Aims. To explore pivotal moments and changes during the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music from the perspective of patients with depression.
Background. Depression has been described as an extremely difficult experience for people and is characterised by emotional distress and suffering. As depression progresses, symptoms increase and gradually influence all aspects of the lives of those affected. Few studies have been undertaken into the essence of inner and pivotal experiences during Guided Imagery and Music in patients with depression.
Design. A qualitative research design and discovery-oriented approach were used as the method of both data gathering and textual analysis.
Methods. This study conducted semi-structured interviews with five patients with depression after each of eight sessions of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. Each session took place in a music therapy laboratory. Forty transcripts were organised into categories and analysed according to the discovery-oriented approach of Mahrer and Boulet, considering the dimensions of the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music.
Results. Nine patients with depression were recruited from a medical centre in southern Taiwan from 2004–2005. Five successfully completed eight Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music sessions. There were 141 statements coded into 10 subthemes and three themes describing pivotal moments: pushing aside the barrier, gaining new insight, moving forward. Each category was supported by three-four themes. The analysis also yielded three meaningful moments: releasing mind–body rigidity, awareness and inspiration, acceptance and inner transformation. Patients described personal emotional, cognitive and behavioural transformation during the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music experiences.
Conclusions. The discovery-oriented approach fulfilled the aim of gaining a valuable understanding of the psychological growth experiences of patients with depression during the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music.
Relevance to clinical practice. Patients with depression particularly need comfort and caring. It is important that nurses offer interventions as adjuvants to medication. This study supports the feasibility of incorporating the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music into the nursing management of patients with depression. Future studies are suggested to examine the interactive process of music stimulus and the multidimensional nature of imagery.