Dear friends,

It is with profound sadness that I inform you on behalf of my sisters that our beloved father, Al Pesso, died suddenly on May 19th after a long illness and seven months hospitalization. There will be a joint memorial service for both our mother and father in Cambridge, MA in late summer at a time and date to be determined.

Extending a warm hug to all who loved him and will miss him,

Tana Pesso

(Al’s eldest daughter)


Albert Pesso, beloved husband of Diane Boyden Pesso & son of Esther Albala & Bohor Ben Saba Pincas Pesso, died after a long illness on May 19, 2016 in Boston, MA. Born Sept. 19, 1929 he leaves 3 daughters, Tana Pesso, Tasmin Pesso, & Tia Pesso Powell, 4 grandchildren, Chris F. Edley III, Kyra Chu Pesso, Jonathan Pesso Chu, & Xoren Pesso Powell, brother Sam Pesso, & sister Sylvia Waldner. 

With his wife, Al created Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor, a widely respected interactive technique that helps clients create new memories to compensate for emotional deficits in the past.  He has been called one of the 3 living masters of body-based psychotherapy and was chosen in 2012 to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award by the U.S. Assoc. for Body Psychotherapy.

Al began his career as a dancer & choreographer, studying under Martha Graham and May O’Donnell. He & Diane met as Bennington College students, then married & danced in NYC. Al received his B.A. from Goddard College. In 1956, they established a dance center in Quincy, MA & within 5 years developed the foundational theory of PBSP. Encouraging dancers to allow their bodies to act out their inner feelings, they observed that the resulting emotional outpouring was cathartic, but did not help the individual heal their emotional scars. They went on to develop an interactive model that drew on spatial relationships, specific wording, & physical touch to provide a response from the outer world to each of the inner needs expressed. This facilitated the creation of new body-based memories to counteract memories of past emotional deficits. Al was a tenured assoc. professor & dir. of Emerson College’s dance dept. while he & Diane developed, practiced, & began teaching their new form of body-based psychotherapy.

Al served as dir. of Psychomotor Therapy at McLean Hospital & the Pain Unit of the N.E. Rehabilitation Hospital; adjunct prof. at Fielding Inst.; & consultant in psychiatric research at the Boston VA Hospital. He also taught PBSP at Harvard’s continuing education program & at other educational & medical institutions abroad. He has written & contributed to many books & more than 50 articles, & led hundreds of seminars around the world.

Al was a featured speaker at many psychology conferences, such as: the American Academy of Psychotherapists; the Assoc. of Humanistic Psychology; the National Inst. for Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine; the Berlin Psychoanalytic Inst.; the European Congress on Body Psychotherapy; & the American Assoc. of Marriage & Family Therapy. He also presented at medical schools & hospitals, including Grand Rounds at BU’s Medical School.

Considered a uniquely gifted ‘therapists’ therapist’ Al helped thousands of clients to achieve lives of greater happiness, satisfaction, & meaning. He established PBSP training centers around the world which have certified hundreds of PBSP therapists & trained an excellent cadre of PBSP trainers & supervisors who carry on the work to the highest standards. It brought Al & Diane deep gratification in their final days to know that they left had their life’s work in such capable hands.

Like his wife, Al had a deeply compassionate wish to heal all the wounds of the world. He will be sorely missed by friends & family who remain inspired by his life's work, fierce dedication, playful spirit, & unique soul.

A joint memorial service for Al & Diane will be held in Camb., MA TBD. See for tributes.


Posted by Dirk Marivoet on May 19, 2022
I feel grateful everyday for what I got from you, Al. Your spirit, light and wisdom are with me always. I learned from you how to write new memories and do the "psychomotor" magic. It really works. I share the wisdom and the practice with my clients all the time. The results keep amazing me. Love, Dirk
Posted by Barbara Joan Segura on May 8, 2022
Dear Al,

I'm remembering you this month with gratitude for my personal healing and the skills you taught me as a trauma therapist. You would love all the brain research that has come out since your passing! May your soul continue to elevate. May you, your family and all have peace and happiness.

Much love,

Barb Segura
Posted by Glenn Shean on May 7, 2022
L your present in my dreams so often I know it’s because you rewired my central nervous system for your creativity and wisdom and kindness and warmth Dash you were truly a gift tea to everyone who came in touch with you thank you thank you I admired you for your brilliance and your caring you are sorely missed as you continue to do your dance exercises and stretches in the clouds S Glenn
Posted by Tia Pesso Powell on May 7, 2022
As the anniversary of my father’s passing approaches. .... a date I never kept in my head but realize today that it occurred on the same day of the month as his birth .. the interesting set of numbers: 9/19/29.
I ache daily for the lack of availability and awareness of Psychomotor/PBSP and techniques, understandings, exercises and potential applications thereof, for myself, my family, this country and all peoples and our collective futures. ... All the unfinished work and business/interest/passion/mission of my parents, Albert and Diane Pesso
One aspect of their work/discoveries is well known but they have yet to be credited for. It could be the open door to public awareness and utilization of their therapy: GROUP HUGS (as noted in a chapter heading in my father’s book “Movement in Psychotherapy” and I personally witnessed in groups and conferences). 
I am hereby asking any of you with a willing heart to reach out to ABC NEWS and back up my stated-to-them desire for at least my mother to be recognized for Group Hugs and Ideal Parents — the two easily shareable PBSP exercises with immediate positive benefits to the participants - that may also help PBSP including all the earlier versions and exercises thereof and the unfulfilled potential benefits to culture and society to unfold.
Thank you and blessings
Mrs. Tia Pesso Powell
I would like to help more myself, when and if that becomes possible.
Posted by Caroline Collin on September 20, 2021
Thank you for what you brought me. It is still unfolding every day and bearing fruit to me and my surrounding.
Posted by Thayer Cory on September 19, 2021
You were so often with us in Richmond on this day, and we'd celebrate with blueberries and whipped cream (no sugar!). I carry your wisdom and insights with me always, but today I'm just feeling sad that you're no longer among us in person. 
Posted by Jon Chapman on June 8, 2021
It is fair to say that hardly a day goes by still, after all these years, that I do not think of Al, talk about Al, or try to practice all those wonderful things he taught me.
Posted by Cootje van der Loeff on June 8, 2021
Always remembering you and feeling the meanings of what I have experienced in working with you
Thank you so much
Posted by Marina Eddy on May 21, 2021
Always in my heart and in my work with others!  So grateful to have worked with you Al! You are truly a living memory!  Rest in peace .. Marina
Posted by Bessel van der Kolk on May 21, 2021
It’s been five years now, but the legacy & the blessings continue. Such a huge contribution!
Posted by Carrie Fried Sutton on May 20, 2021
I woke up yesterday with a memory of Al, not consciously remembering it was the anniversary of his death. The memory was of him explaining, when we were asking how he comes up with such creative and perfectly tailored ideas in response to what the client is needing, and he says the source is the "boys and girls in the back room."
Posted by Agnes Friederici on May 19, 2021
5 years later:

It is still the same fire that keeps me burning for this wonderful method that I learned from Al: a way to discover the genetic forces in ourselves and, if necessary, to liberate them for the benefit of ourselves, our fellow human beings and the universal creature. Thank you Al, again!

Posted by Barbara Segura on September 19, 2020
Al’s work with me in New Hampshire and Boston informs my life and purpose every day. May memories be sweet for his family and friends.
Posted by Kerith Edwards on August 11, 2020
Thank you for this beautiful, generous, compassionate legacy!

Kerith Edwards, MA, LMHC
Hawaii / Netherlands / Mexico
Posted by Leonard Bustin on June 18, 2020
How time flies! One day you're alive and communicating with Al. The next, he's gone. Al was instrumental with helping me get in touch with all the parts of me on my path to finding inner peace. His New Hampshire farm and my experiences there with Al, Diane and some of the wonderful people I met are locked away in my brain as one of the most memorable times in my life. I wish Al peace and love in the hereafter.
Posted by Michaela Vodová on May 25, 2020
Posted by Caroline Collin on May 20, 2020
Still so present and unfolding!
Posted by Bessel van der Kolk on May 19, 2020
Still filled with gratitude for the rich teachings & personal growth experiences that I carry with me for always.
Posted by Marina Eddy on May 19, 2020
Thinking and using of your teachings daily! To my fellow PBSP family I recently found some picutres of Al Pesso and my compadres from Britain(London) Norway and Germany on an old camera. These picutres were taken in Boston prior to his leaving for trip to Germany. I would like to safely share, trransfer and give them to someone who will know how to honour them.  Please let me know by email I believe Sally Potter, you were in this group with me. Blessings and Health for you in these times of Covid-19. Hugs Al!
Posted by Sally Potter on May 19, 2020
I think of you every day Al, and how your being in the world impacted my life.
Posted by Thayer Cory on September 19, 2019
Al always came to our group in Virginia at this time of year so we often celebrated his birthday, usually with blueberries and whipped cream, no sugar. I even taught the group a three part birthday round that we would sing to him. I think of him often, always with profound gratitude for what he gave to me both professionally and personally. Forever missed is an apt phrase.  Thayer Cory
Posted by Marina Eddy on September 19, 2019
Happy 90th Day! I am forever blessed by your work Al! Blessings on you and Diane!
Posted by Tom Corbishley on May 20, 2019
As I continue my journey, working and training as a psychotherapist, Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor therapist and sexologist, I am continually reminded how visionary Al and Diane were. As I follow the latest thinking on neuroscience, trauma therapy, consciousness and language I usually muse about the fact that Al and Diane had figured it all out years ago (with the able contribution of Lowijs Perquin, also sadly missed). I am sad at their passing and happy to have known them.
Posted by Jon Chapman on May 20, 2019
Al still has a vibrant place in my life and therapeutic practice and I think of him often, the gifts and the wisdom he shared with me, and am so grateful for having known him and his work.
Posted by Nancy Cetlin on May 19, 2019
Al’s was a great soul and a great intelligence. His ability to see through the outer layers of a person, into their essential selves and “holes in roles” is unteachable in the last analysis. That was one of his extraordinary gifts. He taught us so much, and we gained and grew from those experiences. But there was only one Al and indeed he will be forever missed.
Posted by Bessel van der Kolk on October 15, 2018
Dear Al. I think about you almost every day- talk about you, correspond about you & incorporate so much of what you have taught me in my life & my work. Your work is living on & I am trying to teach it to new generations of healers. Your light still shines!
Posted by Cootje van der Loeff on September 21, 2018
Dear Al,
Thank you for who you was for me.
Keeping in touch with that feels so good.
Grateful about it,
Posted by Sabine Lück on September 20, 2018
Dear Albert Pesso,
With great gratitude for the gifts you have given us with your and Diane's work, we will speak again about you today in our presentation at the DGSF's big annual congress ... so something of you and Diane lives on ... Thank you Sabine Lück and Ingrid Alexander
Posted by Marina Eddy on September 19, 2018
Always relevant to my work every day.. Grateful for having his wisdom within me. Remembering Al..  MarinaE
Posted by louis sommeling on September 19, 2018
This moment i am writing an article about him, about the future of the Dutch PBSP-association. He was of great significance for us.
(supervisor PBSP)
Posted by Hanania Mutombo on September 19, 2017
Quand je pense à ALBERT PESSO, j'ai des larmes aux yeux lorsque mes propres frères du Kasai sont massacrés, tués, traumatisés sans aucun secours. AL aurait envoyé en RDC et au Kasai les experts du PBSP pour aider ces populations en ruine.
Paix à son âme
Posted by Robert Mulder on June 20, 2017
I have warm feelings of all the time we spend together at De Borckerhof in Orvelte, Netherlands (where I was director) were you started your Dutch therapy sessions. You named it "The Womb". In the Gallery I placed a few photos made during my visit to Frankln NH.
Posted by Hanania Mutombo on May 24, 2017
Al PESSO demeure inoubliable pour les congolais que nous sommes.
AL est toujours présent sur terre au travers de son génial système PBSP dont j'ai le signe honneur de véhiculer les grandes valeurs qu'il incarne en RDC.
Posted by Marina Eddy on May 22, 2017
Remembering today the gifts you and Diane gave, and the eloquent and elegant method of your work which informs me daily in mine! Gratitude for meeting you and grateful for the gift of my PBSP structure experiences!
Posted by Carrie Fried Sutton on May 21, 2017
You knew exactly how to work with each person, each Structure finely tailor-made to respond to each unique nuance, flavor, history, memory. You loved us, and helped us co-create the dance we needed, with your gentle ways, your true naming of even the smallest flicker of emotion, sometimes still unknown and unrecognized, witnessed without judgment, seen with wise accepting eyes and then counter-shaped with the perfect answer to the oldest needs, until they quieted, satisfied, receiving what their deepest longings yearned for. Your amazing gift leaves with you, but also remains in us, what you gave us, how you taught us, how you helped us and taught us to pass the healing on through us to others.
Posted by Samaneri Viveka on January 7, 2017
Dear Al,
I never had the privilege to meet you and Diane but I was lucky to hear about your method. It has truly changed my life for the better. I have tried many times to get other people to try it too, but they all think it sounds too good to be true!
You have accumulated heaps of merit throughout your life, may it give you happiness and all good things in lives to come.
Posted by mariana ferreira on October 27, 2016
Dear Al....
I will never Forget you. you are one of the great inspirations of my psycholgyst career. and you were so so so SO importante to me on a personal level, when I did the PBSP formation with you in Lisbon, and you taught me so much about myself. the omnipotent grief :)
may your spirit be free and full of love.
Posted by Ingrid Alexander on October 1, 2016
time goes by quickly - already a year has gone by, but your work and ideas inspires me daily, dear Al. You should have seen and hear us, me, and Sabine Lück, your ex-trainees at the big DGSF congress in Frankfurt. While we introduced our book "Ahnen auf die Couch" your name and what we`ve got from you popped up again and again. It was so wonderful, that you`ve been on earth - a real gift to all human beings. Thank`s a lot.
Ingrid Alexander
Psychologische Psychotherapeutin
Generation-Code Trainerin
Posted by anton wölfinger on September 19, 2016
Happy Birthday AL!

Posted by Gail Lightbody Duquette on September 19, 2016
Happy Birthday in heaven!
Posted by Barbara Segura on September 19, 2016
Dear Al and Family,

Collecting my thoughts is painful and joyful all at once. I am pained because my learning with you in your physical presence is over. Every summer I'd ask myself if this would be the last time I saw you and this uncertainty was my propeller to strive and bring my best and truest self to the training rooms. You embodied so many principles of my ideal father which we removed from you! LOL. I feel such gratitude for your life and my collision course with you, Diane and PBSP.

My deepest condolences to your living and loving family. I have terrific memories of my structures and the seminars in New Hampshire and Boston and all of my travels to train with you. I bring PBSP to my therapy practice with incredible gratitude to you and Diane and your family. I treasure the pioneering work of PBSP, which has personally brought me deep joy and happiness.

Your last birthday (which you didn't want anyone to fuss over) was in Ashville, NC and gratefully to John and Pam, we had another terrific PBSP weekend. I'm glad I shared that birthday with you! Happy Birthday Again!

I will catch up wth you and Diane again!

Barbara J. Segura
South Florida, USA
Posted by Nara Clarke on September 19, 2016
We had the opportunity, a couple of times, to be around Al on his birth day celebration. I see him, even now, holding court with those that have gone but are still interest in Spiritually Growing.
Thank you for all that you have given us, Carl and Nara
Posted by Michael Bachg on September 19, 2016
Al, unwillingly I start to accept the future without your companionship, embedded into the large PBSP community you and Diane gathered. We are your guests on the stage of life: “happy birthday!”
Posted by Gus Kaufman on September 19, 2016
In these few days are my 70th, Al's 87th and Louisa Howe (also of blessed memory)'s birthdays. I miss him and Diane and am determined to carry on the work. I will be leading a structure workshop for therapists in October and we will have a moment of silence for them...
Posted by Nancy Kyrie Campbell on September 14, 2016
I am deeply saddened to learn of Al's passing. I first learned of his work in 1974 and began training with him in 1979. He has had a profound effect on my life both personally and professionally. Because of all I learned and experienced through my training with Al I became a much wiser and more compassionate woman which continues to this day to greatly influence my interactions with family, friends and acquaintances as well as rippling out through all of my professional work. I feel overwhelming gratitude that Al has been a part of my life!
Posted by Gilli Hanna on August 26, 2016
Dearest Al,
You have touched the hearts of so many people. I never, ever will forget all that you taught us, with your rigour, humour and enduring kindness and honesty. Thank you for showing me so much. You will always be in my heart.
With my love, Gilli
Posted by Helga Anna Habermehl on August 8, 2016
In deep and warm gratitude I say good-bye to Al. His clear and ingenious teaching gave me a wonderful new method for my work as a Biodynamic psychotherapist. Personally, I’m free now from some unpleasant moods and feelings, anxieties and inner pressure, which could not definitely be healed by other psychotherapy methods. They just went away after sessions with Al, in particular also by “Holes in Roles”.
I had the luck to join in 2007 the Munich group for PBSP (Al met us twice a year) and could also have some single sessions in Munich and Freiburg with Al. Thank you for this!
Already in 1999, on the Body Psychotherapy Congress in Berlin I admired the way he worked. I am also thankful for his PBSP activities in DR Congo, where I worked between 1981 and 2004 five times as an economist. Al had so much creative energy, clearness, humanity and love to mankind. I wish to say: It is done.

Helga Anna Habermehl,
Body Psychotherapist in Starnberg, Germany
Posted by Markus Aronica on August 8, 2016
Dear Al,

thank you very much for your profound method
and for your friendship, when we met.

Markus Aronica,
Freiburg in Germany
Posted by Aaron Ridge on July 21, 2016
I am so fortunate to have been introduced to the psychomotor method by Al very early in my career. The personal healing and boost for my career as a psychotherapist was extraordinary. Since our group in Minneapolis took off, I was able to study with Al, Al, Diane and others for regular immersion in this inspired approach to human potential. Having a place for over 15 years to grow and commune with others... I don't know where I'd have been without this method and the community it inspired. Thank You to the Pessos for their contribution, and blessings to the Pesso community.
Posted by Baerbel + Guenter Weier on July 10, 2016
I wrote this obituary, published in the German Aerzteblatt:
Guenter Weier
Page 1 of 3

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Dirk Marivoet on May 19, 2022
I feel grateful everyday for what I got from you, Al. Your spirit, light and wisdom are with me always. I learned from you how to write new memories and do the "psychomotor" magic. It really works. I share the wisdom and the practice with my clients all the time. The results keep amazing me. Love, Dirk
Posted by Barbara Joan Segura on May 8, 2022
Dear Al,

I'm remembering you this month with gratitude for my personal healing and the skills you taught me as a trauma therapist. You would love all the brain research that has come out since your passing! May your soul continue to elevate. May you, your family and all have peace and happiness.

Much love,

Barb Segura
Posted by Glenn Shean on May 7, 2022
L your present in my dreams so often I know it’s because you rewired my central nervous system for your creativity and wisdom and kindness and warmth Dash you were truly a gift tea to everyone who came in touch with you thank you thank you I admired you for your brilliance and your caring you are sorely missed as you continue to do your dance exercises and stretches in the clouds S Glenn
Recent stories

Captain Nemo

Shared by Robert Mulder on June 20, 2017

You were so proud of your little boat. During our trips on the lake I teased you bij giving you the name Captain Nemo. 


Shared by Robert Mulder on June 20, 2017

This picture was taken in  Fall 1980 when I visited Al & Diane in Franklin NH.I was the director of De Borckerhof in Orvelte, Netherlands were Al started his first therapy groups in the Netherlands. He named it 'The womb' of my project.
We became friends and I stayed with them in Franklin.


Shared by daniel kahalas on February 23, 2017