Compositionwork is a method that helps to explore and unfold the complexity and richness of our inner world, become more aware of the feelings and different aspects of ourselves and enhances our experiential and relational depth. It allows to express the inner world in an artistic form that stimulates creativity and exploration.


Compositionwork was founded by Agnieszka Konopka and Hubert Hermans in 2006. The method is  based on Dialogical Self Theory and the tradition of Japanese Zen Gardens. It has been applied in different countries (The Netherlands, Japan, USA, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland).

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Compositionwork is a process of connecting with the richness of your inner world, externalizing it in a symbolic way, exploring and possibly transforming it.

Representing one’s inner landscape of mind in a concrete external form, with stones in a box of sand, resembles the way the self is represented in some of  Japanese Rock Gardens. External and symbolic representation makes what we experience more accessible for exploration, deepening and transformation. Externalizing your  inner world in this way, allows it to ‘talk back’ to you, which may lead to surprising new experiences, deepening feelings and insights.

In a Compositionwork session a  person is invited to externalize his or her inner world by identifying important aspects of himself/herself, representing them by stones and  composing them in a way that resembles his inner world. Together with a coach the composition can be explored and further developed. This helps to understand inner conflicts, to uncover resources and to get insights in the organization of the self as well as to define developmental directions. Exploring a composition is like a travel in your inner world.

The use of abstract, natural symbols, like sand and stones, helps to discover the nonverbal and less conscious aspects the self and sometimes unknown positions and feelings.


The method works on two levels: verbal and nonverbal. The abstract quality of the materials (stones and sand) relates to the Unconscious and helps to connect with direct affective experience going beyond words. This greatly stimulates the process of self discovery and development.