PRI, live life from love, compassion and connection

Maak je relatie babyproof

PB relatie babyproof

Voordat de baby komt

Dit is zo hard nodig en enorm belangrijk! Zeker ook als je de cijfers bekijkt: van alle jonge stellen krijgt 83 procent te maken met een relatiecrisis na de komst van een eerste baby (Trouw, 15 oktober jl). De verwachting is dat bijna de helft van alle toekomstige ouders gaat scheiden. En steeds vaker gaan paren uit elkaar voordat de kinderen vier jaar zijn.

Read more ...


Worldwide, over 350 million people suffer from some form of depression. This includes feelings of sadness, dullness, not being able to cope with life, not being able to keep up. More often than not, there seems to be no direct cause for these feelings of depression. It may also be that depressive episodes keep coming back. During a severe depression you may feel like you don’t want to live anymore. It may even be that these feelings become so overwhelming that they lead to suicide. What a terrible form of suffering!

The real problem lies beneath the depression

What is hiding beneath those terrible feelings of depression? Depression is, as it were, a blanket, shielding us from old repressed pain caused by our early childhood experiences. As a child, we were completely dependent on our caregivers to fulfill all our needs. However, for caregivers, it is impossible to continuously meet all the needs of a child. As a result, sometimes a child lies alone, crying, or his fears are ignored or laughed off, or a child is fed at steadfast regular intervals instead of being fed when he gets hungry. All commonplace, seemingly innocent things to adults, but to children, those things are crushing. Too big to process. Therefore, we (unconsciously) repress these painful experiences so that they disappear from our consciousness. As a consequence, we live imprisoned in five illusions that make us believe that our problem is in the here and now. Depression is one of those five illusions, in other words, defenses, namely the Primary Defense.

panel video depression

Primary Defense

So feelings of depression basically act as a 'cover' to keep away the repressed pain of the past (the 'cesspool'). When you are in Primary Defense, you would tell yourself for example that you are no good, that you cannot cope with your life, that you are too stupid, fat, ugly, that nobody loves you. Emotions and thoughts that make you believe that it is all your fault, that there is something wrong with you. This allows you to keep the actual pain, that, as a child, you did not get what you needed, in your unconscious (keep the lid on the cesspool).

What is the way out?

Successful treatment of depression seems difficult to achieve to date. Many people take medication and receive treatment to keep the feelings 'in check'. PRI has been successful in treating depression over the past fifteen years because it works on the layer underneath the depression. Your therapist will teach you how you can get access to this old repressed pain and this old reality so that it no longer needs to be repressed. In this way, the reason behind these feelings of depression will disappear: they are no longer needed!

More information

Read more ...

Sex- and Relationship problems

In many cases, a relationship begins with love, but after a while you may not feel that original love no more or less often. For example, problems or doubts around sexuality arise. Maybe you have a well-oiled Family & Co organization, but with a lack of real contact and emotional connection. This has a major impact on your life, on your partner’s life and also on your children’s life.

You are not alone

It's cold comfort, but you are no exception: practice and research (unfortunately) have shown that most relationships are in a dismal state. Around 40% of marriages end up in a divorce. And what about the quality of the relationships in marriages that 'persevere' despite everything ... So it's not crazy if you don’t feel comfortable anymore in your relationship and need help.

How to (re-)discover and never lose each other again

Returning to the love you had in the beginning of your relationship; longing for each other, interested in each other's activities, enjoying sex, really living together, connected. It seems like a utopia, but it is relatively easy to rediscover the love you once had. The main key is your emotional connection: trust in one another, sharing your feelings and awareness of your emotional blockages. To work on it together (which is not so difficult) also provides an immediate positive impact on your sexual relationship. The only condition is that you are both willing to do the work.
How to tackle this together, Ingeborg Bosch describes this extensively in her new book ‘Our Love, how to release the inner joy and romance in our relationships.’

PRI and love

PRI helps you to increase awareness of your emotional blockages. The blockages that prevent you from connecting to yourself and the ones you love. It shows you how you look at your partner through the lens of your earliest childhood experiences, so much so that you actually do not see him or her for what he or she is. Your partner does the same with you. You will start to see how it damages your relationship. When you become aware of how this distorts your image of the other person, you can rediscover each other and the love which was there at the beginning, and that will turn out to still be there in many cases.

More information


Read more ...


Do you recognize any of the following symptoms? You are exhausted but you cannot sleep at night, you are overly emotional, you are unable to relax, you have palpitations, you suffer from a flu-like pain in your muscles or lymph nodes, you suffer from hair loss, burning eyes, trembling, headaches, sudden hot flashes, RSI complaints and you find it difficult to concentrate. If you recognize yourself (partly) you might be suffering from burnout or you might be at risk of a burnout. For people who burn out it often comes as a total shock because those people are often very active, hardworking perfectionists who do not stop until something is perfect. You do not see a burnout coming, it will take you by surprise. Your fuel reserve is empty and you didn’t even know you were driving on your reserve fuel.

panel video burnout 1

Why are we running around and rushing so much?

Burnout is a modern stress disease and happens to people who are always ‘running around’. This race seems like a positive thing at first sight. After all, you are running towards something right? You're living life to the fullest, working very hard? So you keep running and doing your utmost. But the truth is that you are running away from something. As a child, you (unconsciously) have fallen into a defense mechanism of working very hard, of doing things the right way, of doing even better ... because if you did, then they would see you and pay attention to you. This excessive and ongoing ‘doing your utmost’ is the behavior a lot of small children (unconsciously) adopt in response to them not getting what they needed. We are unable to process the pain of not getting what we needed as a child. This pain had to be repressed. For example, by working hard and avoiding the old pain.

In PRI we call this defense mechanism the False Hope defense. This is one of the five defense mechanisms. As an adult, we regularly, unknowingly, become hostage of the mechanism of False Hope. And so we work hard (sports, eat, sleep, study, etc.) to (unconsciously) obtain something that we used to need. To potentially burn out as a result. The good news is, it does not have to be that way, because the past is over and done.
PRI gives you the tools to recover from a burnout, to address the real cause so that you will not burn out ever again.

panel video burnout 2

The key to recovery

Firstly, it is important to accept that you are burned out and that the recovery is going to take a while. After all, it took you a long time to wear yourself out. You couldn’t help it since you were driven by an ancient defense mechanism. Now give yourself a chance to recover.
Besides taking the inevitable break from work, resting and daily walks, PRI can help you to understand the underlying reason for all that arduous work. A PRI therapist can help you understand your False Hope and understand the cause of it. Over time, body and mind will come back into balance and you will feel less dependent on always working so hard to make things right, better or perfect. What a peaceful and pleasant feeling that will be!

panel video burnout 3

More information

Read more ...

PRI and suicide

The article starts with a reference to the consulting room of the therapist writing the article.

The client, a woman in the prime of her life who got married that year, casually mentions her intention of buying a shredder. This alerts the therapist who asks why she bought it, in order to know more. It appears the client wants to end her life and has the plan mapped out already: how and when. She talks about it without any visible feelings, as if it’s not about her.
As the therapist is genuinely touched, she feels compassionate and manages to establish a connection with the client, throws a life-line as it were. She explains that these feelings of inferiority, uselessness are an illusion. She helps the client to breathe and life flows back into her. The therapist realizes, once again, how important this information is for everyone, and colleagues in the field in particular.
The writer/therapist continues by explaining that these feelings of inadequacy, inferiority are in fact a defence-mechanism which, paradoxical as it may sound, once saved our lives but have now become life-threatening as they make us think that the world would be better off without us. When we’re captured in this mechanism, called Primary Defence, we are convinced that we’re unable to cope with what’s happening in the present (being laid off, a divorce or children leaving home to go to college), without being aware of the real source of the problem. This then may lead people to consider and commit suicide. Awful suffering, an unnecessary loss of a life, with devastating consequences for the ones who are left behind.

Past Reality Integration (PRI)

Primary Defence is a concept in the PRI method, which was developed by the Dutch psychologist Ingeborg Bosch (
PRI is a method which shows how defence mechanisms influence one’s life in negative way.
Old defence mechanisms are activated when in the present something (unconsciously) touches upon a situation that was life-threatening in the past and could not be properly processed in the brain. The perception and experience of the situation here and now are (unconsciously) coloured by the painful experience in the past that was repressed. So many unconscious processes! While we think we see the present for what it is, we’re actually held hostage by an illusion which is coloured by the past. Living in this illusion (defence) usually isn’t appropriate and may even be destructive, as is the case here with this Primary Defence.

PRI tells you how you can liberate yourself from these defences. Primary Defence, if mildly active, may incur slight feelings of insecurity, shame, guilt and light mood problems. In a severe form, however, it may lead to suicidal thoughts or concrete plans to commit suicide.

Statistics in the Netherlands

In 2013, 1853 people killed themselves in the Netherlands alone. That is four deaths a day. There are 100.00 suicide attempts in the country every year. It is the number one cause of death among young people between the age of 20 and 25. Every half hour a high school student makes an attempt. These are alarming numbers to which no adequate answer seems to have been found yet.

No connection

It appears that people who commit suicide, no longer experience any connection with other people. They may cry for help, but if this is or appears not to be heard, it may result in their suicide, as they may have felt that “nobody cares”. Very often, however, there are people who do care, but the layer of Primary Defence can be so impenetrable, that it may not be heard or received. It’s very important for people who have lost loved ones to suicide not to blame themselves or feel guilty. They’ve probably done what they could. For similar situations in the future, though, it’s good for them and all of us, to realize that these feelings of inadequacy are a defence-mechanism against old pain. These can be activated by situations in the present (called Symbols in PRI) such as divorce, bullying, negative body image, problems at work, and so on. Yet the feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, being unable to cope, which are activated, don’t belong in the present and are reflections of the situation in the past. The defence makes it impossible to see the present, situation in its true proportions.
If only people would know this, they could become more aware and realize there is help at hand.

Another example

The writer gives another example of a 19-year-old boy who starts wandering near the railway line every time he thinks things aren’t working out with his girlfriend. In therapy, it appears that the idea of his girlfriend leaving him, is directly related to having been deserted as a child. For a child, this experience is devastating, and feels “for ever”. This gives the client the illusion that if his girlfriend left him, his life would be pointless and there would never be anyone for him.

Good news

The good news is, that once we’ve grown up, it can never be as hopeless as it was back then, when we were small and completely dependent. As adults, we always have a choice, we have a sense of time and the possibility to see things in perspective. If a relationship ends, no matter how painful that may be, there will be other (nice) girls and we don’t need to end our lives for that. We can access the old pain underneath and see the present for what it really is.


May this information about PRI reach more and more people. This knowledge can be crucial and literally life-saving when somebody receives it in his darkest hour. If they can then realize that these feelings are nothing but a lid on the old, painful feelings from their youth, long past, it could make the difference between life and death.

Investigate if this can be true. Read one of the books by Ingeborg Bosch. Watch the videos from PRI on You-Tube or It may save your own life or that of someone you love.

filmpje suicide en

Read more ...