48th North European Conference for Counselling, Therapy and Theology

January 3rd to 7th, 2019

Sankelmark (near Flensburg, Germany)

Facing adulthood

„For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.”

1.Kor. 13,12a

From a child’s point of view adulthood is the time of completion: the fulfilment of potential and development. And every year of childhood is a step up and forward towards completeness. So it seems. To a child.
But like in a nightmare struggle, completeness gets further out of reach by every step you take and every insight you achieve. The child grows up, striving in vain for completeness, needing to hear and to get an adult voice that contradicts the dogma, in order not to remain an old child on a hopeless quest. Not all get there.
Facing adulthood is giving it up.
The full quotation of Paulus is:
”For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thougth like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am known fully” (1. Kor. 13, 9-12. Bible, NIV)
Paulus does not write “now I am a man, so now I see and fully know (myself)”. He writes “then (when completeness comes) we shall see face to face and we shall know and be known fully. In other words, completeness exists face to face, and completeness comes, it is result of mercy and not an achievement. It comes in contact, in “knowing fully as you are known fully”.
Facing adulthood is facing someone else, God and neighbour, completeness comes in moments of mercy and in a mirror you’ll find nothing but your latest face:
“Inside me I carry my earlier faces
like at tree has its growth rings
The sum of them is who I am
The mirrors only sees my latest faces
I sense my earlier ones.”
Thomas Tranströmer
In lectures and groups, we will consider this in the realms of Theology, Therapy, Society, and the life and minds of individuals. .
Invited are pastors, physicians, therapists, practitioners of the helping professions, teachers and publishers.

For the preparation group

Bente Kasper Madsen


Lars Björklund

Chaplain, pastoral counsellor and writer (Sigtunastiftelsen, Sweden)

Kerstin Dillmar 

Hospital Chaplain, section director and writer (Uppsala Akademiska sjukhuset, Sweden)

"In my Father's house are many rooms (John 14:2)"

How to recognize existential pain face to face.


Leise Christensen

Pastor, PhD (Aarhus, Denmark)

"Facing adulthood"


4 Short-Lectures about a piece of art, which is related to the theme of the conference

Henning Röper (Germany)
Betija Lidums Ex Putnina (Latvia)
Marie-Luise Elgeti (Germany)
Ole Lindqvist (Latvia)


Work Groups

1. Christian Højlund and Kirstine Hansen  (Denmark): PBSP Therapy (Pesso-Therapy) (English)

2. Bent Falk (Denmark): Gestalt Therapy and Supervision Group (English)

3. Lotta Geisler (Schweden): Bibliodrama (German and English)

4. Mariann Hagbarth (Sweden/Norway) and Gerhard Marcel Martin (Germany): Dimensions of a symbol – inner and outer scene (English, other languages possible)

5. Ruth Knaup (Germany): Dance and Contact Improvisation as Creative and Therapeutic Process (English and German)


Address of Conference Center:

Akademie Sankelmark
Europäische Akademie Schleswig-Holstein
D-24988 Sankelmark, Germany
Telefon: 04630 – 550 Telefax: 04630 – 55199

Sankelmark Akademie HomePage


Conference languages are German and English; lectures and plenary sessions will be translated simultaneously. In some groups it is possible to work in ones own language; however it is necessary to understand sufficiently the announced working language of the workgroup.

Interpreter: Dorothea Kötter, Germany


Practical remarks

Please bring along your favourite notes and instruments as well as festive garments and your - marked – CDs with music for the festive evening.

You will get a Certificate of Participation; Event is accredited with the Ärzte-/Psychotherapeutenkammer.

Invitation download here:

Invitation 2019