The Effectiveness of Scenic-Symbolic Interventions Used in PBSP for Inducing a Corrective Emotional Experience

Jan Sirinek, PhD.
Plenary lecture
Friday, September 27, 2019; 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

In traditional approaches, the corrective emotional experience is produced in an interpersonal setting either in the client – therapist relationship or amongst the members of a therapeutic group. The vital contribution of PBPS is in its shifting a corrective emotional experience from an interpersonal to a symbolic reality. For this purpose, PBSP includes a unique system of interventions using precisely targeted and controlled instruments of body – and drama-oriented therapies. Research recently conducted by the author at Charles University in Prague explored the potential for verifying the efficiency of these instruments in a randomized, controlled trial.

Learning objectives:

  • Introduce the key terms of “Scenic-symbolic principle/intervention”, invented exclusively for the purposes of this research.
  • Review relevant psychotherapeutic schools which use the scenic-symbolic principle.
  • Review the introduction, methods, and results of the original research.
  • Outline the possible contribution of PBSP to research in psychotherapy in the future.

We will use a case study for defining and demonstrating the relevance of the term “Scenic-Symbolic principle”. The term was introduced and intended to (1) ascribe symbolic significance to people, objects, or areas of the therapy room, (2) enable these as roles for dramatization, and (3) employ the symbolic significance of physical contact and body motion. Therapeutic schools the use the scenic-symbolic principle will be discussed briefly.

In the original research, 40 volunteers were divided into two groups, experimental and control. Both groups were exposed to a supporting intervention under strict experimental conditions: The control group received supporting/non-scenic, and the experimental supporting/scenic intervention.

The design and results of the research will be described in detail. In the following discussion, we will consider some perspectives on the possibility of the undiscovered potential of PBSP for conducting randomized controlled trials.

Jan Sirinek, PhD. (CZ)

Jan Sirinek is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist with private practice in Prague, Czech Republic. He attended the first PBSP training in Prague from 1998 to 2002, and has led PBSP groups once a week for 16 years since. He co-founded the Czech PBSP association in 2010, and elected head of the association in 2013, charged with co-developing experiential and training PBSP programs in the Czech Republic in close collaboration with Al Pesso. Jan coordinated two national PBSP conferences, in 2011 and 2014. He published several articles on PBSP in local professional journals.