Society for Mental Space Psychology


Mental Space: a new paradigm in psychology.
"Space is the organising principle of the mind."

Welcome to the site of the Society for Mental Space Psychology (SOMSP). The Society is committed to spreading a different view of how the human mind works. With new effective possibilities for therapeutic work.

Our mind helps us navigate not only the world, society, our relationships but also within our knowledge, memories, time and our bodies. Everything that exists is placed somewhere in the world around us. To find our way in it, we use the 3D neurological model in our brain.

Whatever we think about, our mind places it somewhere in us or in the environment around us. The unconscious can now be understood as a space within a person and around him where all the contents of the mind have a place.

We call this recent discovery spatial cognition. We connect these insights to mainstream psychotherapy under the name Mental Space Psychology.
The Society for Mental Space Psychology aims to:

  1. Spreading the knowledge of spatial Psychology among therapists and in the scientific community; (publications and news)
  2. Connecting scientific research and therapeutic practice; (msp science and academy)
  3. Providing a place where that knowledge can be found and exchanged; (shop)
  4. Providing demonstrations of practical application. (applications)

The Society for Mental Space Psychology has no control over the quality of practitioners or treatments named on this site. The purpose of the Society is to disseminate knowledge about Mental Space Psychology. There is no mediation between help seekers and practitioners.

The Society has several goals

But not
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We find the roots of MSP in the history of psychology. For example, William James, Edward T. Hall, Julian Janes, John O'Keefe & Lynn Nadel, Barbara Tversky, Stephen Pinker, and many others, explicitly named the major role of space in human thought and action. In parallel, and possibly very much further back in history, shamans, priests and psychotherapists used spatial techniques. Partly they worked in physical spaces that positively influenced consciousness, such as churches and temples, but they also used places in space in which they encouraged their clients to perceive their problems differently: through magic circles, labyrinths and life paths. Techniques also emerged in which clients' problematic concepts are shifted to better places in imaginary space in and around their bodies.

A large collection of publications emerged under the title "spatial cognition", mainly describing experimental research in the field of mental space. To date, these are completely separate from publications in the field of clinical applications. Bringing that knowledge together is one of the central goals of the Society for Mental Space Psychology. It is the SOMSP's vision that this offers a unique opportunity to bring many aspects of psychology under one umbrella. The expectation is that this will allow psychology as a science to break free from the reductionism that has so fragmented it.
Spreading a new paradigm in psychology (and in science in general) requires communication channels that are free and open. Because old paradigms tend to be maintained by the people who control communication channels (journals, conferences). In addition, spreading the mental space psychology paradigm involves people who understand the vision, pursue the larger goal and are also good communicators. These "ambassadors" will need to speak to and write for relevant groups. For the purpose of dissemination, the SOMSP organises congresses and encourages delegations to relevant meetings. Publications in the SOMSP newsletter and beyond are also encouraged and supported. Furthermore, there is an active policy towards social media and video productions are made.

When it comes to spreading the MSP paradigm within psychotherapy and coaching, training sessions and workshops are the relevant medium. It requires appealing demonstrations and enabling one's own experiences with typical spatial methods. In this area, the SOMSP already has a longer-running tradition; through trainings in Social Panorama, depression and trauma treatments and Mental Space Psychology with a clinical slant. Among practising coaches and therapists, we see a strong growing interest. With this, the exchange on practical applications is currently the most prominent area. It is a goal of the Society for Mental Space Psychology to interest more professionals in mainstream counselling and academic psychology and psychiatry.

The Society for Mental Space Psychology is a not-for-profit organisation: the aim is an exchange of ideas, theories and practical methods that can lead to an improvement in the understanding of psyche and also an improvement in the quality and efficiency of mental health care.
Because currently the knowledge around mental space psychology is not centrally structured and stored, finding the relevant sources requires a lot of search and sleuthing.
In the near future, an information system will be set up to make the literature, information, videos easily accessible to people interested in MSP.
The SOMSP would like to play a central role in collecting and making available knowledge resources in the field of MSP. Both where experimental research and clinical and other applications are concerned.

Support of education, research, archives and publication of contemporary and historical more publications. Have a look here.

What the SOMSP does and does not guarantee, certify or license.

Since 2002 Lucas Derks has been introducing the so called “Social Panorama Consultant” training, a five-day program. Those participants who have finished and sent in the special assignment qualify for the certificate “Social Panorama Consultant” and they are listed on  Some MSP-colleagues of Lucas give trainings with the same or similar program. The SOMSP supports all spreading of the MSP knowledge and skills, so also these trainings, but does not authorize, license, or guarantee anything about any trainings. In brief, the SOMSP stimulates the teaching of all manner of MSP knowledge, supports trainers in doing this as well as possible, but takes no responsibility for training content and quality, nor tries to control trainers, teachers or practitioners.

Thus, in our view, all manner of MSP or Social Panorama institutes, teachers or trainers are working on their own full personal responsibility. The SOMSP trusts them to do this as well and ethically as they can. Certificates, with the name of SOMSP on it, or with an SOMSP logo or SOMSP ambassador logo thus only show “the bloodline” of the trained concepts.

The reason to formulate the above is that experience shows that in a field like ours certification, sealing, autographing and licensing seems a logical tradition, which,  however, brings a lot of bureaucracy, conflict and waste of energy while it cannot really guarantee quality and ethics for the public and society at large. It tends to be a marketing instrument. Experience shows that people working with MSP tend to do so with full engagement and the best of intentions, and, up to now, no reasons have appeared to set up a controlling system.

Mental Spatial Psycho-Diagnosis

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