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Aerobatic flying in hang gliders served to trigger Bertrand’s decision to become a doctor and psychiatrist. His experience when stunt flying showed him how performance was dependent above all on self-awareness at a given moment. He also realized how useful it is to master our reactions when dealing with unforeseen risks in everyday life. Drawing parallels with extreme sport, Bertrand had an intuition that existential crises could push patients into cultivating their inner resources and self-awareness, and so incite them to take control over their own personal development. After finishing his studies, Bertrand took a double specialisation in psychiatry and psychotherapy for both adults and children.

Well before the term «resilience» became fashionable, he wrote a doctoral thesis which won a prize at the Faculty of Medicine in Lausanne : « Ordeal, a Learning Experience - a study of the constructive and revelatory aspects of illness, accidents and misfortune». As his academic education did not give him the methods he needed, he trained in Ericksonian hypnosis and in several oriental approaches. After a period running a clinic in a university hospital, he opened his own psychotherapy practice. He gave psychotherapy treatment to patients for almost 20 years, before concentrating on his activities as a public speaker and teacher.

© Claire Guanella
video

«The greatest adventure of all is Life itself, the search for what can guide our steps.»

Bertrand Piccard

The strength needed to survive and evolve are to be found in the unconscious. When you are close to your unconscious mind, you are close to your sources of strength. You have access to your own deepest identity. You gain the confidence all of us need to bring about change.

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