Rituals in psychotherapy
Rituals in psychotherapy

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Umberta Telfener utelfenergmailcom wwwsystemicseu A common ritual creating your safe place Lets stand up imagine the last time you felt very very well in situation in which you were alone Where were ID: 501062 Download Presentation

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Presentation on theme: "Rituals in psychotherapy"— Presentation transcript


Rituals in psychotherapyUmberta Telfener



A common ritual: creating your safe place

Lets stand up, imagine the last time you felt very


well in situation in which you were alone. Where were




words to how you felt.

Go back to the situation, what did you see, hear and feel. Which was your posture, try and replicate it.

Connect a symbol to this feeling of wellness


will try and anchor itSlide3

A way of finding connections

A ceremony with magical intent

A way to connect to the extra dimensional world, to a higher self

A shift

to the right brain hemisphere and to a higher attention (going in





A basic

means to enter an inner world, where normal limitations of time and place don’t apply.

There are spontaneous and intentional ritualsSlide5

To follow a



to use certain gestures, sounds, words, prayers, visualizations…

Some i

ntentional and repetitive ‘moves

’ to work

on some theme/ problems alerting the extra dimensional


subconscious world




create a link, to bridge the boundaries

between many worlds Slide6

The sacred journey of rituals

The spiritual/magical dimension

Insights, connections,



The world of

inner world others: social outer

world of relationships


The aim is to center oneself and to reach a unitary state, a connectionSlide8

Rites of passage

Are culturally shared steps through a door to a higher level of consciousness . A ‘trip’ as an appropriate way to enter `hidden’ knowledge, to share the `knowing’ and to be part of the group that `knows’.

It is important to experience something out of the ordinary, that impresses the initiate and makes him/her aware that it has reached a `higher’ level.Slide9


Awareness is the means not the purpose

Becoming aware is not only a psychic event but allows the individual to inscribe into the universal. Allows the integration of the universal order, the contract between singular and


Rituals allow to:

Create a cybernetic brain: many hearts and minds together

Access to emotions through doing

Introduce oneself as a participant observer

Reflect of implicit premises

Make distinctions and give words to instinctive actions

Accept/touch with hand complexity

Enhance/learn a double positioning: be within and outside

Transform structure in a process and make possible new narratives emerge

Change lexiconLook for the relational configuration, identify the danceLook for the local coherence

Trace resources ………………………………………..…………………………………………..Slide12

Look for an object that can represent your pain/problem or yourselfSlide13

A ritual doesn't offer a structured goal/concept/ chore but acts as a mirror that reflects the awareness level of the


Utilizing active practices allows to make every happening a shared experience and to create new order/disorder/interaction/organization

It offers an opportunity to improviseSlide14

Rituals allow


new narratives to emerge: from the

people involved,,

from the therapeutic encounter, from the encounter in the here and now. Allow to speculate the future,


connect the past with the


Meanings emerge from the coordination of the coordination of actions and meanings since every understanding process has a constructive and social natureWe need to act reflexivelySlide15

Make a protective object for yourselfSlide16


Physical actions, steps, postures, dances, help to ‘anchor’ resolutions and belief


changes (embodied cognition). Repeating gestures helps to connect body and


Rituals can also be seen as a support to structure the chaos around, to deal with


(order from noise, from disorder)

Especially if repeated often, they provide a structure and thus


Repetition and rhythm

With the repetition of certain


(gestures), visualization, special breathing, auto-suggestion, mantras (specific words that have a deeper significance), symbols,



in a ritual we develop

a whole repertoire of tools for what we

can call “the communication with the self”.Slide18

Affirming and anchoring

Rituals are not rational but

help making connections.

They function as communal memory, containing culture and cosmology. They were the vault, the carrier of shared memories, probably long before there was symbolic language.

They help a


experiences and insights and bringing them back to reminiscence in an automatic modeSlide19



are many ways to perform a




very specific to a special culture, others are more universal.

There is no all-in-one


All ritual formats are intended as solemn ways to come into contact with the hidden, inside and outside yourself. A ritual allows to perform repetition, to enter an altered state of mind and to center oneself as a support for one’s own intuitive and sacred mind.How do you choose which ritual to perform?Slide20

Many rituals contain the same elements. These are:


transformation, healing

, the creation of a structure and

a connection,

making a

link …

It is important to separate from

daily reality (habits), to create a division between daily routine and the place of the ritual, by actively organizing it, but also by some extra relax, fasting or by seeking out a quiet place in nature, in company of a few significant others or on one’s own. Slide21



, making clear for what reason and purpose the ritual is and who is addressed to



creating the sacred



- physical and psychological cleansing, asking for mercy and forgiveness

Celebration, what are the modalities we have decided for honoring and performingDevotion,

making oneself small, letting go of the ego Petition

, making an offering, a proposition and maybe ‘a deal’ (asking for Grace / Healing / Blessing) Transformation: the liminality phase that seeds withinSlide22

Thank you for your attention!!!