Albert Pesso had already created a dynamic and profound method of working with the body and the mind when radical new research into trauma came onto the stage of psychotherapy in the 1980s. With intellectual prowess and artistic grace, Pesso shifted his healing focus from the catharsis solutions favoured in the 1960s and 1970s to a process of ‘wiring in’ an alternative experience within the ‘memory layer’ of his client’s psyche. This ‘virtual’ memory does not deny the past. It lives side by side with the traumatic moments furnishing sensory experiences of feeling safe and protected thus providing an ‘antidote’ to the dreadful experience of trauma. Then throughout the 1990s – the so-called ‘decade of the brain’ – Pesso further refined his response to trauma informed by the unfolding and strikingly fresh understanding of how the human brain functions.

This seminar explored– in an accessible and interactive manner - how this powerful method helps those who have been harmed to their core by traumatic events.

  • 1

    The Body Speaks its Mind with Sandy Cotter

    • Please read this first.

    • Part one: Intention for the seminar; introduction to Al Pesso, Diane Boyden, the Pesso Boyden System, and Dr Lowijs Perquin.

    • Part two: Definition of a ‘structure’; steps within a structure; rewiring of the mind with the structure; developmental psychology and its basic principles; our unconscious worldview and how it directs our life.

    • Part three: Self fulfilling prophecy; how I think about the world affects how I approach the world; the left and the right brain; how I approach the world affects how the world responds to me.

    • Part four: Neurons in the baby’s brain; early stages of a baby’s development through the neuroscience lens.

    • Part five: development stages continued; various unconscious worldviews.

    • Part six: The two tribes in developmental psychology: empirical and philosophical; the true self.

    • Part seven: Exploring the developmental sequence; the five rights/needs of a child coming into the world of others; the goal for each person to express their unique self in the world of others; devices in the Pesso Boyden structure.

    • Part eight: The real client session.

    • Part nine: Q&A and conclusion.

  • 2

    The full length video, uncut

    • The Body Speaks its Mind, full length video

  • 3

    Audio of the talk

    • The Body Speaks its Mind audio

  • 4

    Feedback and CPD certificate of completion

    • Feedback form and certificate.


Sandy Cotter

Sandy Cotter BA MA MSc I have been involved in the world of psychotherapy since the l970s and I am one of three accredited trainers in the Pesso method in the UK. I graduated with a first in Psychology from Michigan State University in the US and stepped straight into the exciting wave of the Human Potential Movement, which transformed psychology during the last third of the 20th century. Throughout the revolutionary ‘70s I explored many new and exciting modes of working with people, learning from key figures of the time such as Alexander Lowen, John Pierrakos, James Hillman and Stanley Keleman. Then in l997 I attended an introductory workshop led by Professor Lowijs Perquin – a central figure in the development of the PBSP in Europe. I was taken by the beauty and effectiveness of the Pesso method and set about establishing the first PBSP Training Group in the UK which ran from 1999 until 2003. Then from 2004 until Al Pesso’s death in 2015 I spent three weeks each summer learning this method under the direct tuition of its founder. Within a wider professional picture, from l985 I have worked in leadership development within the corporate world. In the early l990s I co-founded the innovative Praxis Centre at Cranfield University’s School of Management, which introduced Humanistic psychology into leadership learning. I have recently published a book on my work in this field entitled Centaur: The Metaphysics of Leadership. In May of 2016 I took an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy from the Metanoia Institute, university of Middlesex and was granted registration with the UK Council of Psychotherapy (UKCP) thus validating my American qualifications in this country. I am currently moving away from the world of business back toward my original passion of working with groups and individuals who are seeking to live larger and more vivid lives. The Pesso approach to healing is central to this.

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