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Wise Counsel Interview Transcript: An Interview with Dr. Jürgen Kriz on Self-Actualization and Person Centered Psychotherapy

David Van Nuys, Ph.D.
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Welcome to Wise Counsel, a podcast interview series sponsored by CenterSite, LLC covering topics in mental health, wellness and psychotherapy. My name is Dr. David Van Nuys, I am a clinical psychologist and your host.

On today's show we will be talking with the award wining German psychology professor, author and therapist Dr. Jürgen Kriz. Jürgen Kriz is professor of psychotherapy and clinical psychology at the University of Osnabrueck, and guest professor at several universities in Europe and USA.

He is the author of many books, papers and chapters in the German language. He is also the author of the 2008 book published in English, "Self-Actualization: Person-Centered Approach and Systems Theory". He is a practicing psychotherapist, supervisor and chairman of the scientific council of the person-centered society in Germany.

Among other honors, Kriz received the "Grand Victor Frankl Award of the City of Vienna" for his life work, which has won international acclaim in the field of humanistic psychotherapy.

My co-interviewer for this session is my longtime friend and colleague, Dr. Charles Merrill, who is psychology professor emeritus at Sonoma State University, and who I interviewed about his own involvement with the client-centered approach on Shrink Wrap Radio, No: 117. Now here is the interview.

David: Dr. Jürgen Kriz, welcome to Wise Counsel.

Jürgen: Thank you, welcome, too.

David: And also Dr. Charles Merrill, welcome to you too.

Charles Merrill: Thank you very much, glad to be here.

David: Yeah, I am really pleased to have you both on the program today. We're going to be talking about Jürgen's book, Self-Actualization and about the Rogerian approach to psychotherapy. And Charles you and I have been colleagues and buddies for a long time. I know that you're also buddies with Dr. Kriz, so I thought it would be great to have you in on the call and kind of help with the questioning. You had suggested that I ought to interview your German friend, Jürgen Kriz and that gave me the idea of having you co-host the session with me. This would be something a bit new for Wise Counsel, I haven't tried it before. So Charles, maybe you can kick things off by describing how you and Jürgen got to know one another and became friends.

Charles: It's quite a fun story actually. We're both invited to a dinner at Natalie Rogers's home in Santa Rosa, California.

David: Oh, that would be the daughter of Carl Rogers, right?

Charles: That's correct. Jürgen was on a tour of the United States and also visiting some institutes here in California, including the institute that Natalie was in charge of on expressive therapy. And then it turned out we headed off and he stayed with Hella, my wife and I, for a couple of days and we just had a wonderful exchange and from that point on, we've maintained contact and then about two summers ago, we connected in New York City at a person-centered annual meeting. So that was great.

David: Well, that's great. Thanks for that little background intro and by the way speaking of Natalie Rogers, I also interviewed her for Wise Counsel, I believe sometime back. Now Jürgen, I am under the impression that the behavior approach is quite strong in German academia, I am not sure about that but somewhere along the line, I have got that impression. That is right?

Jürgen: Yeah, that's right, yeah.

David: OK. So I am wondering how you came to be under the influence of humanistic theorists such as Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow and so on?

Jürgen: Yeah, OK, I think it's a long story. You're right. I would say the behavior approach is really a very strong perspective today. I don't think not only in Germany but also in the United States, for instance. Moreover I would say I see it as a part of a reductionistic or material Zeitgeist. That means, to explain everything by neuroscience or biology or physiology, even in the field of psychology.


David: So how did you find out or come under the influence of ---

Jürgen: Yeah, because I just told you the situation of today. But when I started 30 years ago, the person-centered approach was rather strong. For instance in the German Person-Centered Association, there were more than 6,000 members. So it was easy at that time to become a person-centered therapist.

David: Oh, my goodness. So that's interesting because it sounds like it's changed overtime that it was strong there 30 years ago and of course Carl Rogers died in the meantime. And I don't know if that's going to add to a decline of the Rogerian approach or not. Charles, why don't you take the next question?

Charles: Yes, Jürgen this is a little bit of a follow up - but, more personally, what was it about the person-centered approach that spoke to you to where you were able to make a strong commitment to it as a part of your career?

Jürgen: Yeah, I think that has to do with my biography. You know, before I stepped back in the field of psychotherapy, I studied first psychology but also then later astronomy and astrophysics, worked at a computer centre in the Institute for Advanced Studies, was a professor in social science, especially in the field of statistics and research methods and so on. And then when I stepped back into the field of psychology, the problem was: I knew a lot about the benefits of natural sciences, and of course of psychology, but also the benefits of social sciences. And as an academic teacher, I had to be, from this background, open for complexity and to respect the different levels of, let's say, of the organism of psyche and of interaction and of meaning.

And for me, Roger's person-centered approach is very complex, although it's simplified in many teaching books. But it's very complex. So, it was an approach that was most near to my interests I would say.

Charles: I have a follow up question to that. Jürgen, did you find that your strong background in research and also in the physical sciences actually was a good bridge for you to move more into person-centered and humanistic psychology?

Jürgen: It's a difficult question, I wouldn't say it's just a bridge, but it was my personal background. And it made it easier to bring the person-centered approach together with modern systems theory. I think we will talk about that little bit later.

David: Yes, I would like to get into talking about systems theory, but I would also like to note that in your earlier remarks you were somewhat critical of the reductionistic approach to trying to fit psychology too tightly using the models from natural science. And some people who make that criticism don't have as much background or training in the natural sciences as you do, so I find that to be interesting.

Now your book in fact does seek to synthesize the Rogerian person-centered approach with systems theory. So, how is it that you came to be involved with systems theory?

Jürgen: I think, firstly, I would like to stress that if one reads Rogers very carefully, the person-centered approach is connected to systems theory, already. Because Rogers was one of the first who for instance was aware of the big change in science. It was a so called self organizing approach. He was aware that Prigogine for instance got 1977 the Nobel Prize in chemistry for such approaches. So, I have to confess that even I at the beginning didn't note that the Rogerian approach was so much connected to systems theory. So, I would say personally, later there came two influences for me. The first was that I wrote a book on different approaches in psychotherapy.

So, I came into connection with the so-called family approach, the family therapy, that is a systemic approach in the field of psychotherapy. And even more I had an assistant who brought the ideas of family therapy to me.

So, as an academic teacher I would say it was very important for me to understand theoretically what was going on. And that brought me not only to family therapy, that means to the practice or to a practical approach, but more to the fundamental ideas of system theory. And again I would like to stress that even Rogers was aware of it.

David: That's interesting, I wasn't aware of that. Charles you want to take the next one?

Charles: It's interesting that you are speaking about the family therapy model of systems because I have been working in that area for quite some time. And I really found that, even though I never really connected the Rogers approach with systems other than in the whole organism sense, I really found something spoke to me in systems theory, particularly in working with families and couples in psychotherapy and also in my own teaching work. I have a question about your overall definition of systems theory from where you see it, as most of the listeners will be laypeople rather than professionals and it might be good to have a definition from your point of view.

Jürgen: I would say, firstly, there are of course different approaches that have the name systems theory. But when I'm talking about systems theory, I mean the interdisciplinary systems theory, which changed our, I would say, our perspective in the last three or four decades. So, the main principles - I cannot give introduction to that - but the main principles I would say: it´s, firstly, to focus on a process - or on the processual aspects of encountering the world. That means, science and old wisdom have together the idea that the world does not just exist or is not a collection of things but is a process. It just happens.So, focusing on the process, I would say, is the most important thing.

The second perhaps is to focus on the idea that most phenomena are parts in a bigger network and that these parts are interwoven or interrelated. Moreover this network or system has an environment. So, input or perturbation from the environment - if that happens, the system reacts as a whole. So here comes in the holistic idea or the Gestalt from the old Gestalt psychologist. So, the system reacts as a whole.

And the third, I would say, the third important aspect is that the idea of input-output or independent- dependent variables or cause and effect are dubious, or are even misleading notions. Because if you are thinking of a network and of a process then, due to feedback, what is an output at one point may be an input a little later from another perspective.

So, the idea of input-output is at least sometimes misleading. OK, just let me add one point: because if you have these three principles - I mean focusing on the process, having a network in a environment and being aware of the feedback - if you put these three principles together then you come to very interesting things because you go to the field of self organization.

That means that a system creates patterns due to self organizing principles. That means you have not to impose order from outside, you need not to impose it, but you have just to facilitate the self organization of inherent - of inherent -possibilities. And that's totally different.

David: Yes, that whole realm of self organization - that's something we are going to want to talk about some more. As I was listening to you talk about systems theory, I was realizing how much more that has come into our awareness these days. I'm thinking in terms of there is much more awareness of ecology, of what's been called spaceship earth, you know, that we're all in a system of interlocking systems and that we're a much greater sense of interdependence between us all.

And then in terms of - you know you were talking about that the old model of input-output is too limited and one of the ways that, you know, was expressed in family therapy that you were talking about earlier. I'm thinking of Virginia Satir.

Jürgen: For instance, yes, that's right.

David: Yes, and the whole thing about what she called the identified patient, we used to think that, you know, a family comes in for therapy and the little boy, little Jonny, is acting very badly and so little Jonny is identified as the patient. But from the family system's point of view the issues are seen as larger than little Jonny. He may just be symptomatic of something that's happening in the larger system. So, that leads me to ask you -

Charles: Can I interrupt for a minute?

David: Yes, go ahead.

Charles: I wanted to add one little point. As you were talking about systems, I was - it fits to the next question actually - but I was so much in tune with how Rogers focuses on both the self organizing principle and process and then trusting in the outcome that would take place with the person. That seems to me something that is core in both systems, particularly from the psychotherapeutic point and the more Rogerian theoretical view.

Jürgen: Yes, I would agree with you. Rogers stressed very much the idea that you have not to impose order, that you need not to give advice, not to teach people what they have to do, but just facilitate their inherent possibilities. That's, I think that's a typical core of the person-centered approach and that's similar to that's what you express in systems theory.

Charles: Yes, thanks.

David: So maybe you can just sum it up once more. I think we have been saying it but: What value does systems theory add to the person-centered approach?

Jürgen: Yeah, let me again repeat. I would say, the most important thing is that the systems approach has to do with self-organizing patterns, which is in the area of physics or chemistry, of course, the order of molecules. Or some biological order and so on. But in the area of humans it's the patterns of communications, patterns of interaction in families and couples and so on. But on the single person, the patterns in the process of perceiving, not the input, the thinking, feeling, acting - the so-called schemata. And from this perspective, even so-called symptoms now can be seen as patterns. Again I would stress that Rogers was a systems theorist, perhaps an early systems theorist, but he died, of course, I think, 1987, as far as I remember.

David: '87.

Jürgen: OK,. So he could not integrate the great progress in systems theory. So, what I would say: The value of dealing with systems theory in the area of a person-centered approach, is, firstly, to develop further and to integrate the modern interdisciplinary systems discourse. But, even more important is, I would say, to work out some aspects that are not, from my perspective at least, so well developed in the person-centered approach.

It is, I would say, the patterns of interaction. Of course, for Roger's concept the relationship is in the core. But it's more the relationship between the therapist and the client. And, perhaps from the developmental perspective, the relationship between the mother or the father - or the parents let's say - and the child.

But what's even more important is the patterns of interaction in the couple and in the family, as Dave just said. Because that gives you an impression why a client cannot change so easily. Because his ideas of functioning in the world, his self-reference, his meaning, is connected to the family, to the parents, even to the organization or whatever. So, that's one point. advertisement

Another perspective that is not so well developed in the person-centered approach is the structural aspect of the self, I would say. That means from the modern discourse, that we understand, I would say, that the way you refer to yourself, the way you described your biography, the way you understand what you have to do and what is the past, is an interwoven structure of narratives.

Our biography and our understanding of the world is partly woven of small stories which are connected not in the logical form but, I would say, in a psychological form.

So what's important, even symptoms are interwoven with social patterns and that has to do with history - not only as a biography but also with the history of the family and even with the history of the society. I think these aspects are very important for psychotherapy. And they are not so much developed, now at least, in the person-centered approach. Would you agree to this?

David: Yes, that was a very rich response. I really appreciate it. Charles, why don't you take the next one?

Charles: This will be a little bit - it will incorporate, I think, some of what you just said. As a key concept in your work and in Roger's work as well, as what has been called the actualizing tendency, could you speak a little, Jürgen, about what you mean by that term?

Jürgen: We talked before about self-organization. And self-organization in the area of human being is found at least on two different levels. First, on the level of organisms. But also in the area, in the realm, of the psyche. So it has to do with the self and with the consciousness. What is stressed by the idea of actualizing? It means, that the patterns, the self-organizing patterns in the process of life, are very important. That again means that the patterns in perceiving, in thinking, in feeling, in acting, in creating meaning, are self-organized - but, of course, with respect to the environment.

So, self-organization means, that always these patterns are adaptive to the environment. On the bad side, you can say: symptoms are also self-organized patterns to the environment. But the good side is, that always - you can see that from systems theory, and that`s the positive part of actualizing tendency - always a system tries to find out, if the conditions of the surrounding, the condition of the environment, have changed. They are always adaptive to new conditions. And that brings us to psychotherapy. Because, if you provide conditions where the system and the symptoms can reorganize itself, then that's the meaning of psychotherapy.

David: Somehow this idea of the self-actualization, the actualizing tendency kind of implies the idea of getting better. While I would like to believe that we all desire to become better people, is there any evidence, sort of scientific evidence, for this actualizing tendency? Is there a scientific basis for it?

Jürgen: Even, I would say, the idea of becoming better - or the word "better" - is a dangerous idea. Because it's bound to different cultural and historical ideas. So I have some problems with this word "becoming better" or what it really means. But you asked for the justification. Of course, because the self-actualizing tendency is the self-organization's principle in the area of the human being, on the level of the organism and in the area of psyche.

So, all these proofs you have in the natural sciences honored with Nobel prizes for Prigogine, for the principles of the laser, for others, are proofs that these principles function. Again, the most important principle is, that you only have to provide a good and supportive, let's say, environment. Then this system can change its order and adapt to the new environmental needs - the so-called, I would say, developmental tasks, something like this. So I think there is a lot of proven science for that. Charles: As you were talking, I had a personal note that I would like to add if I could. I am a photographer, an amateur photographer and I like to do abstracts and landscapes and - and what I find that happens is that when I see a pattern... Your comment about patterns that emerge, when I am trying to compose an image or with an image: I have to be centered in myself to do that.

What I mean is I have to be calm inside. I have to really tune out distractions, as I begin to look for the patterns and for the -- for the kind of whole of what I see. And sometimes it doesn't work, I will just get a fragment or I will get a piece.

But when I get the whole sense of what I am trying to express, then there is a really good feeling inside. To me, that's an actualizing process. I wouldn't know that it necessarily is directly what you are saying but it certainly relates to me.

David: And you know I was thinking that life itself in terms of self organization, that's almost the definition of life itself, isn't it? Somehow the material world organizes itself to such an extent that somehow life springs from it.

Charles: And meaning - what gives it mean...

Jürgen: Especially there is a difference. Because, if you are just in the area of matter or machines, you can construct them. Even in the area of self organization in the material area, you will find some patterns. But if you are going to the realm of the human being, the patterning, of course, is very interesting in the area of making meaning. Because meaning has to do with this order. And that is patterning and structuring a world due to some understanding. And there again psychotherapy starts. David: Well, this next question may connect with what you said, Jürgen. You talk about imposing order from the inside versus imposing order from the outside. Can you speak a bit about the relation to the person centered therapy approach?

Jürgen: Yes. I would say, of course, the classical principles are not wrong, but they are just not sufficient. So you can of course impose order. One example, I often give: In a concert, for instance, after, say, they played some music, people would start, let's say there are thousand people in the room, they start clapping. And you have just noise - thousand different rhythms of clapping. But sometimes suddenly arises one common rhythm. And it's mostly made by self organization. Then my example is: You, of course, you can impose order. If it would be a concert, for instance, for the army. An officer could jump on stage and say: "It was a nice concert. Let's clap!" And he is then imposing order to the whole audience.

But that doesn't happen course. It's mostly made by self organization. So in psychotherapy, in counseling, in education of course you can impose order. But you can also facilitate inherent possibilities. And that's even what the early Gestaltists have stressed. Shall I give you an example?

David: Yes.

Charles: Yes, please.

Jürgen: OK. In my mind comes - it was, I think, it was - Wertheimer. One of the early Gestalt psychologists of the Berlin School, maybe about 1910 or '12 or '15, anyway, about that time. He worked in a hospital and he had to find out, that was his task, to test severe retarded children for their intelligence.

And what he did is not that what we normally do. It was not focused on: "what tasks can the children not solve".That's a typical way we test. But he did it in quite another way. He tried to find out what support do the children need, or what conditions do they need, that they can solve this problem. And you see it's a totally different perspective.

So the idea from this again is: If you support something, you need not to impose order, you need not to find out, what's really right and wrong and put out the wrong things and tell people what's right. But, again, facilitate that they can find it out for themselves.

And, be sure: It is normally always adaptive. You will not just have the egomanic people or the not social people. Because we are social people living in a society. And if you look a little more for your own needs, you cannot do that without any respect to other people.

David: OK. Charlie, I'm going to skip us ahead just a little bit here.

Charles: Good idea.

David: Because you're going to... I noticed that you talk about the importance of having a supportive environment so that change can happen. Rogers ...

Charles: Yes.

David: ... emphasizes the importance of the relationship and - and three core conditions. Can you take us through those conditions and talk about the relationship?

Jürgen: Yes. OK. I think relationship, of course, is at the core to be helpful. But you can describe - or Rogers tried to describe this relationship by three aspects which are always referred to as "three conditions". There is no order, but I would say the first is empathy. That means, a therapist or a person who helps others from the conditions has to understand. That means, giving meaning to that what's going on and has to symbolize the world. Especially what's going on in the organism.

The second, I would say, is congruence. That means the idea, that the healthy person or the therapist shouldn't be neurotic. That means, he should be aware of what is going on and not just play his own game. And an important aspect is, that you should not just play a role, but being present there as a human being. That's the idea of congruence: That he must be a little more healthier than his patient in this aspect.

But the most important one - which is related to the others and very often, from my perspective, misunderstood - is the principle of unconditional positive regard. From my perspective, it means to question those conditions that a person had for his self organizing or self actualizing patterns. So, again an example: In supervision, when a therapist is very enthusiastic about his client, for instance, I always question what is going on. Of course it is not forbidden to be enthusiastic with a client. But the question is: Is he trapped by the pattern of showing just those conditions where the client, got the positive regard, that means got care, love, et cetera.

What I mean by this is, that we very often have learned in our life - and especially patients, or clients, who come to psychotherapy have learned - just to show special aspects of their life in order to get care, love and so on.

And, if you just look for this, then you don't give unconditional regard but conditional regard. And the client will then learn that - and you reinforce even that - that he has just to show this side of his being to get his regard.

But in therapy it is very important from this perspective, that you have to question this and not just reinforce the old patterns. But question these patterns and bring the whole person into the realm of the psychotherapeutic session.

And also to deal with those sides that he has not learned that he can get regard for this. Therefore, the so called unconditional positive regard is so very important in that approach. It was a little long, sorry, but...

Charles: Well, it probably fits somewhat to the next question, unless David has there's something to add here. Do you have something you want to...?

David: No, go ahead Charles.

Charles: OK. We began right off with the leading into the interview but we didn't mention your book directly that you published I think it was in 2006 called "Self-Actualization: Person-Centered Approach and Systems Theory, " which I have much enjoyed reading. And in some point before the interview I want you to make sure to let people know where that book is available. But I have a few questions about that book. What prompted you, Jürgen, to really decide to write this book and call it Self-Actualization? And, did you see an unfulfilled need or some sort out there in the world?

Jürgen: Yeah. There are at least two levels. First, I would say, of course friends encouraged me to be a little more present on the US market or in the discourses in the English language. Because I have, you know, written more than 20 books and some hundred book chapters and articles...

David: Wow!


Jürgen: ... but mostly in German. And so people don't know much about it. But I would say it's not so much to me as a person but as somebody who is talking about these principles we discussed before. For me it's very important to share with people the idea of the Person-Centered Systems Theory. That means, bring together the person and the relationship and the core from the perspective of when you are working as a psychotherapist.

But also to be aware of the actualizing tendency. And that means, being aware of the relationship not only between a therapist and a client but also between different persons, between the culture and the ideas of the person, and so on - . that, what I referred before to: The patterns of meaning. And you have to change the patterns of meaning to be successful in psychotherapy.

David: Well, as you - as you sat there toiling over your book, writing your book, who was the audience that you were imagining, who is your ideal reader of your book?

Jürgen: Yeah, of course I would say, people in the area of psychotherapy, counselors in education, for instance, and so on. And, yeah, I think they may like to question the classical principles, and perhaps to think about principles and metaphors that are more adequate to the process of life. But however, I would say, this book is not specially addressed to the professionals in this area. I would say, it's addressed to all people who want to rethink their principles of understanding the world or to encounter with the world, and to question these old but inadequate principles. And to find better metaphors for understanding their own life.

Charles: I'd like to just mention personally that realizing your - you wrote this book - I don't know whether you wrote it in German and then translated it or whether you wrote it in English? But anyway...

Jürgen: No, it wasn't. It came out of some of my books and book chapters that were translated. And then I rearranged them in a new form. And we shaped it and so it's not a translation but there are some, some books and chapters in German that are the basis for that book. Let's say so.

Charles: What I wanted to say was that I've - I've read the book and I really found it quite accessible and I just wanted to comment on that.

Jürgen: Thank you.

Charles: It's a very good book.

David: I'm going to skip ahead again a little bit, and I want to ask: What are the common errors that students make in practice as they try to embrace the Person-Centered Approach? You know, in a way it looks very obvious,. I remember when I first started out - the first thing that I heard about Carl Rogers was oh, whatever the person says you just feed it back to them. And that's really an oversimplification. So what are the - what kind of mistakes do you see students making as you try to teach them this approach?

Jürgen: OK. Besides these simplification you just mentioned - I would say they normally don't do that - but what they really try and what their problem is: They are members of our society. So, I would say, they try to impose order instead of trusting the process. Another aspect is: They try to use the Person-Centered Approach as a method. OK, that´s understandable, because they want to reduce their own insecurity.

But if you just use it as a method - that means: "three principles, and I have to use them as a method" - it is totally behind that what Rogers really meant and what the power of that approach is. Because using a method and being in a relationship are totally different perspectives, I would say.

David: OK, so you're saying that on the one hand there is a technique, there are techniques but it's about more than technique, it's really at the core, it's more about the relationship?

Jürgen: Yeah, it's more - being in a relationship and being open to the uniqueness of the person and then of the process. And I would say in short, you have to trust instead of control. And that's totally different to that, what's the message in our society. Because we believe so much in - in the control ideology. And that's very difficult for somebody who - especially the beginners - who want to have a plan or something and to know what's the next step. And, to trust that it will really emerge, and that the patterns will change if they give them the open space for new thinking, for being related to themselves, that´s for many beginners very hard to endure. Because they always want to reduce their own insecurity. And they have to learn that.

David: Yes. You know, there's - there are so many competing psychotherapeutic theories out there and, and you mentioned that the Rogerian approach seems to have declined in Europe somewhat overtime. What do you see is the future for the person centered approach?

Jürgen: I think - I would say there is a difference between a short-term and the long-term running. We started with the Zeitgeist of reductionism, which may be an answer to the complexity of our world. Because people don't like the complexity and therefore, they are longing for reductionism. So, there is need for an approach, I would say - they need an approach which focuses on the whole person. But, that´s not functional in our economic systems. At least I see it in Germany, but I don't think it's totally different in the United States. The behavior approach, the reductionism, the approach of giving very simple answers, are even becoming bigger and more important.

But, I would say, due to the fact that we have a big support from the natural sciences, with the self-organizing ideas and dealing with much more complexity, that even will go and slip over in the field of psychology.

And this gives the chance, that even in psychology and psychotherapy and in other areas people are more aware of the complexity, are more aware of the new ideas, also proposed by modern science. And therefore I would say in 15, 20, 25, 30 years - about that- there will be a renaissance of the person-centred approach At least I hope that.

David: Yes. And you know, to be fair, cognitive behavioral therapy is very strong in this country, and I have to say that I think they've been impacted quite a bit by some of these Rogerian notions and that the more recent literature and practice, I think there's a lot more emphasis placed on the relationship than we might tend to give them credit for.

Charles: This may be a more political point, but I think that in the United States, the move towards "Managed Care" has not helped the person-centered approach because I think it takes time for a person to reach some kind of deeper level change.

David: That's a good point.

Jürgen: I would say, it's very good if different approaches look at the relationship as a core. But it's very important not to use it as a technique as we said before. If you just use those three principles of Rogers as a technique, you are not in tune with the meaning of that approach.

David: OK. I take your point. Well, we're at a place where we are winding down here and as we do so,

Charles, you know, giving your knowledge of Jürgen and the fact that you two are buddies, is there anything here that you had hoped, maybe, would come out that hasn't got expressed, any last attempt on your part to draw something out?

Charles: I don't think so. I was thinking about, actually, all the work you're doing and have done in Germany for not only furthering person-centered psychotherapy, but that holistic way of thinking and including Gestalt into that as well. I think it's just - I've been so impressed as professional at what you've been able to accomplish in your young life. I also would like to make sure that our listeners know where they could actually buy your book. Maybe you could speak to that.

Jürgen: We found out that it's not so easy to have it on the American market, but I think the easiest way is to go to the Amazon in United Kingdom, you'll find it there. Or go to the publishers, the PCCS Books. There's a new edition, which came out in 2008, and it's very cheap to order it there.

David: Yes, I'll put that in our show notes.

Jürgen: That would be nice, yes.

David: OK.

Jürgen: And you can visit me on my home page.

David: OK. So, as we wind down here, Jürgen, are there any last thoughts you'd like to share with the audience?

Jürgen: No, I think we have covered the most points. I just can stress, again, to encourage the audience to question the classical and mechanistic principles in the realm of life.

David: OK.

Jürgen: And to be open to the beauty and uniqueness of the world and its processes. That I would like to stress at the end here.

David: Oh, very nice. OK. Well, Dr. Jürgen Kriz and Dr. Charles Merrill, thanks so much for being with me today on Wise Counsel.

Charles: It's been great talking among the three of us.

Jürgen: Yes, thank you, both of you, and it was really a pleasure. And thank you for giving me the opportunity.

David: I hope you found this interview with Dr. Jürgen Kriz to be informative. Of course, Dr. Kriz was in Germany and the three of us were connected over Skype, which will account for any unevenness of the sound quality that you may have heard. Also, Dr. Kriz was working at a bit of a disadvantage in as much as English is not his first language, plus the added pressure of a formal interview.

The three of us continued chatting a bit after the interview and of course then he loosened up and that's when some really good stuff came out. On the other hand, our Skype connection failed during the post-interview conversation and I'm glad that didn't happen during the interview.

The best way to find Jürgen's book in English is to go to the UK website, not the US website because for some reason, the books are very expensive on the US side. But on the UK side, do a search on "Self-Actualization Kriz" where you'll find it available in paperback for 15 pound sterling.

Or you can go to his website where you'll find the link in English and which will take you to his publisher. Dr. Kriz's website is You've been listening to Wise Counsel, a podcast interview series sponsored by CenterSite, LLC.

If you like Wise Counsel, you might also like Shrink Rap Radio my other interview podcast series, which is available online at

Until next time, this is Dr. David Van Nuys, and you've been listening to Wise Counsel.