The program is currently being created. The full list of presentations that will take place during the conference will be announced after the 15th of March.
Mick Cooper (United Kingdom)
Relational depth: An experiential exploration (workshop)
This workshop will be an opportunity to explore the lived-experience of relational depth: both in therapy and in everyday life. Participants will have an opportunity to examine their own experiences of relational depth, the personal factors that may make it more challenging for them to connect deeply with their clients, and the use of embodied empathy in relating deeply to clients. The workshop builds on the keynote lecture on relational depth. By the end of it, participants will have developed their understanding of what it means to relate deeply at a personal, embodied level.
Gerhard Stumm (Austria)
Progress and stagnation in psychotherapy: sharing precious moments of change and disappointing standstills and interruptions (workshop)
I want to invite the participants to explore both positive and negative phenomena in the psychotherapeutic process. To balance out onesidedness and to learn also from failures I especially encourage the group members not only to share successes but also flops. In our exchange we will reflect upon these from a relational, experiential and existential perspective.
Michael Lux (Germany)
The Magic of Encounter – Moments of Movement from the Perspective of Neuroscience (lecture)
In recent years neurosciences have made tremendous progress in
research of the human nervous system. Thereby, impressive capacities of
the brain to connect humans with other humans were revealed. It was also
sufficiently empirically demonstrated that person-centered
relationships provide a growth-promoting interpersonal climate not only
in psychotherapy but also in other contexts. Security, trust,
interpersonal synchrony, affect labeling and dialogical exploration of
experience have a profound influence on the vegetative nervous system,
neurochemicals like Oxytocin, neural coupling, emotion regulating neural
structures, and the interhemispheric information transfer. In the
lecture it will be outlined how person-centered relationships may unfold
their constructive power at a neurobiological level and how
neurobiological processes might be involved in moments of movement.
Kurt Renders (Belgium)
Exhausted heroes: Emotion-Focused Therapy with survivors of sexual abuse (lecture)
In this lecture I will talk about how I work with male survivors of
sexual abuse from the perspective of Emotion-Focused Trauma Therapy.
Emotion-Focused Trauma Therapy was developed by Paivio &
Pascual-Leone (2010) at the York University of Toronto, Canada. It is an
empirically verified model that describes the different phases and
steps that are needed to integrate trauma experiences from the past. In
addition to explaining the treatment model, I will discuss case
material, especially the specifics of the work I do with male survivors
of sexual abuse.
Christiane Geiser (Switzerland)
The mystery of change. About frozen wholes, stopped processes, moments of movement – and the importance of not knowing (lecture)
I want to begin with our own experiences of change. How do we remember
the “carrying forward” of something important in our lives?
Each change process is highly individual and lives forward in its
specific situation – but could we find out something general from this –
a typical overall “quality”, which for us is the “nature” of these
I then will briefly touch on the well-known theories, where Rogers and
Gendlin found words to frame their experiences of change processes at
that time. I want to look with fresh eyes at these ideas and question
them in the light of current thinking about our approach, emphasizing a
relational understanding. But I also want to hold theories lightly – in
the end change demands from all of us a deep commitment and
responsiveness, a capacity to dwell in the unknown, a willingness to
fall into a “moment of meeting” together.
Ireneusz Kaczmarczyk (Poland)
From dependency to presence – experiential approach in psychotherapy of addicted persons (lecture)
Regulating emotional pain with the use of drugs (or behaviors) helps
to adapt and at the same time precludes access to primary emotions and
their adequate symbolization. Using drugs most often influences an
individual’s current relationships and identity in a way that deepens
the feelings of emptiness and existential suffering. During the lecture I
will present a process of psychotherapy of a person addicted to
psychoactive drugs and alcohol. I will give examples of experiential
techniques used while working on current and past experiences. I will
present moments of change in a process of integration and regaining the
ability to relate to another person. In the context of the advances in
neuroscience I will point out the goals and potentials of experiential
therapy of addicted persons.
Claude Missiaen (Belgium)
Facing your existential demons: Experiential workshop on focusing from your safe place (workshop)
In this workshop we want to help you to make contact with a bodily
felt safe place. From here on you can go back and forth in the direction
of your existential demons (like the fear of being abandoned and
really be on our own, the undefined darkness that comes along sometimes,
the inevitable losses we had and that we will have, the horrible
awareness that our life will stop at some point, the feeling of total
senselessness that can overwhelm us, the universe that is watching
indifferently when our life falls apart…). Mostly, we prefer not to
go into these difficult feelings and convictions. But at some point in
our life, maybe we have to face them. We look for safe ways to contact
your existential givens in order to have a non-threatening dialogue with
them. In this interaction we give a lot of attention to appropriate
Agnieszka Brejwo and Andrzej Kapusta (Poland)
Laboratory of experience and reflecting (workshop)
During the workshop we propose several exercises based on
phenomenological description of human experience. We want to trace the
moments of changes and breakthroughs in the experience based on mutual
interactions and reflections. Can we identify triggers? What makes our
perspective more complete and broader? Can we examine this process more
carefully and more closely? The participant will learn how the concepts
and categories present in phenomenology, neurocognitive science and
anthropology of experience translate into therapeutic practice.
Joanna Kaczmarek and Katarzyna Kawka (Poland)
River of life – the actualization tendency in a moment of movement (workshop)
We offer you a shared reflection on the function of the
actualization tendency in a moment of change. We will present our
thoughts on the moving spirit in a process of change which are derived
from our analysis of C. Rogers’s idea of the actualization tendency and
E. Gendlin’s idea of carrying forward. The form of workshop will enable
us to deepen the experience of change and to share insights resulting
from the on-going course of processing this experience.
Anna Szapert and Paweł Seroka (Poland)
Therapeutic process and social change – practices, opportunities, restrictions (lecture)
How and in what way can individual changes, often stimulated by a
therapeutic process, be translated into social change? How can regaining
autonomy and sense of personal power initiate transformation at the
political level? This presentation is an attempt to define the place of
psychotherapy and therapeutic culture in the context of social and
political transformations. We will examine one of the historical
examples of an initiative combining personal and social change, namely
the Consciousness Raising movement accompanying the the second wave of
American feminism and inspired by Rogerian encounter groups.
Piotr Cholerzyński (Poland)
Delayed impulse reaction in the unconditional acceptance atmosphere (lecture)
There is no one-word notion illustrating events opposite to trauma.
Words like: euphoria, ecstasy, excitation used by patients while
describing their experiences of using drugs or performing addictive
behaviors are not as intense as the word ‘trauma’. I will present
therapeutic work with people addicted to gambling. This work is focused
on the experience of pleasure while gambling. What my clients describe
could be most accurately defined as a ‘traumatic pleasure’. Working with
this experience resembles working with trauma or a ‘puzzling
experience’ according to Rice. Experiential examining pleasant mental
states evoked by using a drug or performing an addictive behavior
results in desensitization to the stimulus associated with this
pleasure. Consequently there is a change towards adaptive coping with
the so called ‘craving’ or ‘relapse’. I will share my conclusions and
reflections on the experiential work with addicted persons.
Melissa Harte (Australia)
Processing emotional pain using the expanded Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) task of Focusing (workshop)
Harte (2012) proposed an expanded version of Focusing to include the
reprocessing of painful or traumatic events which was found in clinical
practice to successfully process these events. More recently, Harte
(2017) used the discovery phase of task analysis to refine the proposed
model and develop a method for bringing previously suppressed or
incomplete memories of painful/traumatic events back into awareness so
they can be successfully processed and integrated. This
90-minute-workshop is experiential and will provide participants with
knowledge and theoretical understanding of EFT for trauma and how to use
the extended focusing task.
Melissa Harte (Australia)
Supervision using Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) “in mode” (workshop)
Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is an integrative, evidenced-based,
manualised, experiential therapy that emphasises the quality of the
client-therapist relationship and offers efficient interventions/tasks
to assist clients to deal with emotional experience in the present
moment. The EFT approach employs a series of client markers as
indicators of client readiness that directs the therapist in choice of
effective process interventions/tasks. An extension of the more standard
approach to supervision has seen the development of EFT supervision
“in-mode” by using the method’s markers, that is parallel to the EFT
process. This workshop offers experiential opportunities to engage in
EFT supervision “in mode.”
Piotr Fijewski (Poland)
From behavior to experience. Looking for moments of change in group trauma therapy based on symbolic assertiveness method (lecture)
Symbolic assertiveness is a method of trauma therapy applied mostly in
group setting. It uses drama, gestalt experiment and working on
behavior. Therapeutic work is focused on looking for empowering
experiences in situations of past trauma that are enacted in drama.
Usually the changes experienced by clients are very clear and encompass
not only emotions, but also behavior.
Tatiana Karyagina and Elena Sheryagina (Russia)
Process or/and activity: the moments of change in coexperiencing psychotherapy (lecture)
In our lecture we will talk about person and experiencing. The
experiencing is conceptualized as a process, mostly immediate and
involuntary, which the person symbolizes and comprehends. But not an
experience is experiencing, but a person. What is the role of the person
in relation to experiencing? Receiver? Witness? Victim? Or the author?
We will introduce the coexperiencing psychotherapy approach – an
original Russian experiential approach created on the basis of the
scientific traditions of cultural activity psychology of Leo Vygotsky,
Alexey Leontyev, Alexander Luria, etc. An approach creator, Fyodor
Vasilyuk, described it as the result of engrafting Rogerian principles
to the cultural activity theory of experiencing and defined it as
Sofia Jonsson (Poland)
Acknowledging Climate Angst in the Therapeutic Setting (lecture)
As global temperature and sea levels continue to rise, modern
psychotherapists are faced with an increased number of patients with
climate angst. Based on my own research, I will present how perceived
existential threat effect psychotherapeutic patients’ experience of
being-in-the world and propose an outline for how to transform climate
angst into climate action. During this talk, I want to invite the
audience to reflect on their role as practitioners in relation to
Magdalena Budziszewska (Poland)
Environmental concerns and climate anxiety – emerging themes for psychotherapy (lecture)
In this paper, I present the results of a qualitative study on persons,
who are high in environmental concern and engage actively to prevent
the worst consequences of global warming. However, lots of them suffer
from permanent stress, future anxiety and have symptoms similar to those
observed in PTSD. I propose that the theme of environmental concern and
climate change is emerging as a vital issue and is going to be a common
theme in psychotherapy in the future. Psychologists and
psychotherapists need to prepare for it.
Oleksandr Myronenko, Yana Gololob, Valeriia Pryhozhyna, Mariia Hoianiuk, Maryna Romanko, and Igor Slobodianiuk (Ukraine)
Moments of Movement: Therapy through Social Changes, Ukrainian Experience (lecture)
With this presentation we would like to introduce our PCA family: to present our history and how we work as a training institution, to show some theoretical and practical issues, including special programs. Also the aim of this presentation is to share how PCA answers the social and political challenges in our country now, how the relationships created in the frame of therapy influence the social changes and our experience in it.
Luz Serres (Spain)
A new awakening? Moments of movement and change in non-Person Centered therapists participating in Encounter Groups’ continuous sessions (lecture)
What ‘moves’ within, when therapists experience the core conditions? What changes do they undergo when they take part in continued Encounter Groups sessions? How is their personal perception affected? And what about their own professional perception? Does it change after undergoing this experience? Is their way of being therapists transformed? If so, how? In this lecture, I will share with you some experiences, perceptions, discoveries and curiosities present in our ongoing study. We will discuss if and how the personal moments of change that occur throughout a therapeutic group process are translated into transformation in the individuals’ professional selves and spirit, and how a quite brief experiencing of person-centered qualities and attitudes influences a therapist’s way of being.
Devang Vaidya (United Kingdom)
Tracking the existential roots of personhood in Carl Rogers’ theory: Resolving conceptual distortions and restoring internal consistency of person-centred formulations (lecture)
More than fifty years after Carl Rogers first presented the
elements of person-centred therapy there prevails a distortion of many
of his concepts such as actualising tendency, incongruence/congruence,
and non-directivity. I propose that this distortion results from a
fundamental error in interpreting the term ‘person’. Drawing upon the
ancient Greek category of ‘kinesis’, meaning ‘innate transformative
movement’, I will investigate Rogers’ implicit meaning of ‘personhood’. I
will evaluate Rogers’ notion of ‘becoming a person’ in light of
Kierkegaard’s existential philosophy of ‘repetition as a task of freedom
to overcome despair’. Distortions of person-centred formulations are
remedied and internal consistency of theory restored once the primary
principle of personhood is established: A person does not exist as a
thing with thing-like properties that are measurable and predictable.
Radical implications for practice, training, and research will be
outlined in conclusion.
Marcin Szczygieł (Poland)
RESTORATION OF CHOICE. Paradoxical theory of change and existentialist philosophy as determinants of the therapist’s attitude in the process of restoration of freedom in Gestalt therapy (workshop)
According to Robert Resnick (a long-time student and colleague
of Fritz Perls) – The only one goal in gestalt psychotherapy is
restoration of choice.
This workshop will be an occasion to integrate chosen theories
(paradoxical theory of change, existentialist philosophy, phenomenology)
that underlie Gestalt therapy originated in the USA. The workshop will
create space for reflecting upon the meaning of the therapist’s attitude
in the clients’ process of restoration of choice. A video presenting a
therapeutic session conducted in 2015 by Robert Resnick, as well as
personal experiences of the participants of the workshop will serve as
an illustration of the process of restoration of choice and an
inspiration for further discussion.
Krzysztof Błażejewski (Poland)
Transformative power of anger: From hopelessness to hope – from powerlessness to personal power (workshop)
During this workshop I would like to invite you to take a
close look at those moments of change in our inner experiential world
that originate from anger.
Professionally I accompany people in different experiences, but what I
experience in my office is that there is a specific kind of anger that
carries a particular meaning and has a unique quality.
Apart from theoretical considerations, I would like to disclose my
personal experience with anger – from a perspective of a human, and a
therapist who helps clients build a good alliance with anger and its
Anger is our natural response to the violation of our boundaries or
frustration of our needs; it provides us with the energy to act, change
the situation, protect… and something else. What is it and how does it
In experiential spirit and in empathic dialogue we will attempt to
answer the question:
– Anger – what kind of carrying forward it creates in key moments in our lives?
Sonja Kinigadner (Austria)
Moments of movement in refugee work. Deep understanding, Cultural sensitivity, Confrontation with unsecure life (lecture)
This presentation will demonstrate three areas of
understanding and work in psychotherapeutic work with refugees. The
three areas seem crucial for initiating therapeutic moments of movement
in persons from different countries who are at different stages of
asylum seeking process. Working with people trapped between the
traumatic experiences, the present situation, and status of refugees in
the receiving country, the therapist must leave the traditional way.
Three examples will be given and discussed.
Gerlinde Maria Wagner (Austria)
Silent Qigong and Person Centered Therapy (workshop)
The workshop will offer the possibility to learn about a Taoist understanding of Qigong, called Silent Qigong and the mindset of it. We will detect possible correspondence between the Person Centered Approach and Silent Qigong. We will explore the idea of using the Qigong practice by the Therapist as well as the Client in order to improve their therapy process and health.
Fedor Shankov (Russia)
Performing deliberate practice in the spirit of person-centered and experiential approaches (based on Co-experiencing psychotherapy practice) (lecture)
The research in effectiveness of psychotherapy has marched into a methodological dead-end. An elegant evidence-based solution can be found in the research done by S. Miller (deliberate practice). Seems that Carl Rogers and Eugene Gendlin became the effective therapists they were not because of their technique and experience, but mostly by thoroughly studying transcripts and reflecting upon their own practice. Participants are invited to discuss and share ways which already help them in performing deliberate practice, and to take away new suggestions developed in Co-experiencing psychotherapy by professor Fyodor Vasilyuk.