Peace Environment for your health
Inter-dependence between inner and outer environments
How to make our life more stable both physically, mentally and spiritually




Marie-Josè Manidi - Switzerland

Marie-José Manidi, a psychotherapist, teaches at the College for Social Studies of Lausanne, Switzerland.

She studied occupational therapy and physical education and has a
PhD in psychology (motor control) as well as a diploma in cognitive and behavioural therapy. This year she is completing her psycho-therapist practice of the Swiss Federation of psychologists (FSP).

For many years Marie-José Manidi has been researching the boundaries between action and psyche, trying to determine how movement and physical activity can help an individual suffering from dependence and mental symptoms, heal him or herself. She produced a research work entitled: “Physical activity and sports for people suffering from drug abuse, practised in the framework of a Harm Reduction structure”.

The constructivist attitude

The comprehensive models of human psychology tried, since the beginning of this science, to understand the influence of inner and outer environment. Developmental psychology has always been disjoint between environmentalists and geneticians. Environmentalists consider that social interactions have the strongest influence on psychological development. Geneticians give arguments to prove that phylogenies are determined by biology. Piaget has been the first to propose a constructivist approach of child development.

Many scientists did study the psychological balance between inner and outer word (for instance, psychanalists : Anzieu, 1985; Sami Ali, 1990; cognitivists : Lazarus, 1977; neuropsychologists : Damasio, 1999; ethologists : Cyrulnik, 1989). One of the central concepts is the Vulnerability-Stress model who considers that psychological balance is broken when stress is high. Certain persons do cope very well even when stress is high, but others feel so vulnerable that their body and psyche are weak, they loose their balance and feel pain. The reaction to this sufferance is to search the causes and to fight against it. The second reaction is to feel anxiety and try to avoid this unbalance. Again, the sufferance increases because anxiety is generalized (the person is afraid of fear). The third and last reaction is to feel so much powerless and helpless that depression happens and the person goes on loosing hope, strength and the capacity to keep doing.

The Vulnerability-Stress model belongs to the 50th. At that moment, human being was considered as passive (only able to react), submitted to rules - especially women. I shall propose a new psychological model that will focus on a constructivist attitude based on the Sense of Coherence who consider manageability, comprehensibility and mean fullness (Antonovsky, 1987).

Antonovsky, A., 1987. Unraveling the mystery of health : How people manage stress and stay well. Josey-Bass. San Francisco.
Anzieu, D. 1985. Le Moi-peau. Dunod, Paris.
Cyrulnik, B., 1989. Sous le signe du lien. Hachettes, Paris.
Damasio, A., 1999. The feeling of what happens. Harcourt, New York.
Lazarus, A., 1977. Multimodal behavior therapy. Springer, NewYork.
Sami Ali, 1990. Le corps, l’espace et le temps. Dunod, Paris.