posted Feb 27, 2017, 2:45 AM by Administrator   [ updated Feb 27, 2017, 2:53 AM by Mathias Dekeyser ]

Jean-Marc Priels, reputable member of our network and Pre-Therapy trainer, passionately works with contact disabled clients and their caretakers. Hence his love for both Pre-Therapy and another contact method: SnoezelenOn the last PTIN meeting in Ghent, Belgium, Jean-Marc demonstrated the touching documentary "Snoezelen" by film-director Idriss Gabel. We discussed whether we recognized elements of Pre-Therapy, and broader, of the person-centred approach in Snoezelen. Pre-therapeutic contact work consists of reflecting, sitting next to the person; it is clear that the approach can be combined with Snoezelen.

The term "snoezelen" is a neologism formed from a blend of the Dutch "snuffelen" (to snuggle, also: to sniff) and "doezelen" (to doze, to snooze). Snoezelen is mostly non-verbal connecting; trying to make the person receptive and open to the sensorial environment, by offering security and providing a multi-sensory experience.  The Snoezelen-team wants people to be happy, feel comfortable and relaxed; and to foster well-being. Trust is important, as well as “to be with” the patients. The question is: How can we provide an environment where people can feel safe? An environment that can reduce tension?

Snoezelen sessions take place within a basic structure: there is a clear beginning and a clear end. At Sans Souci hospital, where Jean-Marc organizes Snoezelen sessions for psychotic clients, the coffee break after the session is an important element of the structure. It offers some closure, a return to regular interaction, and a chance to share experiences.  One participant wondered about the danger for "pathological fusion.” Jean-Marc clarified that participants and caretakers can have moments of fusion in Snoezelen, but one must also be able to step out again. Although intense emotional processes are observed in those sessions, Jean-Marc has rarely experienced real difficulties.

For more information, visit the international Snoezelen website:

PCEP Special Issue on Pre-Therapy

posted May 3, 2016, 8:23 AM by Mathias Dekeyser

Yet another milestone in the history and literature of Pre-Therapy ... By the end of 2015, the PCEP journal has published the long awaited special issue on Pre-Therapy and Contact Work. This publication covers theoretical, scientific and practical topics accross the many current applications of Pre-Therapy, as well as an historical overview of its origins and development. It provides a state of the art of the field for those professionals who have heard of Pre-Therapy but are not very familiar with its scope and development. It also offers the Pre-Therapy adept a richness of deep insights and fresh findings.

"This issue of Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies presents Pre-Therapy to the reader with state-of-the-art developments." (Introduction)

This important addition to the literature of Pre-Therapy includes the following contributions:
  • Van Werde, D., Sommerbeck, L., & Sanders, P.: Introduction to the special issue on Pre-Therapy.
  • Swan, K. L., & Schottelkorb, A. A.: Contact work in child-centered play therapy: a case study.
  • Courcha, P. : “She’s talking to me!” Training home carers to use Pre-Therapy contact reflections: an action research study.
  • Erskine, R.: Meeting Vincent: reconnections from behind the wall – Pre-Therapy in a psychiatric unit context.
  • Štěpánková, R.: The experience with a person with autism. Phenomenological study of the experience with contact and contact reflections.
  • Proctor, G.: A review of “Person-Centered practice at the difficult edge,” edited by Peter Pearce and Lisbeth Sommerbeck.
The whole issue and pdf-versions of its articles can be ordered online on the website of the PCEP journal.

Garry's 1986 workshop in Breda

posted Apr 1, 2016, 8:04 AM by Administrator   [ updated Apr 1, 2016, 8:34 AM by Mathias Dekeyser ]

Hans Peters
From October 21 to 23 1985, Hans Peters was a participant in Garry Prouty's workshop in Breda, which was organised by Bart Santen from Psychotherapeutic Center De Mark. Hans wrote a report of that workshop in the Dutch journal Ruit, titled "Prouty's Pre-Therapy Method and the Treatment of Hallucinations". A translated, English version of that review can be downloaded below.

"From an experiential/client-centred frame of reference, he gave a fascinating explanation of treatment methods for severely contact-disturbed mental deficients, autists, psychotics, and schizophrenics, along with the vision and theories which underlie these. What is new with Prouty is the category of patients that he treats, namely, the most severe forms of contact disturbance, regardless of the level of the client (in other words, ranging from mental deficients to the highly gifted), as well as the specific methods  he uses, methods which he has developed over the past 15 to 20 years in concrete dealings with patients (see bibliography) and which he has tried  to give a theoretical basis too."

At the time, Hans received much appreciation for this text from Garry. Garry himself organised translation of the document, but the translator and the year of translation is unknown. The report was originally published as:

Peters, H. (1986). Prouty’s Pre-Therapie methode en de behandeling van hallucinaties: een verslag. Ruit, Multidisciplinair Tijdschrift voor Ontwikkelingsstoornissen, Zwakzinnigheid en Zwakzinnigenzorg, 12(1), 26-34.
Peters, H. (1986). Prouty’s Pre-Therapie methode en de behandeling van hallucinaties: een verslag. Mededelingenblad Vereniging voor Rogeriaanse Therapie, 3, 34-46.

Katherine Fisenko's interview with Dion Van Werde for Moscow's National Research University

posted Sep 14, 2015, 8:08 AM by Mathias Dekeyser   [ updated Sep 14, 2015, 8:09 AM ]

Видеоинтервью с Дионом Ван Верде - координатор международного сообщества по пре-терапии. Пре-терапия - человеко-центрированная психотерапия с людьми, страдающими нарушением контакта. Пре-терапия применяется для людей с болезнью Альцгеймера, с серьезными трудностями в обучении (дети с задержкой в развитии, с трудностями в социальной, эмоциональной и физической сферах), с глубокой депрессий, с психозами, с диссоциациями, с множественными личностями.

Psychologist Dion Van Werde is the coordinator of the international community for Pre-Therapy, a person-centered psychotherapy for people with contact problems. Pre-Therapy is used for people with Alzheimer's disease, with severe learning difficulties (children with developmental delays, difficulties in social, emotional and physical areas), with a deep depression, with psychosis, with dissociation, or multiple personalities.

Special issue dedicated to the memory of Garry Prouty

posted May 26, 2015, 3:13 AM by Mathias Dekeyser   [ updated May 28, 2015, 1:28 PM ]

The Korean Academy of Psychotherapists published a Special Issue of the Korean Journal of Psychotherapy (Vol 28, Number 1, December 2014). Chan Hee Huh, member of ISPS-Korea, was the guest editor of this special issue, dedicated to the memory of Garry Prouty.
The collection is focused on Taopsychotherapy and Pre-Therapy, the professional career of Garry Prouty, memories of his family and colleagues, but it also contains original transcripts of client interviews by professor Rhee.
The issue contains several contributions by Chan Hee Huh, Garry Prouty, Jill Prouty, Dongshick Rhee, along the work of Gwen Prouty, Dion Van Werde, Ton Coffeng, Judith Trytten, Sharon Pietrzak, Jong-Ha Kim, Brian Martindale, Graeme Taylor, Jung-Kug Lee, Erik Craig, Suk-Hun Kang, Allan Tasman, Charles Brenner, Marianne Horney Eckardt, and Thomas Kirsch.
Attached to this message is the list of contents.

Herstel en versterken van contact

posted May 26, 2015, 2:06 AM by Mathias Dekeyser

Specialisatie–opleiding Cliëntgerichte zorg voor psychosegevoelige mensen.
Organisatie: FMS Turnhout ( en het Pre-Therapy International Network (
Plaats: PZ Sint-Camillus; Sint-Denijs Westrem
Data: 8 vrijdagen à 1 dag per maand van okt 2015 - mei 2016
Pre-Therapie werd ontwikkeld door prof. Garry Prouty (Chicago, USA) als contactherstellende individuele begeleiding van ernstig en langdurig psychotische mensen. Ondertussen werd deze cliëntgerichte praktijk (vooral in Europa) verder uitgewerkt en beschreven als “contactgericht werken” ten aanzien van diverse cliëntenpopulaties, in meerdere settingen en voor verschillende disciplines in de GGZ, in de zorg voor ouderen en mensen met mentale of cognitieve beperkingen. Deze opleiding wil je op een systematische manier laten kennismaken met, en laten groeien in deze manier van kijken, denken en doen.
Herstelgericht werken is helemaal ‘in’. We worden er vandaag aan herinnerd dat ook psychosegevoelige cliënten krachtige, mondige mensen zijn die graag met hulpverleners in overleg gaan over datgene wat hun werkelijk aanbelangt. Een dergelijke samenwerking is echter niet altijd gemakkelijk te bekomen, en lijkt soms zelfs onmogelijk.
Wat kunnen cliënten en hulpverleners doen wanneer het vertrouwen plots ontbreekt, of wanneer ze elkaar niet meer verstaan? Wat doe je wanneer woorden geen woorden meer lijken of zelfs geheel ontbreken? In deze opleiding reiken we je enkele handvatten aan die je helpen om ook in de moeilijkste fasen de band tussen jou en je cliënt te herstellen en/of te verstevigen.


Het kunnen omgaan met psychosegevoelige mensen staat centraal in deze 8-daagse vorming.
Je leert concrete richtlijnen voor de dagelijkse praktijk vanuit de cliëntgerichte therapeutische relatieprincipes en je leert een cliëntgerichte luisterhouding toepassen. Je leert het verschil tussen expressief en pre-expressief functioneren. Je leert denken en kijken in termen van contact en Prouty’s Pre-Therapeutische contactreflecties hanteren op het gepaste moment. Je ontdekt hoe deze vaardigheden bruikbaar zijn in de dagelijkse zorg en passen binnen een herstelgerichte visie.
Je formuleert eigen leerdoelen. Het verder integreren van het geleerde wordt doorheen het opleidingstraject via groepssupervisie opgevolgd.


Dion Van Werde, klinisch psycholoog / psychotherapeut. PZ Sint-Camillus, St-Denijs Westrem. Coördinator Pre-Therapy International Network.
Paul Dierick, dr. in de psychologie, klinisch psycholoog / psychotherapeut. PZ Duffel, gerontopsychiatrie.
Mathias Dekeyser, klinisch psycholoog / psychotherapeut. Mobiel Team GGZ en Psychosociaal Centrum, Leuven.
Bea Segers, hoofdverpleegkundige, PZ Sint-Camillus, St-Denijs Westrem.
Allen zijn actief lid van het Pre-Therapy International Network en Pre-Therapie trainer.


Professionelen in de GGZ of sociaal werk. Vooropleiding Bachelor of Master.

Duur en formule 

8 vrijdagen, gespreid over het academiejaar: van oktober 2015 tot mei 2016.
Data : 16/10; 20/11 en 4/12/2015  en  8/1 ; 5/2; 18/3; 15/4 en 27/5/2016


960 euro  (KMO portefeuille kan gebruikt worden: aantal uren = 56 uur)
Inbegrepen is het Nederlandstalig boek “Pre-Therapie: cliëntgericht werken met ernstig contactgestoorde mensen” (Prouty, Van Werde en Pörtner) en een cursusmap. Wie wenst, kan ter plaatse een warme maaltijd gebruiken (vis, vlees of veggie).


Deelnemers ontvangen een attest van deelname, uitgegeven door FMS en het Pre-Therapy International Network.

Informatie & inschrijving

Aanmelden via mail bij :
Na je aanmelding krijg je meer informatie over hoe je je inschrijving kunt vervolledigen.

Organisatie & locatie

Meerdaagse vorming georganiseerd door FMS (Faculteit voor Mens en Samenleving), in samenwerking met het Pre-Therapy International Network, op locatie in het PZ Sint-Camillus, Beukenlaan 20 – 9051 te Sint Denijs Westrem. Voor een wegbeschrijving :

Person-Centred practice at the difficult edge

posted Jul 30, 2014, 11:08 AM by Administrator

Person-Centred Practice at the Difficult Edge
This book presents accounts of the practice of the person-centred approach with difficult client groups such as troubled adolescents, and people suffering from a range of severe and/or enduring conditions. Person-Centred Practice at the Difficult Edge comprehensively refutes the notion that person-centred therapy is suitable only for the ‘worried well’, and backs up contemporary practice with appropriate theory and evidence throughout. Intended for student, academic and professional readerships, it aims to help broaden the range of applications of person-centred practice and encourage interest in working with challenging client groups.

Subject areas include Autism, adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, dementia, learning disabilities, palliative care, Pre-Therapy, posttraumatic stress and posttraumatic growth, psychotic process, tenuous contact with adolescents, therapist limits.

"Intelligent, skilled, inspiring therapists offer chapters that teach us not only how to be therapists working with those at the ‘difficult edge’ but how to be better therapists with all our clients. This book gives us deep
understanding of often misunderstood clients and the therapist’s inner dialogue in connecting with them." Charles O’Leary, author of The Practice of Person-Centred Couple and Family Therapy

"This book identifies the challenges of contact with certain client groups and particular ‘difficult edges’. Throughout, the contributors hold the notion of empathy as a guiding light; both explicitly and implicitly documenting the profound impact of understanding and acceptance on others and self." Sheila Haugh, Associate Lecturer, Prague College of Psychosocial Studies, Czech Republic; Lecturer, Metanoia Institute, London, UK

Contributors: Pamela Bruce-Hay, Mathias Dekeyser, Penny Dodds, Robert Elliott, Jan Hawkins, Stephen Joseph, Danuta Lipinska, David Murphy, Peter Pearce, Hans Peters, Garry Prouty, Anja Rutten, Ros Sewell, Lisbeth Sommerbeck, Sally Stapleton, Wendy Traynor, Dion Van Werde, Margaret Warner

Pearce, P., & Sommerbeck, L. (2014). Person-Centered practice at the difficult edge.  Ross-on-Wye, UK: PCCS.

Person-Centered Therapy in wilderness environments

posted Oct 28, 2013, 8:10 AM by Mathias Dekeyser   [ updated Oct 28, 2013, 8:25 AM ]

Rab Erskine lives in the Borders Region with his wife, four children and lots of animals. He began working therapeutically in the mid eighties at a residential school in Peebles. He initially trained in counselling in 1992 at Heriot Watt University where he completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Counselling. Fired up by this training, he moved to Strathclyde University where in 1993 he completed a Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling. Since then he has taken part in various training courses as a way of deepening this initial training.
His work in wilderness environments offers a level of sensitivity and gentle compassion. It is a 'non-intrusively present’ therapeutic approach and incorporates many elements of Pre-Therapy. He has developed this approach for lots of different clients; ‘hard to reach’ clients, clients who experience fragile ways of processing experience, clients who suffer from symptoms of trauma and overwhelm. This slideshow tells a story of the therapeutic context he develops.

What’s in a Name? Emerging Perspectives on the Intersection of “Schizophrenia” and “Recovery”

posted May 21, 2013, 4:00 AM by Mathias Dekeyser

Oct. 4-6, 2013, New Brunswick, New Jersey

(Pre-conference workshops will be offered Sept. 30-Oct. 3 and Oct. 4.)

ISPS recently changed its name to eliminate the word “schizophrenia” based on a growing international consensus that the stigmatizing impact of the term far outweighs the limited validity of the construct.

Our previous keynoter, Richard Bentall, has written persuasively that while there is scientific evidence for the existence of certain symptoms, there is no evidence for a unified disease called schizophrenia. Even one of the so-called hallmark features of schizophrenia-- auditory hallucinations-- has been called into question by traumatologists, who cite evidence that hearing voices is a common feature of PTSD and dissociative disorders, and by Romme and Escher, whose research shows that hearing voices is a common occurrence among patients and non-patients. Recovering voice hearer Ron Coleman has suggested that the phenomenon of “negative symptoms” is merely a description of people who are lost in their voice hearing experiences and too distracted or despondent to interact effectively with the outside world. Others have found that “negative symptoms” are the manifestation of profound depression and demoralization, which are also common experiences among those diagnosed with schizophrenia.

What is it that one is recovering from and what does it mean to be in recovery or recovered? Recovery has become a popular buzz word in mental health, but its definition is also controversial. For some this means living with symptoms; for others it means elimination of symptoms. Some use professional treatment including medication and consider themselves recovered because they lead highly functional lives. Others consider dependence on prescriptions and therapists as indicators that one is not yet fully recovered. Given that there are new challenges to ways of thinking about the experiences formerly defined as schizophrenic, it is time to reconsider what recovery from these experiences looks like. Join us, October 4-6, 2013, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to develop an appreciation for and engage in dialogues about the complex dynamics and forces that characterize and challenge recovery from psychosis.

The meeting will feature:

Keynoter: Debra Lampshire
Debra Lampshire is an experience-based expert at the University of Auckland and project manager for Auckland District Health Board in New Zealand. She is Chairperson of ISPS New Zealand and a member of the ISPS Executive Committee.

Honorees: Marius Romme, MD, PhD and Sandra Escher, PhD
Dr. Marius Romme is Dutch psychiatrist, best known for his work on hearing voices (auditory hallucinations) and regarded as the founder and principal theorist for the Hearing Voices Movement. He is the Founder and former Chair of Intervoice, the International association for voice hearers.
Dr. Sandra Escher has been involved in the Hearing Voices Movement from the very beginning. She has organized many hearing voices conferences. In 1996 she started her own research with children hearing voices. Her book on children who hear voices was published in 2010. She is a board member of Intervoice.

Rediscovering humanity in working with persons with learning disabilities

posted May 8, 2013, 1:19 PM by Mathias Dekeyser   [ updated Jul 23, 2014, 8:11 AM ]

The Person-Centred Quarterly
Before I became a counsellor, I worked as a Registered Nurse for people with learning disabilities both in the community and in a forensic mental health facility, which was part of a large mental health hospital. I left when I felt beaten by the 'system' and what I experienced as a systemic devaluing of persons. This manifested in an incident, which, for me, demonstrated the inhuman treatment of, and attitudes towards, a client for whom the group was entrusted to care. The system effectively turned a blind eye. This was an intolerable situation for me, as the Clinical Team Leader. I walked away with a sense of betraying both the client's and my own beliefs. I felt at risk of losing my own humanity.
I would like to share here how I see that Pre-Therapy and contact working offers a way of combating the dehumanising and devaluing of many groups but, in this case, those with learning disabilities. How whole teams and individual carers can restore their own self- valuing which, in turn, enables them to re-engage with 'being human' and relating human-to-human; person-to-person. How, for me, this is a way of being, which is person-centred in its approach, attitudes and values and which offers a way, not only of making contact, but also of enabling mutual contact between persons with learning disability and of supporting those who feel that they are working in isolation within systems and environments which can be experienced as thwarting, even overwhelming, one's humanity.
I make no apologies for the fact that the reader will find little in the way of academic referencing; little explicit relation to theory. This is a personal account of making contact with persons with whom contact has been denied. My humanness, and the impact that has upon those who have devalued certain persons, a result, I believe, of feeling themselves to be devalued.

Moore, R. (2013). Pre-Therapy and Contact Work - Rediscovering humanity in working with persons with learning disabilities and/or mental health challenges. Person-Centred Quarterly, 2013(1), 18-23.

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