Thank you to Eleni Sarantinou of Life Spheres !

Eleni and I on our way to ‘work’ on a ‘secluded’ beach !

Once again this summer I had the privilege of working with my friend Eleni on her NLP Master Practitioner programme on the beautiful island of Amorgos in her native Greece.

As you can see………Eleni took advantage of all the learning locations this balmy island has on offer !

For her other fabulous training locations check out her website:

Will she join me in The Lake District soon ? I hope so !!

(In the meantime if you have holiday to take…………Greece is open for business and welcoming and fabulous as ever.)

Reflections in a different mirror………or Presence is Everything.

Pat Mason of Shen Dao Awareness
Somatic Re-Integration Psychotherapy, Senior Hypno/Psychotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner

I also participated in the Robert Dilts experience with Florence. For absolutely that’s what it was. I have been working as a therapist using different modalities since 1989 and I am, thankfully, still learning.

My work with people began with their bodies. I trained; I was certificated; I was insured; yet I had not been taught what it was that would make me into a truly effective therapist and yet I had learned it by working with my clients. I was soon to notice that bodies carry so much of what ails us in the realm of the emotions and spirit. (Spirit in this context meaning the spirit or vitality of the person.) But it wasn’t that, that’s kind of obvious.

So what is it that makes a truly effective therapist?

It became clear through my practice and life experience and my general outlook on life, that there was no artificial separation of body from mind, and given that my training had been in the physical arts I felt it was now time to train in the psychological arts. Rather than keep referring those clients with whom I had built trust, to another practitioner where they would have to start again.

Again I trained (hard): in different disciplines and again was certified and insured to practice – and yet I still had not been taught what it was that would enable me to become a truly effective therapist….at least not directly. Not directly being the key.

So what is it that makes a truly effective therapist?

The Dilts week-end was run by two people who embodied the difference that makes the difference………..They kept it sublimely simple, wrapped up in the unusual or even the obtuse, they used every which way to convey the basic message, including dance. The upshot was that the whole group went away with individual learnings and benefits. The biggest benefit was that at several points throughout the weekend – the Robert & Deborah Dilts made sure that that each person worked within their personal ecology and that each and every one of us was truly seen.

They achieved this in good measure through using the difference that makes the difference, and using the two things that makes a truly effective coach, therapist, manager, teacher, leader:

  • They gave their absolute authentic, grounded and congruent presence to the whole room throughout the whole weekend – and made sure that each and every one of us at some point got their absolute attention and was truly seen and celebrated as a unique individual.
  • The course did have a programme attached to it (a protocol) AND it was tailored as they went along, to meet what they met with the group.

Both of those things are what make a person who is involved in change work, truly effective.

It matters not what technique you might use AS EQUALLY important in effecting change, is the absolute authentic, grounded and congruent presence of the practitioner with the client, colleague etc. It is all about the relationship.

That’s what makes a truly effective therapist (coach, manager, teacher, leader etc etc) !!

Christian Keysers’ work on Mirror Neurons in his book ‘The Empathic Brain’ and Antonio Damasio’s work on Emotions in both ‘The Feeling of What Happens’ and ‘When Self Comes to mind’, reveal the science behind what holistic therapists have known for eons…….

It is the person of the therapist (etc) that makes the difference in as much measure if not more; as any technique that person might be using………….. So it turns out that the therapeutic practice of “presence” is thousands of years old.

If you want to be effective and get busy – get present!

For further reading see:
‘Psychotherapy Relationships That Work’ by John C Norcross
‘The Web That Has No Weaver’ by Ted Kaptchuk.

Pat’s website is