In this series of DVD’s, Albert Pesso, works with 8 clients presenting a variety of different psychological issues while utilizing a variety of techniques from his own original psychotherapeutic approach called Pesso Boyden system Psychotherapy (PBSP) which he co-founded with his wife, Diane Boyden Pesso.
Each PBSP session, called a structure, has the following elements:
- A ‘witness figure’ and ‘voice figure’ to identify and reflect the client’s feelings as they explore themes in the client’s life.
- ‘Placeholders’ in which an object is used to represent all the associations the client has to a particular person or thing.
- ‘Reversals’ in which the client experiences the possibility of having had his needs met by an ideal figure in childhood.
- ‘Making movies’ for ‘holes-in-roles’ in which Al uses objects to enact a scene for the client in which people for whom the client felt compassion and wished to help them get their needs met. The goal is to assist the client to be freed from the pull of wishing or trying to meet those needs for them.
- ‘The ritual of a principle mover’ in which objects that represent feelings or roles projected onto to others are moved to the appropriate figure.
A central component of each PBSP session is about creating new memories. By the end of the session the client experiences his past with ideal parent figures in which group members role play in a carefully guided interaction which allows the client to create a ‘new memory’ of having had his needs fulfilled in his childhood. According to PBSP theory, the ‘new memory’ does not displace other memories, but rather changes the client’s perception of those memories and awakens new possibilities for future behavior based on the new perception.
DVDs contain sessions with following clients:
ALZBETA The client, Alzbeta (physiotherapist, married, mother of three children) reports constantly feeling ‘in a rush to get everything done on time’. As Al follows the client’s narrative he identifies basic needs for nurturing and support that were not met in the client’s childhood. He uses several interventions to address the client’s unmet developmental needs.
ASHLY The client, Ashly (university student) is distressed by the thought that she takes on destructive qualities which she identifies with her mother. Al explains the concept of ‘soul injection.’ In this case a parent projects aspects of herself onto a child and the resulting interaction creates confusion in the child’s sense of boundaries and self. Al uses the PBSP interventions, when the client recalls a negative interaction with her mother in her history, Al voices what the client’s ‘Ideal Mother’ would say as to how she would have responded to the client in that situation and then continues the structure.
DAVID The client, David (IT expert, married, father of five children), reports feeling a painful sense of ‘how little I can influence the world.’ Al finds out about David’s strong feeling if shame and guilt. He continues the structure by sensitive using of all PBSP interventions.
KATE The client, Kate (translator, married, mother of one child) reports having a ‘difficult relationship with her mother. The client feels as if her mother injects her with poison. Al educates the client about the concept of trauma. His intervention includes ‘making movies’ to allow the client to imagine her real mother getting her needs met so the client no longer feels pulled to try to meet these needs for her mother.
MICHAL At the start of the session the client, Michal (IT expert, married, father of three children), is not clear what issues he wants to address. By the end of the session, however, he ‘finds his soul’ and learns something about what it means to ‘exist fully’. Al is masterful in identifying and ‘witnessing’ the client’s thoughts, feelings, and experience during the session. He also handles ‘resistance’ deftly, for example, when the client is unable to imagine his mother having an ‘ideal partner’.
MONIKA The client, Monica (editor, divorced, mother of two children) lived her first year of life in a state-run facility for children. Then, she experienced adoption. Al uses a ‘witness figure’ to identify and reflects the client’s feelings and the theme of having no place for children in the client’s adoptive family comes to light.
IVO The client, Ivo (geologist, married, father, foster parent), reports he felt very depressed last Christmas and he can think of no reason for his depression. Al takes a slow sensitive pace and explores with client the religious issues in relation to his upbringing.
PETRA The client, Petra (family consultant, married, mother of four children, adoptive mother), says she often feels ‘pained’ and ‘sad’ even though she has ‘everything nice’. When the client describes her mother, Al offers a ‘reversal’, that is, he asks the client to imagine an ‘ideal mother’ who satisfied the client’s needs for physical touch, warmth and loving eye contact which the real mother did not provide.
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