $175. Deadline = July 2, 2018
  • Level III Advanced Clinical: August 7-11, 2018
    Tuition & Board = $900
    Deadline = July 31, 2018. 

Cancellations made by students after the deadlines

will result in a 50% refund. 

Contact Me

Send Message

Bonny Method Services or Circles of the Self Course

  • Are you interested in Bonny Method of GIM personal sessions, group sessions, supervisions, consultations, or Bonny Method training courses? 
  • Are you interested in taking the Circles of the Self course? 
  • Please leave your contact information and indicate your interest in the message box. Nicki Cohen will respond back to you within 24 hours.  

Guided Imagery and Music

Denton, TX

(940) 391-3538

Hours-contact me anytime!

Please leave a message for me at anytime, am or pm, and I will get back to you within 24 hours. Please indicate whether you would prefer for me to call you or email you. Nicki Cohen

Circles of the Self Course in Denton, TX from August 2-5, 2018


Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

•  You can use PayPal only if you choose the option to pay me directly from your bank account. You can also mail me a check or money order for $570 to "Nicki Cohen, 1505 Laurelwood Drive, Denton, TX 76209"

•  If staying at the Premier Best Western hotel, be sure to ask for state rate of $83/night! Call (940) 387-1000 to reserve a room. 

•  Many meal options exist in and near the hotel.