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Workshop on the Theory of Bonding Psychotherapy

Dr. Martien Kooyman, Rob Olij, Rob Storm and Caroline de Vaynes van Brakel Buys (The Netherlands)

This intensive and effective form of group psychotherapy was developed by psychiatrist Daniel Casriel. The essential element of this therapy is the experience of bonding.

Every human being has a need for intimacy, emotional contact and loving attention.Casriel referred to the experience of emotional openness together with physical contact as bonding. This is an important condition for the development of a safe attachment in young children. If this basic need is not met, a fear of emotional and physical closeness and a fear of separation can be the result. Also destructive attitudes can develop such as: not feeling good enough, not needing anyone, and even not having the right to exist. This, in turn, can lead to relationship problems, depression, physical problems and avoidance behaviour such as alcohol abuse, drugs abuse and many other forms of addiction.

Daniel Casriel, who was trained as a psycho-analyst, developed this intensive form of group psychotherapy in the Seventies in his own practice in New York. He trained therapists from many countries. The method has spread from the U.S.A to Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, France, Switzerland and Argentina. Bonding has been particularly well received in Germany, where over sixty therapists who completed their training in this method.

Dr. Konrad Stauss improved the theoretical concepts of the method relating them to the theory of attachment.

In the workshop the basic elements of the theory behind the method will be explained.

A movie will be shown of a group session showing the practice of this therapy.

Martien Kooyman, MD, Ph.D.

Martien Kooyman, MD, Ph.D., is psychiatrist and psychotherapist.
He has been trained in bonding psychotherapy by its founder: Daniel Casriel.
He is Teaching Fellow of the International Society for Bonding Psychotherapy, Board Member of the International and European Society for Bonding Psychotherapy (ISBP/ESBP) and co-founder and President of the Flemish-Dutch Association for Bonding Psychotherapy.

He was the founder and medical director of several therapeutic communities for addiction and also of treatment centres for traumatized refugees in The Netherlands.

He has been lecturer at the Department of Preventive and Social Psychiatry of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

He has been active in training Bonding Psychotherapists in The Netherlands, Italy and Argentina. He works as supervisor in Bonding Psychotherapy. He has a private practice in Rotterdam. In 2011 he received the Daniel Casriel Award of the International Society for Bonding Psychotherapy for his years of work, commitment and vision for the ISBP.

At present he is, amongst others, Member of the Advisory Council for The Minister of Justice on Prison Detention and Youth Protection and Vice President of EURAD, an European Foundation for Prevention and Treatment of Addiction to Drugs.

He can be contacted at:

Rob Storm

Rob Storm is Human Resource Management (HRM) adviser, trainer and career coach with a private practice in Hoofddorp The Netherlands. He is Fellow of the International Society for Bonding Psychotherapy and Board Member of the Flemish-Dutch Association for Bonding Psychotherapy. He can be contacted at:

Caroline Buys

Participant in the bondinggroup of Martien Kooyman, The Netherlands, Rotterdam, for 5 years from 1999 until 2004. In 2005-2006 participant in the documentary Bondingpsychotherapy, ook iets voor mij? Since october 2012 treasurer of the Flemish-Dutch chapter.