presentaties abstracts english

PCE 2006
Workshop: Training the interactional barometer of the therapist

The "MCTI", an instrument to train therapists' ability to give metacommunicative feedback, will be presented. We will look at some short videofragments of clients and experiment with focusing-, body and other questions to sharpen our interactional barometer.

Giving metacommunicative feedback requires that the therapist can deal in a transparant way, at the right moment, with what lives in the interaction between him and the client, and hereby can express his version of the interaction. He needs to be sensitive for the appeal of the client, be able to access his immediate experience of the therapeutic relationship and get and get in touch with the feelings, images and action tendencies the client evokes in him.

There will be room for discussion and I will in short present some research findings over the instrument.

Participants can express themselves in English, German and Dutch.

PCE 2006
Workshop: You didn't read my letter?! – Working with excessive demands of borderline clients

Greet Vanaerschot, Dr. Psychologie, Psychotherapeutic Center Anthos, Donkerstraat 50, 3071, Erps-Kwerps, Belgium, e-mail:
Monica Gundrum, Clinical psychologist, Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), e-mail:

In the workshop a video is shown of a therapy session with a severe borderline client. The video demonstrates how the therapist works with the client's excessive demands and anger. It illustrates how the therapist tries to maintain an empathic contact with the client while at the same time keeping authentically her boundaries.

After the video demonstration, some theoretical considerations will be given and there will be room for discussion. To lower the language barrier: questions or considerations can be formulated in four languages: Dutch, German, English and French. We will translate in English.

International Focusing Conference 2006

"How can focusing help in interactional work?”

In interactional work the therapist gives metacommunicative feedback to clients. This includes disclosing feelings the client evokes in him, his reaction to the implicit (unfunctional) appeal of the client.
I believe that focusing-in-action can help therapists to access their immediate experience of the therapeutic relationship and get clear their felt sense of the feelings, images and actiontendencies the client evokes.
We will look at videofragments of clients and experiment with focusing-, body and other questions to sharpen our interactional barometer.

Monica Gundrum is psychologist and clientcentered-experiential psychotherapist. She works at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) in the department psychotherapy and is staffmember of the postgraduate training course for clientcentered and experiential psychotherapy.

PCE 2003
Interactional work in client-centered/experiential psychotherapy: A workshop

Also in client-centered therapy clients create their own interactional scenario's with their therapist. The therapist can choose to elucidate these patterns by explicitly exploring the here-and-now client-therapist interaction. Carl Rogers did this very rarely. He found this process resembling too much the psychoanalytic process of working through the transference. Another source of reticence to use this option in client-centered therapy has to do with the more directive position of the therapist in interactional therapy: the metacommunication about the here-and-now interaction implies interventions coming from the therapist's own frame of reference, like selfdisclosure, feedback, confrontation and interpretation.

In this workshop a short theoretical introduction will be given first.
Then everyone will be invited to participate in three different exercises using role-playing. They have as a goal to make the participants more sensitive for interactional aspects of the therapeutic relationship and to experiment with interactional interventions brought in a way which remains compatible with a truly 'person-centered way of being'.
This workshop will be very interesting for therapists who are not familiar with the interpersonal orientation in client-centered therapy. It can also be inspiring for those who seek ways to train students in interactional work.

PCE 2000
Empathy training: teaching relational skills or fostering relational attitudes?

In this presentation I will share my experience on training relational skills with psychology students in a master program.
Psychology students get an intensive and highly structured training consisting of 4 contact moments (of 2 hours). In between these session they practice in small groups on their own. Role-playing is central. The students play cases but also use own problems while they train skills like paraphrasing and reflection of feeling. I shall describe in detail this training program and tell how it can be adapted and used in various training situations (from non-professionals to psychotherapists).
Rather than merely teaching specific skills, my basic intent is to help the students improve their relational attitude of listening and empathy. Can this be done in such a short time and how can training of techniques contribute to the training of attitudes? I would like to discuss these and other questions and invite other colleagues in a training position to share their own experience on the matter.