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Supporting Relationships and Facilitating Grieving Through the Bonny Method in Palliative Care

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music, followed by the presentation of a case study, which tells the story of Melanie, a 73 year old female dying from colon cancer who received 11 music therapy and Bonny Method sessions at end-of-life. Through adapted Bonny Method sessions Melanie was able to express a number of concerns causing her anxiety and begin to grieve losses including: not marrying the man she wanted, not being able to pursue a career, not being a good mother, missing her husband Ethan, and worries over being accepted into heaven. The images she envisioned in Bonny Method sessions enabled her to feel less isolated, more connected and accepted into heaven.

As based on the author’s recent thematic analysis of the literature, Melanie’s case is an example of the following emergent themes in palliative care music therapy: 1) Physical: Music Therapy as Effective Symptom Management; 2) Psychosocial: Strengthening Self Identity, Emotional Expression and Grieving, Supporting Relationships and Relationship Completion; and 3) Spiritual and Whole-Person Care: Music Therapy as a Spiritual/Transpersonal or Growth Experience, Life Review and Legacy Creation and Music Therapy to Enhance Quality of Life. Music therapy provided an avenue for Melanie to support her grieving process and look at relationships in her life. The Bonny Method proved to an instrumental technique in facilitating the acquisition of her mutually agreed upon session goals while providing a space to assess and reflect upon relationships.

Participants will learn about adapting Bonny Method programs, as well as combining them with traditional music therapy approaches. Music from the Bonny Method programs is woven into the dissemination of the case study to provide an engaging presentation. Alongside this, participants will be polled with questions and be invited to engage in discussion at the end.

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  • $15.00 USD