The art of psychotherapy (Pesso).Ways to reach the master level

The art of psychotherapy

Ways to reach the master level. Focus on the therapist!

Louis Sommeling [1] .

The born master doesn't exist, he can be made! So don't let us fall in despair. This article will describe some didactic steps to reach the flow of the masterlevel. Especially we will focus on 'Kairos time', a new concept of Al Pesso. Kairostime, the time of grace, is the most opportune and decisive time for interventions and introducing roleplayers. The feeling for kairostime is rooted in being at center, contacting one's true self. The use of this natural aspect of our character is a 'burn out' antidote . At the same time it is the guarantee for quality, joy and the 'lighness of being'. The theoretical reflections (chap. I) will be followed by some specific exercises (chap. II), which were practized in an experiental workshop in the Oslo-Pesso psychotherapy-conference.

duifI. Theoretical reflections.

This article will start by analyzing stereotyped difficulties of the young trainee, often seen by a Pesso psychotherapy supervisor (par.1.1). We have compassion with the burdened mind of the Pesso psychotherapy therapist in his first attempts; the true scene of his mind we set on the theater (par. 1.2). After picturing the false master and his illusions about the goal of psychotherapy (par. 1.3), and after we have looked at the concrete effects on structure-work done in such an anti therapeutic attitude (par 1.4), we will define the concept of Kairostime, the right moment for interventions (par. 1.5). Now we are prepared to explore the masterlevel (par.1.6). We will end this theoretical part with some reflections on the spiritual dimensions of the masterlevel, which is the soullevel, being the core of the Pesso psychotherapy (par. 1.7). Mostly we will refer to Han Sarolea's writings (1986,1995), to the summary of Pesso psychotherapy theory (Pesso's slides-book, 1994) and to the book of Corlis and Rabe (1969) about 'therapy from the center'.

1.1 Analyzing stereotyped difficulties of the young trainee.

A general difficulty of the young and inexperienced Pesso psychotherapy therapist is to make interventions and suggestions for roleplaying at the right time. By learning this very difficult psychotherapy method we all at first are so overwhelmed by all the input, the words, the gestures, the highest energy and emotions that easily we lose the contact with ourselves and the client [2] .

Next to this difficulty the relation between a client and us often is not really clear defined. The balance between the client's responsibility and our demanded care frequently is confused in a symbiotic way. Many therapists have to solve their own 'drama of the begifted child' first: their omnipotent idea to be obliged to be the Savior of this world and to wipe off all the tears and pain, based on not enough care and attention for their own place and needs. They have to limit their 'power' in defined shapes and simultaneously have to protect their sensitive 'openness'; they have to define more precisely their therapeutic role.

While seeing Al Pesso at work, we can fall in despair about our own capacity to reach this masterlevel beyond tools and techniques. However, the born master doesn't exist; there are didactic ways for reaching the masterlevel! Let us explore questions like these: What are the conditions that things will happen out of themselves? That we believe in the grace of the present, and let go the illusion that change will be there by urging and forcing, not by lovely accepting what is? Which conditions let our therapeutic consciousness function as 'birthwater' around the client, so that what was underground, will be named and get birth? What are the conditions? That our consciousness is not narrowed by anxiety, by thinking, by functioning at the periphery of 'what I have to do now, which change I have to produce now'? The state of mastering, of flow, even in the experienced or certified Pesso psychotherapy therapist, only by moments exists [3] . How can we bring ourselves (back) in this state, being ourselves full functioning? A good structure is based on the contact between our own true self and the true self of the client. Let us remain and believe in this natural aspect of our personality.

It is not the normal, everyday social reactivity of the therapist, but a natural aspect of the therapist's personality, honed and differentiated for professional therapeutic work (Pesso (1994), slide pag.173).

1.2 The true scene of the young Pesso psychotherapy therapist.

The true scene of the inexperienced Pesso psychotherapy therapist is filled with an army of many voices of Warning, of his Truth, of Commands. He is anxious about what to do. The inexperienced therapist is far away from the state of being in blissful harmony with the center of his/her being (which is the result of being connected with our true self: Pesso-slide p. 27). Most of time what he is seeing and listening to, all these impulses are so overwhelming him, that it is difficult for the therapist to stay in contact with his/her own emotional center and the feeling of the kairostime, which is the most fitting time to introduce figures and to make interventions (slide p.193).

The consciousness of the beginning therapist frequently is narrowed by anxiety, by thinking, by functioning at the periphery, burdened with questions like 'what I have to do now, which change I have to produce now? '.

He is like a man or woman climbing the dangerous flank of a mountain:

Will my muscles hold out? Am I able to continue the talking with my client?

There is a sweet mountain flower, but I do not see him; there is a glimpse of Truth,
or soul on the face of the client I don't see.

I am functioning, climbing, every object is judged for his use;

Will that piece of rock will support my weight? What does it mean the client is saying now?

I have no eye for the present, for the waterfall, spume like stars and sound like thunder.
I don't see the lack of emotion in the client, the as-if behavior and the features of anxious resistance.

All of the climber and of the beginning Pesso psychotherapy therapist, is in the service of a survival, a particular state of concentration which filters out anything not directed to this crisis-behavior. He is functioning at the periphery. Every object is categorized and judged for his use. Every effort is bent on achieving a state which he has not yet attained....

But now he enters a new state. He (at the top. ed.) takes one more deep breath, he stands up, looking well put together. Perhaps he says: 'Ah'. He is safe, he can now feel the wind for the feel of the wind, the quality, the joy, the lightness of being and he can see all of the view around him and let it come to him as it will. He does not have to do anything to anything, but is simply sentient, not passive [4] but simply aware of what is. Now he is at center. For the therapist as well as for everyone else, the state of being at center allows for receptivity and a quiet acceptance. (Corlis and Rabe, 1969).

1.3 The false master and the illusions of change.

The magic outlook of Pesso psychotherapy easily feeds therapist's omnipotent feelings and a false idea of mastership and related to that a false idea about the goal of psychotherapy. Paradoxically the goal of psychotherapy more has to deal with acceptation than with change!

Quoting Han Sarolea (1995):

“ Seeing Al and Diane:..Oh how beautitful is this change, this is the kind of psychotherapy I need. Al and diane were so enthusiastic about the possibilities of their beautiful work and they wanted to give so much, that they were far beyond and behind resistances. Because of this, we as clients did not
understand our part in it and for this reason the beautiful results did not last.

From then on I asked myself more often than before what the goal of psychotherapy was, and which kind of psychotherapy could give openness to life, the possibilities to grow in their own way, to find healing in their own being, as a natural process. I then discovered that my motivation to go into psychotherapy (and I think that applies to a lot of us) came out of dissatisfaction with myself; the self i thought i was. Therefore I tried to do my best to change, to make life more solid, more secure, with less fear and so on. Changing myself were the main reasons to go in psychotherapy.

I do not know when the direction in life I was going in became a different one... I felt more and more that life itself, the way it is in us, is immensely rich and has many messages to tell. Therefore I considered that the goal of psychotherapy could be a letting go of many desires (also the one to change), letting go security, letting go stability and solidity....Instead of that we could openup with curiosity, we could keep openness toward what is, towards what happens form minute to minute, in our body, in our whole being, in our environment - even when opening up brings fear, pain and anxiety.

...The main conclusion for me then (and now) concerning psychotherapy was, that total acceptance of the client as he or she is, both by the therapist and by the client himself or herself, is the goal of psychotherapy.

More and more I believe that this is enough. It is of such an importance that it can hardly be overestimated.

..I was delighted how more and more the client was in charge, the true scene became the starting point of the work and it became the client's being with directed the healing process. ...When I began with psychotherapy i was looking for a kind of magic, and help from outside. Now i found a new kind of magic inside. This is the way I would like to describe it: by the process of letting go of manipulations, desires, avoiding pain, things to hold on, life will open up more and more. And when i look at it with a loving kind of acceptance, I can see how process after process takes place; emotions flowing into one and another, ending in peace, compassion and clarity. That is the magic of every day life I found. It is born out of what is already in us. It is born out of loving kindness towards every sensation, emotion, experience, observed in ways that do not judge. (About the goal of psychotherapy.”
Another warning signal especially for Pesso psychotherapy is coming from Louis Alioti (1993). He asks us to look to positive transference feelings. Tendencies to make a false master or a hero, not only for the therapist but even as well for the client, can be dangerous [5] :

“There is a certain irony in the fact that most of the transference issues identified were of a positive nature between client and therapist and or trainee and trainer. One might wonder how such positive f feelings and cathexis is harmful. There are a number of development of the pilot; dependency; accepting suggestions for a structure that do not truly fit the client's needs; therapist becomes the hero...

This brings us to the issues of countertransference. The therapist who (consciously or not), accepts the role and norms of the 'him idealizing and adoring' groupscenario, is evidencing countertransferential problems. Perhaps the most obvious of these is the abuse of power involved in promoting or allowing the elevation of the therapist/trainer status to that of ideal parent. Subsequently when all feelings not deemed flattering to the leader are designated as negative transference, the abuse of power further harms the individual involved and reflects growing leader omnipotence. The greater the therapist's/trainer's investment in their own omnipotence, the greater the potential harm to the client/trainee and the less likely real or transferial issues between them are likely to be resolved.

1.4 Features of omnipotence and false mastership in Pesso psychotherapy therapists at work.

Omnipotent therapists do not need information from the client, do not need lifescripts or contracts, do not focus on 'prestructure-stuff' and motivation.They do not ask for clarification when they don't understand what the client is telling. They are very active and run the whole show. They are unwilling to introduce a witness, because they want to 'own' all what they see themselves. Too quickly they introduce rolefigures. When rolefigures are introduced, omnipotent therapists do not focus on the experienced contact client-rolefigure, but the line of contact remains totally between the client and themselves as therapists.

Figure 1: Elements of kairostime-feeling in the true master and the false master

at center at periphery

safe -> able to accept unsafe -> wants change things

believes in the magic of the present believes in magic outside (himself)

solved his/her 'drama of the begifted child' omnipotent, unbalance power-openess

safety too early organizing rolefigures

in one-ness, aware of one's body, true self, split

'natural', taking time for own 'place-rituals' restless, neglecting own needs in time and place

defined role-definition (slide p.50 and 59) guru, running the show (slide p.49)

using witness 'owning' the place of the witness

focusing, stimulating contact client-rolefigures interfering him/herself between client-rolefigures

hope poisoned' by projective identification

Omnipotent therapists are in danger of burn out [6] because they have to save the whole world. And on the other side, they are not accustomed to care of their own needs. They do not take enough time to understand the client, they give no attention to their own body, they give no place to their own natural feelings in the 'go-round'. Omnipotent therapists with an false idea of mastership have no 'time and place rituals' in behalf on their own sitting position before giving the sign for starting a structure (Liesbeth de Boer, 1995). They are too open and too receptive to clients problems. Their symbiotic way of relating poisons them with the emptiness of depressive persons, with the boundlessness of borderlines, with the despair of clients without hope. In this projective identification they lose their joy and lightness of being, they are seduced to search for magic tools and techniques, they are seduced to change things instead of accepting them.

Their professional roles are diffuse and not clearly defined (fig.1). Quoting the 'slides-book' of Al Pesso (1994):

“Pesso psychotherapy therapist offers 'possibility sphere', does not offer self direcly or indirectly as the satisfier of past needs, while understanding and recognizing clients'tendency to project and transfer that way (slide p. 50).

Nòt (unspoken)' In our therapeutic relationship, I will model for you the kind of person that would have satisfied those needs of the past.

Bút: healing from symbolic satisfaction of basic needs in a structure and assisting in making a new more positive memory from symbolic experience with ideal parents

Therapeutic goals:.... symbolically attend to unmet needs of the past with appropriately named role- playing group members while emotionally and cognitively in touch with earlier levels of consciousness (slide p. 59)

(In a lecture explaining the slides): The role of the witness is invented for better be in contact with clients' rhythms. Some therapist are not able to follow 'highest energy'. Some clients invent their own structures: ' how it ought to be'. The Pilot brings them in contact with the source, the true self, more close to the process. Good witnessing increases the alliance. And about the therapists refuse for introducing the role of the witness and saying empathic words by himself:e.g. ' I see how moved you are...' then he 'owns' it to himself.

1.5 The right time, kairostime.

Once upon a time when Al Pesso was teaching us to be aware of the right time in the client for interventions, he introduced a new concept : 'kairostime'. It is an ancient Greek and theological concept and means: time of grace, a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a crucial action, the most opportune and decisive time for interventions and introducing roleplayers. It is the time we are open for the blessing of the richness of reality Kairostime is opposite to 'ordinary' time (rather than 'real time'). Pesso himself like a master has a feeling for this time. But how we, ordinary earthly people, can get this feeling? To find answers to this question was the motivation for preparing this workshop.

It is therapeutically important to note that the use of an inadequate rolefigure as a conceptualization, not coming out of the emotion of the client, not at the just time is a form of distortion. In the formulations of Han Sarolea (1986): 'it can even be an aggression against the true self of a client, who only accepts the suggestion of a role-figure for his need to imitate the other groupmembers or to please the therapist, or not accepting his state of desperation and his urge to change the present'. Particularly at early moments of the therapeutic encounter any organizational attempt is a contamination of the encounter.

1.6 The master level.

The masterlevel has to do with being at center. The metaphor of the mountainclimber in paragraph 2 isn't totally just. The analogy with the beginning therapist is at the point of being at center. Having tools, knowing phases, functioning at the periphery with his/her instrumental ego-functioning, is a necessary state and a conditio sine qua non. But only at center we are fully conscious and aware of our body-signals, and we have the feeling of the truth and realness of client's feelings. Only then we are aware if the client only accepts the suggestion of a role-figure for his need to imitate the other groupmembers or to please the therapist, getting over his fear, or not accepting his state of desperation and his urge to change the present. Particularly at early moments of the therapeutic encounter any organizational attempt is a contamination of the encounter. When at center we introduce rolefigures not as a theoretical concept or a handsome tool in an impasse, but fully coming out of the experienced emotions of the client. As Han Sarolea (1986) warns us: too early rolefigures can be an aggression against the true self of the client, who is accustomed not to take time for his own rhythms and showing socially desirable attitude.

1.7 Art- or soullevel. The core of Pesso psychotherapy. (Spiritual [7] dimensions).

The foundation of healing is inside. The magic is inside. The healing (the 'wholing', het 'heilige') is born out of what is already in us. The genetic imperative 'knows' and directs us. The creation is O.K.. Psychotherapy is founded on two basic spiritual Principles: the Truth is always there in the client, before our eyes. And by the second Principle of Love it reveals herself!. It is born out of loving kindness towards every sensation, emotion, experience, observed in ways that do not judge. The goal of psychotherapy is not change but acceptation.

It does not all depend on us. We are not the creators of this energy, the energy is already pres ent. It is our midwi fe task to deal with it in the right manner. The client possesses a healing power from within himself. There is no need to break through all kinds of resistance in order to get to the missing parts; we can trust what is present in the true scene. Everything has its time and place. Everything is already present, when we wish to see it. Everything needs the right time for his revelation. 'Kairos time', the time of grace, is the most opportune and decisive time for interventions and introducing roleplayers. Kairos is another ancient theological notion and means 'grace'. Reality supplies us with everything at the right time. We are in touch with right time, when we are in touch with our true self as therapists.

Despite the urge to belong to esta blished groups and organizations we should never dis guise the most central concept of Pesso psychotherapy: the true self, the soul. We are allowed to use formulations which cannot be understood by everyone instantly. Like in ancient initial rituals a trainee should be initiated in order to experience the Pesso psychotherapy-secrets; it is a philosophy of living life soulfully. The therapist who works from the soul, notices the incompleteness. By focusing on the potential part and by naming it, the visible disappears and the invisible becomes apparent.

The true Pesso psychotherapy therapist is not a genius or a magician. His secret lies in the therapeutic consciousness on the soul-level or on the 'being at center'. Culturally, the periphery is more familiar to us as a state than what we would like to describe with Corlis and Rabe (1969) as 'being at center'. At the periphery we do something to effect a change. At center we are simply sentient. It is not a state of silence, or deep meditation, but a state of detachment and empathy. In the same way in the concept of 'soul' the method of working of the Pesso psychotherapy therapist who 'got it' is described. This therapist does not hide himself behind theoretical conver sation or a show of tech niques . Technique is only a neces sary condition, not a guarantee; like a composition of a musicpiece doesn't guarantee its soul-charac ter. A certification is not a guaran ee either. Pesso psychotherapy is not a superi r form of psycho therapy; it merely formu lates the conditions [8] . As soon as the conditions are present, at kairostime, the art of therapy can start. It is the difference be tween obser vation and perception, between being the object or the sub ject. The perception will come only when speci f ic con di tions are met. The therapist has to work from his own center and consciousness [9] , has to be a subject by himself by awa re ness of his own body , and so he percei ves and feels the things that seem to be hidden within the client and by witnessing and naming and bless ing, the client can start to become a subject by himself, at center, a living soul. To those aspects we have to pay atten tion as well in our training of Pesso psychotherapy-therapists (Somme ling, 1994). It is the core of Pesso psychotherapy, the indica tor of quality and the foundation for joy.

II. Exercises:

The central concepts of this article can be made experiential in some specific exercises [10] . The first exercise trains the therapist to be (or come back) at center.

The second exercise trains the therapist to remain 'natural' and to believe in the true self.

General introduction for both exercises: see the theoretical reflections in chap.I of this article on the Art of Pesso psychotherapy (Sommeling, 1998).

2.1 Body awareness of the therapist.

Take some time to find a good place for yourself as therapist. (What is your usual way of sitting?). Take your time to sit in the right place, let go your tensions, focus on your breathing and follow the rhythm, be aware of your feelings and your thoughts, let them go or give them first more attention, try to be at center.

Visualize, or take in your mind one of your difficult clients.

What is going on in your body now? Store this information in your memory.

Try to become again at center, etc.

2.2 The therapist on holiday [11] .

Goal: focusing on being 'natural' in the therapist's role as much as possible; attention for true self of therapist contacting the true self of the client.

Instruction: in this exercise we need a therapist, and in service of him or her we need a client, an empty high chair and a supporting colleague. In this seemingly strange experiment the client is talking to the chair as if in this empty chair is sitting his or her therapist. The role of the 'therapist on holidays' is beside and invented for setting him in a such free-felt position, that he can experiment with his naturalness, can remain aware of his own body-sensations, in contact with his own true self. The supporting colleague is helping him to stay in this position. It is important to instruct clear the role of the 'therapist on holidays': he is free to stay silent, but when he likes to say something because he is sure it is the right time, kairostime, he can make an intervention 'which you should have made when you should not be at holidays'. Speculations on the hidden possible meanings of the empty chair: see below.

Specific role-instructions:

THERAPIST: You have to do 'nothing'; you are at holiday. You are free to look at the client, to have your impressions, your associations, your feelings in your body, etc. Don't be worried about responsibilities, or 'what you have to do'; you are on holiday. You can exercise to hold yourself at center, looking at the client only at moments you like. When you are sure it is the right time, kairostime, you can make an intervention 'which you should have made when you should not be at holidays'. A supporting colleague is next to you, you can consult him when you like that. He can ask you at moments some questions, only for helping you staying at center, helping you caring for your place, your time, your body, helping you to react as natural as possible.

The client is not talking to you but to an empty chair, placed a little in front of you.

CLIENT who is willing to talk to an empty chair. By listening to the talks of the 'therapist on holiday' and his supporting colleague you maybe get a lot of information about yourself and much empathy or witnessing.
The contract is that you are in the service of the therapist on holiday and willing to stop your emotions or words.

EMPTY HIGH CHAIR: client is talking to this empty chair symbolizing his or her therapist. My advice is not trying to define this 'empty spot'. Do it afterwards when time permits you. For the therapist on holiday the empty chair symbolizeS a sort of 'wished for therapist', the perfect one you 'ought' to be, the (false) master you have to be; it is a projected part of yourself. Sometimes this place can be experienced as a protection against too many impulses coming from the client, a protecting wall against projective identification. On a historical level the chair maybe symbolizes an ideal parent who should have protected the traumatized begifted child.


saying to therapist on holiday (repeat sometimes when necessary):

- " do nothing, do not change anything, be natural, enjoy your holidays".

- " Have a good place for yourself, a nice seat.

asking therapist at some moments questions like

- what do you observe in the client (gestures, face, tone of words, congruency)?

- what's going on in your own body? Give a place to all there is in you,

- contact your own true self, what is happening in your center?

Associations? Feelings? Your desires, needs?

- what is disturbing you now?

- do you feel client's impact, or hopelessness, or despair? What's going on at that moment in your body ? Be aware of your own desires and needs.

- do you understand the client? Do you want to ask something?

- do you want to say something?

- do you still 'observe' client like an object before you, or do you 'see' as well something e.g. glimpses of Truth or soulreflections?

- do you want to say something 'natural' to client about yourself?

- do you want to make an intervention? What makes you feel now is the kairostime, the adequate moment for an intervention?


Alioto, Louis (1993). In: Spring SEPS symposion on transfence. Pesso psychotherapy conference Atlanta.

Boer, Liesbeth de (1995). Step by step training for leading structures. Based on a 'Recipe for leading structures by A. Pesso (1992). In : Proceedings Eelde (first international meeting of trainers and supervisors.

Corlis R. and P. Rabe (1969). Psychotherapy from the Center. A humanistic view of change and of growth. Internat. Textbook Company, Scranton Pennsylvania.

Maurer, Jack (1998). (on burn out, in dutch).Over de grenzen van de psychische draagkracht van de psycho-therapeut. Tijdschrift voor Psychotherapie, 24,2.

Pesso, Albert (1994 e.v.). Introduction to Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor. Text and Graphics. PS Press,Strollingwoods.

Sarolea, Han (1986). 'The true self' in het contact therapeut-cliënt. Pesso Bulletin 2,2:P.17-34.

Sarolea, Han (1995). About the goal of psychotherapy. In : Proceedings Eelde (first international meeting of trainers and supervisors.(lezing 1995). Ook in Pesso Bulletin (1998) 14,1

Sommeling, Louis (1996). The soul of Pesso psychotherapy. Exploring the core the Pesso Boyden
Psychomotor Therapy and defining her position between Freud, Jung, Rogers and Gendlin. (Proceedings Baselconference).
[1] van Houtenlaan 26 9722 GT Groningen Holland. . Supervisort. Pesso psychotherapy; learning psychotherapist. Some articles referring to Pesso/Boyden psychotherapy: 1. 'Rethinking Pesso psychotherapy Theory and Metaphors on Sexuality'. 2. 'The Soul: exploring the core of the Pesso psychotherapy and defining her position between Freud, Jung, Rogers and Gendlin'. 3. 'The body, also in verbal psychotherapy: interventions according to the Pesso-method'. 4. A new pioneerfunction for psychotherapy: exploring spiritual dimensions. 5. Men and psychotherapy: proposing a sexespecific focus. Nrs. 1,2,5 in English translation (proceedings). Demo's selfhelpcomputerprogramms on internetwebsite ( htpp:// about sexuality in relations; about dream-analysis.

[2] The focus of the supervisor generally is not on the client, but has to be on the therapist-trainee, especially on the timing of his/her interventions, based on his/her relationship with the client.

[3] Supervisees in general are afraid of a supervisor. They see him as an very experienced man, who can critize them. When the supervisor is not open about himself, about his own tenseness and shame, about his own difficulties to be at center, the supervisee later on will act out his suppressed fear. When later on he is in a 'powerful up position' he will dominate others at a rigid way.

[4] Being at center is not being passive. When at center, the view is existential. The emphasis is on what is, not on what ought to be. The comtemplative eye moves over varied dimensions, instead of focusing only on value or usefulness (Corlis and Rabe, 1969).

[5] In the development of the child there are natural phases of idealizing and need for dependency. So let us not be to strict and use our common sense as therapists.

[6] Freud himself pointed on the fact that therapists must feel the influence of the unconscious material of their patients. The power of patients to let feel their pain an despair to the therapist sometimes is vehemently. Practising psychotherapists deals with more lifeproblems than the general population (Guy en Liaboe, 1986. The impact of conducting psychotherapy on psychotherapist's interpersonal function. Professional psychology: research and practice, 17,111-114 en Sussman, 1992,1995). 82 % deals with severe relational problems (Deutsch). 46 % after 25 years of practizing see their jobs as unsatisfying. The desire to be loved and idealized. Data from Maurer (1998).

[7] Rather than to use the word 'spiritual' Al Pesso more likes to speak in terms of 'evolutionary forces', the organismic necessity, the healing forces within.

[8] It resembles the theological dispute questioning the part of our ego-efforts and the necessarily part of Grace (the graceful potential of reality as the creative force and we 'merely' as the midwife).

[9] "At the periphery we do something to effect a change. At center we are simply sentient." The body of the therapist functions as a sensor. By sensing his own body, his breathing, he will perceive if he is truly himself."It is a state of therapeutic detachment. When at center, you know that we are all brothers under the skin but also that you are in your own skin and not in his or hers. If this skin-sense of identity, so to speak, disappears then the therapeutic encounter is one of identification. You feel what the patient feels and you tend to react as the patient will. Then there is no I-Thou relationship" (Corlis and Rabe, 1969).

[10] More and various exercises which focus on place and time for the therapist you will find in Liesbeth de Boer's (1995) didactical blue print for leading structures.

[11] .The rough form of this exercise is born in the 3mensual meeting of Belgian and Dutch trainers- and supervisors meeting; just the idea of the empty chair was invented by Lowijs Perquin.