One of the greatest advantages PBSP has over other interactive therapies is that it offers clients complete control over their own therapeutic experience. Other interactive therapies generally rely on a group process in which all of the individuals in the group are simultaneously using the process for what they believe to be in their own best interest. By contrast, in PBSP therapy only one person at a time has a session, which is called a “Structure.”
During the Structure, a group member re-experiences past memories and sensations in the safety of a controlled setting. At the same time, the other members of the group temporarily suspend their own personal needs in order to focus exclusively on the needs of a single client and to be in service to him or her. Specifically, group members help the client by playing roles that are created and directed by the client, rather than by the group members themselves. In this way, PBSP creates community and a true group atmosphere.
Another critical difference is that PBSP allows clients to act out the fulfillment of their emotional needs in the context of the time, place, and age in which the earlier, absent interactions should have taken place. PBSP does not involve regression. Although the client experiences those feelings as being immediate and real, he maintains a parallel awareness that he is reliving something from his past and remains in complete control of the process
Within the context of the Structure, the client’s rational mind can vividly experience and explore the feeling states he or she had as a child. PBSP does not involve regression. Although the client experiences those feelings as being immediate and real, he maintains a parallel awareness that he is reliving something from his past and remains in complete control of the process.
By directing the interaction with the ideal figure, the client creates a new scenario in which maturational needs are fulfilled. This, then, supports the creation of a new memory that has the same power and force as childhood experiences and memories.
The result is clients who are happier, more productive, feel more invigorated and are able to find meaning and pleasure in life.
To read a description of a PBSP therapy session click here with commentary by Al Pesso click here.
“Clips from a PBSP therapy session from a short introduction to PBSP humanitarian work in the DR Congo”(2009)
This short video provides a brief introduction to Al Pesso’s humanitarian work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, reviews some core concepts in the PBSP theory of “Holes In Roles,” and offers a few clips of a PBSP therapy session.