What/who is Almasoma?
Almasoma Transpersonal Institute is the joint creation of Mário Resende (Portuguese) and Ilja van de Griend (Dutch) who independently from each other started connecting with the field of regression therapy in 1998. They both knew Hans ten Dam and indirectly met through him in 2004 (thank you Hans!). They started their first training together in 2005, with Hans ten Dam giving a considerable contribution. Now, around 12 years later, AlmaSoma gives a 2-year training in regression therapy accredited by EARTh. We offer a two years extra training, to become a Transpersonal Psychotherapist, accredited by FEPPSI, the Portuguese Federation of Psychotherapy, of which Almasoma is a founding member.
How did PLT start in Portugal?
Serious training in this field started in 1993 with a Brazilian teacher called Maria Julia Peres, a spiritist and a medical doctor. She studied regression therapy with Morris Netherton, created her own institute and method in São Paulo, Brazil. She was invited by a professor of the Medicine faculty of the University of Lisbon, Mário Simões, a psychiatrist and at that time the president of the Portuguese Transpersonal Association, Alubrat.
How is PLT doing right now?
The name PLT is avoided by the schools that want to be accepted by the regular field, since Portugal is still a quite conservative, traditional country. Under the name of regression therapy there are some reliable institutions teaching. One of them is Almasoma, the other is an advanced course in the faculty of medicine under the name of clinical hypnosis, and there is a general course of hypnosis by the Portuguese branch of the London College of Clinical Hypnosis.
In addition to this there are several shorter courses that teach regression with less criteria.
What is generally hindering?
The lack of academic research.
What is generally furthering?
The results, and the openness of mind among some categories of people.
What are your expectations?
That the research around transpersonal topics will bring more acceptance.
What do you hope for?
That regression therapy becomes integrated in mainstream clinical practice. Around half of our current students are psychologists with other psychotherapeutic approaches who long to integrate a more open-minded approach in their clinical practice. This is a development we see as very positive.
What are you afraid of?
Not much on a professional level. The real challenge is to keep healthy when life is satisfyingly full with family and work. As long as our health stays OK, we keep going, evolving, growing personally, as a couple and professionally.
How did you personally get into this?
The attraction to the alternative field (Mário), strong sense of being guided/it had to be this way (Ilja).