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Rainer Pervöltz

The most challenging paradox in our lives

Throughout most of humanistic psychology and many spiritual schools, there is the idea of a learned personal (his)story, which has become our identity and which helped us as children to survive, be loved, and have a place in our surroundings. Mysteriously enough, this identity becomes our biggest challenge as an adult, whether or not we have any spiritual intentions for our life. It makes our life difficult and dissatisfying – basically, because we still follow the survival standards which we have developed as children. It keeps our personal life and life on the planet at an extremely immature level, even though (or because) we all have invented our own neurotic logic to justify the maintenance of our childlike perspectives and behaviour.

Behind this survival form (our personality), there is in each of us another „being”, of whom we have (in most cases) completely alienated ourselves. We have become unable to recognise it as who we truly are, as our home and essence, and we have – more than that – developed all sorts of reasons to fear it or discount it, even though it is all we are longing for. Longtime ago, we had to learn to abandon it, and this is why now, we have become afraid of it. In the workshop, I would like us to have a look at this most challenging paradox in our lives, its upsetting forms of appearance, pitfalls, and tricks; and at some potential ways to make the transition from our learned story to our essence less disturbing.


After finishing his studies in German and French literature, Rainer Pervöltz was trained in Gestalt- and Body Therapy by Jack Lee Rosenberg and Eric Marcus in Los Angeles. Arnold Mindell taught him the perception of the Dream Body. In London he studied Biodynamic Psychotherapy with Gerda Boyesen. With friends he founded the Chiron Centre, a place for psychotherapy and training. He lived in England for twelve years. Back in Germany he was co-founder of the International Institute for Consciousness-Exploration and Psychotherapy, Freiburg. He works as therapist, supervisor, and trainer. Publications: – Über die Köstlichkeit der Distanz, Holotropos-Verlag, Offenburg, Juli 2009 – Das Zentrale, Verlag tredition, April 2022