Report on the Association for Music and Imagery: The Development of Guided Imagery and Music around the World

By Anne B. Parker


In 1986, at the annual meeting of GIM Fellows, it was agreed that a new organization needed to be created for those who had trained or were training in Guided Imagery and Music (GIM). The Association for Music and Imagery (AMI) was established as a non-profit organization to maintain and uphold the integrity of Guided Imagery and Music through implementation of training standards, endorsement of training programs, and support of trainees and practitioners. The first AMI Conference was held in June 1987, and work continued to establish professional standards for training and education as well as a code of ethics for GIM facilitators. Training programs would be endorsed by AMI and students who complete GIM training would be designated as Fellows of AMI.

In 1988, AMI adopted the following as its Statement of Purpose (Association for Music & Imagery, 1988, p. 2):

  1. To create a professionally recognized network that will function as a resource and authority on the use of Guided Imagery and Music.
  2. To hold an annual membership conference where participants can share their professional GIM experience, obtain continuing education in the GIM method, and receive the nurturing fellowship of the greater GIM family.
  3. To stimulate creative and innovative research and publication on the theory and practice of GIM.
  4. To develop and uphold the AMI code of ethics and standards of practice.

Thus began the process that remains active today of training programs and trainers being endorsed by AMI according to standards and procedures created and adopted by AMI. Training programs and individual trainers apply for endorsement through a review process by the AMI Education Committee and go through an annual renewal of endorsement procedure.

The AMI Standards for Endorsement include the Core Elements of The Bonny Method of GIM and the Core Elements of Training in The Bonny Method of GIM. Training is structured in three levels – Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced. At the completion of the Advanced Level of GIM training, a facilitator may “engage in independent practice of The Bonny Method of GIM in the clinical settings for which they are otherwise professionally qualified” (Association for Music & Imagery, 2007, p. 14). Completion of the Advanced Level of GIM training also qualifies the graduate to apply to be endorsed as a Fellow of the Association for Music & Imagery (FAMI).

The first Primary Trainers were endorsed in 1990. The first 44 Primary Trainers were American with the first Australian being endorsed in 1989, the first Canadian in 1992, and the first Europeans in 1994. Trainers conduct training in GIM in countries other than their home country, which has facilitated the spread of GIM training throughout the world. Today, there are 34 active AMI-endorsed Primary Trainers based in 10 countries: 18 in the United States; 3 in Germany 2 each in Australia, Denmark, Mexico, South Korea, and Sweden; and 1 each in Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom (Association for Music & Imagery, 2010a).

There are currently 19 active AMI-endorsed training programs based in 8 countries: 9 in the United States; 3 in Germany; 2 in Sweden; and 1 each in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, and the United Kingdom (Association for Music & Imagery, 2010a). To learn more about these programs and obtain contact information, please see

In 2010, AMI-endorsed training took place in at least 12 countries including Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, and the United States (Association for Music & Imagery, 2010b).

AMI does not keep records on how many trainees have been involved with some level of training in GIM so there is no way to estimate how many people have participated over the years. However, since the inception of AMI, 388 people have been declared Fellow of the Association for Music & Imagery (FAMI). Of that total, at the time of becoming a Fellow,

  • 58% were in the United States
  • 23% were in Europe
  • 12% were in Canada and Mexico
  • 3 % were in Asia
  • 4 % were in Australia/New Zealand.

However, in the last 10 years, the growth in GIM has been very active in Europe and Asia. Of the 165 people declared FAMI since 2001, at the time of becoming a Fellow,

  • 41% were in Europe
  • 37% were in the United States
  • 11% were in Canada and Mexico
  • 6 % were in Asia
  • 2 % were in Australia/New Zealand
  • 2 % were in Africa.

Current AMI membership represents 29 states in the United States and 24 countries including:

AustriaHungarySouth Africa
BulgariaIcelandSouth Korea
FinlandMexicoUnited Kingdom
GermanyNew ZealandUnited States

Over the years, GIM Fellows and trainees in countries outside of North America have organized into their own groups, some formally and some informally. To acknowledge this international growth, in 2004 AMI established a category of membership called Affiliate Organization. Affiliate Organization Members have been established in Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Italy, and China. In addition, the European Network of GIM has been established and is in development.

Educational conferences continue to play an important role in the GIM community. Participation in these conferences is truly international no matter the location. They have provided opportunities for collegial interaction and presentation of papers, case studies, and other clinical applications of GIM. AMI has held 20 conferences in the US and Canada since 1987. The 21st AMI Conference will be held near Chicago, Illinois, June 22-25, 2011.

There have been nine GIM conferences in Europe. At the 8th conference in Norway in 2008, the European Fellows formalized their community into the European Network for GIM (ENGIM), and the organization held its first official conference in Spain in September 2010. The next European conference will be in Sweden in 2012 (see Wärja’s article in this issue for a description of ENGIM). There have been at least five formal GIM conferences in Australia and New Zealand, the most recent being in September 2009.

Since 2005, the AMI newsletter, Bonny Method Resources, has had a regular feature called “World GIM.” Authors from 10 different countries have contributed to this feature, sharing their work and perspectives on GIM.

In 2009, AMI’s purpose was updated as follows:

To advance the application and understanding of The Bonny Method and its adaptations. AMI promotes ethical training and practice, supports research and publication, guides professional development, facilitates networking for its members, and provides public education and outreach.

AMI continues to be committed to supporting high quality training and practice in The Bonny Method of GIM and its adaptations throughout the world. Through the active participation of all of its members – Fellows, trainers, trainees, and supporters – AMI will continue to guide the growth of GIM and help it flourish.


Association for Music & Imagery. (1998). Second annual conference, Business meeting, Part I. June 9, 1988. Association minutes.

Association for Music & Imagery. (2007). Manual of standards and procedures for endorsement of the Bonny method of GIM trainers and training programs. Parma, OH: Author.

Association for Music & Imagery. (2010a). Affiliated training institutes and primary trainers. Retrieved September 24, 2010, from

Association for Music & Imagery. (2010b). 2010 Association for Music & Imagery Approved Training Program Calendar. Retrieved September 24, 2010, from