“What place does the other person have in your life? Is that place right?”

Social Panorama

Improving your social life

Social Panorama is a technique to map your social life and improve it. This method was designed by the Dutch social psychologist Lucas Derks. It is founded on the principle that people unconsciously view their social life as a kind of landscape, a panorama. Each person in your life is assigned their place in this imaginary landscape.

The type of contact you have with somebody determines their position in your social panorama. Besides their position, the size and clarity of your inner image of the other person also plays a part. A loved one will generally be close to you and clearly displayed in your panorama. You may unconsciously view someone you are afraid of as very large. People are usually not consciously aware of their social panorama. You view your kind of interactions with someone as self-evident, because, for example, ‘it’s just the way they are’. In reality your relation with another person is determined by their position in your social panorama.

Your social panorama determines your social life

People keep multiple social panoramas in their mind, one for each group of people they belong to, such as family, co-workers and friends. Moreover, in addition to the current panoramas, they have stored past panoramas, for example the family they grew up in.

In your social panorama other people have a certain place, but so do you. This positon determines who you are in a group. It reflects your self-image, self-esteem and self-confidence. Someone with a positive self-image and a lot of self-confidence usually sees themselves up close, large and colourful. Someone with a negative self-image and little self-confidence will see themselves far away, small and colourless.


For whom is it suitable?

Social Panorama is suitable for anyone who has issues with other people in some way. Examples include: relationship issues, conflict, being bullied, anxiety, social phobias, problems with parents, children, co-workers or bosses, feelings of hate, jealousy, guilt, revenge, submissiveness, etc.

How does it work?

You are usually not consciously aware of your inner social panorama, but it can be made conscious. Discovering their inner social landscape is often a huge eye-opener for people. Once you are aware of your social panorama, you can actually change it. You can give your partner, friends, co-workers, parents or children their optimum place in your social panorama and hence in your life. It’s also easy to improve your self-image with this technique. As your therapist, I will of course help you with this.