Video: interview with Willem Fonteijn

Willem Fonteijn is a well known Dutch clinical psychologist. Besides his work at university and various clinics, he has been actively involved in eduction, workshops and trainings regarding Mindfulness meditation for many years. In 2018 he published a paper on the “healing power of awareness”. In October this year we met and spoke about awareness, the role of the thinking mind and how transformation can come about through awareness.

When we struggle with something in life we often try to “think ourselves out of the problem”, which may result only in a greater sense of dilemma, limitation and suffering. A deeper awareness of what it is we seem to struggle with, can however be the greatest agent for change and transformation. In his paper, Willem Fonteijn writes:

“In psychotherapy, awareness is the major ingredient for sustainable and beneficial change. Clients are trained to become aware of their feelings and (hidden) thoughts. By doing so clients learn how to make better decisions and to cope with dysfunctional beliefs and emotions.

For all of this awareness is the key ingredient. The conditioned mind is not able to observe anything other than its own routine and habits. If a problem is raised the mind wants to solve it in a routine way. We need awareness to step out of the routine of the mind.

By observing what is happening from moment to moment in a neutral way, we open up to new aspects of our environment and ourselves. Awareness is the key ingredient in psychotherapy. For instance, psychoanalysis explores unconscious conflicts and brings them to awareness. {…} In the daily practice of psychotherapy, awareness is of ultimate importance.”

Enjoy the interview! The link is below, language is English.

P.S. You can read and download his entire paper here:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here