Christine Beenhakker

Light on Depression

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Presentation description:

The method Depression in Awareness Space (MSP-D) is a psychotherapeutic intervention technique based on the principles of spatial cognition and imagination therapy with spatial components. The basic assumptions are: mental space is the primary organizing principle in the mind and all psychological issues can be treated by first locating and by next relocating the conceptualizations involved.
The experience of depression seems always associated with darkness. Psychologists tend to see the link between depression and darkness as a metaphor. However, clinical practice hints to the existence of more literal forms of darkness.

In my practice as a therapist I regularly come across people who are "more or less" depressed, but also people who struggle for a long time with their "dark clouds" of depression. The results of the pilot study on the treatment method MSP-D "Black Matter" (Beenhakker, 2016) was amongst others published in the Journal of Experiential Psychotherapy (March 2017).

After this we started a follow-up study into the effects of the new treatment method MSP-D based on working with mental space in depression. In recent years, we have trained about 60 therapists to test this method in practice. The results of this study will be published shortly.

In this lecture I would like to explain the methodology MSP-D and share some of our most important findings and case studies with you.


Christine Beenhakker is an applied psychologist, NLP Master and Social Panorama Consultant, accredited therapist RBCZ (Register Beroepsbeoefenaren Complementaire Zorg: Register Professionals Complementary Care) and Mindfulness trainer. She has an independent practice Reflecta for integrative psychosocial therapy and Mindfulness in Mierlo. She also gives Mindfulness trainings MBCT and together with Dienie van Wijngaarden the 2-day training MSP & Depression at the Dutch Academy for Mental Space Psychology. In 2016 she carried out a pilot study into the measurable effect of MSP-D. Since 2016 she has been a board member of SOMSP and coordinator of the MSP Depression Research.


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