Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Qualified GIM Therapists and Trainees

Advanced Certificate in Music Breathing - October 2019

with Dag Körlin


Dates: 26th October (10am – 6pm) & 27th October 2019 (9.30am-3.30pm)

Venue: Psychosynthesis Trust, 92-94 Tooley Street, London Bridge, London, SE1 2TH.

Cost: Early Bird £200 (before 31st July), thereafter £250. A few places at £155 are available for those from poorer countries, e.g. Bulgaria or Greece. Places will be limited so early booking is advised. 


Application form

Event Flyer



This training is open to Fellows and Advanced Trainees in the Bonny method of Guided Imagery and Music (trainees are asked to consult with their Primary Trainer before applying). Following the initial 2 day training workshop in October, trainees with be required to complete a practicum and attend a final 1.5 days training in June 2020. On satisfactory completion of the training, an Advanced Certificate to practice Music Breathing will be issued.


Overview of Music Breathing

Breath Grounding and Modulation (“Music Breathing”) is an adaptation of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM) developed for stress related disorders, where there is a persistent dysregulation of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).  Dysregulation can be caused by Intrusive trauma such as in PTSD, or by loss leading to pathological grief reactions. The method is also suited to the management of dissociative experiences. Physical diseases may be traumatizing by themselves and lead to chronic stress, where Music Breathing may be a helpful adjunct.  The method may also be of use in existential crises and personal spiritual development as well as Spiritual Emergencies.

In Music Breathing, respiration is used to regulate the level of arousal, both in silence and while listening to music. In the first stage the parasympaticus, the recuperative part of the ANS, is mobilized. This is done by focusing on the mental image of a small breathing volume, the Breathing Center, which is perceived at the end point of expiration, first in silence, then with the help of suitable music.  After listening a mandala is often painted representing the body images of Breathing Space and Center.

The first goal is to lower stress levels and contain dysregulated autonomic responses. The second goal is to contain and process experiences through modulating the breathing to shifting states of activation stimulated by varying intensity and dynamics of the music. Music for Music breathing is classified according to its ability to stimulate different activation states in the listener and its ability to modulate (develop, change) and transform experiences.



There will be both theory and practice with participants working in pairs.

Saturday 09.00 - 18.00: Music Breathing “Basic”.

Sunday 09.00 - 16.00: Music Breathing “Advanced”.  


Theoretical framework will be interspersed with experientials. The first day there will be Silent Breathing, then Music Breathing for Grounding followed by Music Breathing for Modulation. The second day there will be more theory on music, and experientials with music pieces facilitating different levels of bodily activation and emotional modulation.

Day one:

1. Theory: Sympaticus, Parasympaticus, Meditation and Autonomic States of Activation. Dysregulation of stress responses and dissociative states affecting the Breathing.

2. Overview of trauma related conditions.

2. Practice: Silent Breathing and demonstration of the Heart Rate Variability (HRV effect).

3. Theory: Music Breathing as modulator of the autonomic Activation State during GIM for trauma related conditions.

4. Further practice of Music Breathing for Modulation.

5. Case examples from clients with trauma related disorders.

Day two:

1. Theory and listening: Classifying Music Breathing music in six degrees of Activation and Modulation. Listening examples.

2. Managing a session and a series in individual Music Breathing.

3. Music Breathing in groups. Case examples from Music Breathing in Grieving Groups for pastoral care.

4. Dissociation and Music Breathing for Dissociation.

5. Spiritual Emergencies. Theory and case examples managed with Music Breathing.


Practicum and consolidation seminar

Following the training seminar, 5-10 training sessions under supervision will be required (the supervision at the trainees own expense). The number of sessions and supervisions required will be agreed individually with each trainee depending on clinical and meditative experience, as well as on experience of working with psychospiritual issues. A 1.5 day consolidation seminar will complete the training. This will be held on Saturday May 30th (10am-6pm) & Sunday May 31st (9:30am-1pm) 2020 at the Psychosynthesis Trust, London (cost £160). Those who satisfactorily complete the training and its practicum requirements will receive an Advanced Certificate in Music Breathing. (For those still completing their GIM training, the Music Breathing Certificates will only be issued once they have become GIM Fellows.)

Dag Körlin is a Swedish Psychiatrist, certified Psychotherapist, Supervisor and Primary Trainer of the GIM method, Director of “IMAGEing: European GIM Trainings”. He practices GIM and its adaptations within general psychiatry. He has specialized in adapting GIM for Complex Trauma (PTSD) and other stress-related disorders, and has published many journal articles and book chapters in this field. He has also developed the Breath Grounding and Modulation (“Music Breathing”) method, used as an effective adaptation of GIM to patients with complex trauma, dissociation, and other stress disorders (Music Breathing – Breath Grounding and Modulation of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music: Theory, Method and Cases”, AMI Journal, 2008). Dag Körlin’s PhD research has been recently published-amongst his other writings- in his book “Music Listening, Imagery and Creativity in Psychiatry: Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) and Creative Arts Therapies (CATs) in Stress Disorders” (Lambert Scientific Publications, 2010). The PhD research described the role of GIM in the Creative Arts Therapies programme “Spectrum”. As well as researching and writing on GIM, he lectures, teaches and is a Consultant in Outpatient Psychiatry.



  • Körlin, D. (2002). A Neuropsychological Theory of Traumatic Imagery in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (BMGIM). In K. E. Bruscia & D. E. Grocke: GIM: The Bonny Method and Beyond. Gilsum: NH. Barcelona Publishers

  • Körlin, D.  (2005). Creative Arts Therapies in Psychiatric Treatment. A clinical application of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. Karolinska Institutet. Stockholm 2005.

  • Körlin D, (2007). The Spektrum GIM Group Therapy. In: I. Frohne-Hagemann (Ed) Receptive Music Therapy. Wiesbaden, Reichert Verlag.

  • Körlin, D. (2008) Music breathing: Breath grounding and modulation of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. (BMGIM): Theory, method, and consecutive cases. J Association for Music and Imagery. 11:79-113.


Updates in press:

  • Körlin D. In Press 2019. Music Breathing. In D. E. Grocke (ed.): GIM: The Bonny Method and Beyond, second edition. Barcelona Publishers.

  • Körlin D. In Press 2019. A Neuropsychological Theory of Traumatic Imagery in BMGIM. In D. E. Grocke (ed.): GIM: The Bonny Method and Beyond, second edition. Barcelona Publishers.