About Jan Taal

Jan Taal Drs (1949) is healthcare psychologist BIG NIP NVPO in private practice in Amsterdam, trainer-director of the Amsterdam School for Imagery and expert for the Dutch Association of Psycho-Oncology.

In the 1970s I discovered imagery as a major tool for development and transformation. Ever since imagery in its many forms has been a tremendous interesting and thrilling adventure both for myself as well for many clients.

In each of us there is a continuous stream of vital energy coming from the depth of our soul. With imagery, genuine contact can be made and obstacles of any kind may be cleared away or transformed.

Jan studied Psychology at the University of Amsterdam (1973-1976) and Clinical Psychology at the University of Leiden (1976-1979). He was trained in Psychosynthesis in the Netherlands and Italy (1978- 1982).
Prior to Psychology Jan studied Cultural Anthropology. He wandered in Afghanistan, the mountains of North-West Pakistan, India and Nepal (1969-1973). During this fieldwork Jan had many adventures and significant encounters. It led him to study Eastern and Western Spiritual Traditions, Sufism, Jungian and Transpersonal Psychology and Traditional Medicine and rituals of traditional healers in the Amazon region in South America.

In order to stimulate the coping ability and resilience in people with cancer Jan was in 1987 co-founder of the Foundation Cancer in Images (Stichting Kanker in Beeld) of which he was the first chairman. This foundation promotes the use of imagination and creativity in many ways, imagining, drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, poetry, singing, etcetera. In collaboration with the Dutch Cancer Society Jan coordinated two large manifestations in the Old Church of Amsterdam, groundbreaking events full of art and performances of people coping with cancer.
In 2009 Jan started the Imagery Toolbox Project. The aim and purpose of the toolbox is to provide easily accessible and versatile imagery and creativity tools for coping with cancer, chronic illness and crisis, so that these means become available to an ever larger number of people and can be put to extensive use within the healthcare system. To gain a permanent place in the ‘mainstream’ of healthcare is the long-term goal of the Imagery Toolbox project.


Jan has been guest trainer and keynote speaker in conferences and institutes in the Netherlands, Europe and North America. Special mention can be made of his teaching Imagery and Psychosynthesis in Pakistan at the National Institute of Psychology at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad in 2000 and at the University of the Punjab (Centre for Clinical Psychology) in 2008. In 2002 and 2007 he did a pilot study regarding the possibilities and results of imagery in the remote mountains of the Hindukush with literate and illiterate people.  In the tribal Pathan areas of Malakand Jan he has been involved in the development of special education for girls from the poorest families since 2000. He is secretary of the Foundation Girls Education Pakistan (Stichting Meisjesonderwijs Pakistan).

In 2021 Jan developed the online tool Strengthen yourself in times of uncertainty or fear, together with the team of the Amsterdam School for Imagery and Bitwise Soft in Pakistan.


Selection of publications:

Taal, J. (2015). The Three Stages of Imagery.

Taal, J. (2017). Course Book Imagery Toolbox 3.0.

Taal, J. (2016). Coping with cancer through imagery and artistic expression. 

Taal, J. & Krop, J. (2003). Imagery in the treatment of trauma. In: Sheikh, A. A. (ed.) Healing Images. The Role of Imagination in Health. Imagery and Human Development Series.

Taal, J. (2006) Connecting with the Soul through Imagery. European Psychosynthesis Summer School. Sättra Brunn, Sweden.

Taal, J. (2009) Daydreaming into the enthralling world of the female breast.

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In italiano:

Taal, J. (2007). Processi immaginativi e elaborazione del cancro. Terapia creativa e immaginazione. Rivista di Psicosintesi Terapeutica, anno VIII, 16, settembre.

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En français:

L’emploi de l’imagination dans le traitement des traumas. 

Taal, J. (2004). Assumer le cancer par l’expression créative et l’imagination. Revue Francophone Psycho-Oncology. Springer-Verlag.

Taal, J. (2015). Aperçu des principes et des techniques de l’imagination en psychothérapie et coaching.

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In Dutch:

Taal, J. (2017). Cursusboek Verbeeldingstoolkit 3.0. download

Taal, J. (2016). Imaginatie en creatieve expressie bij kanker. Tijdschrift Positieve Psychologie. nr. 2. april. 72-80. download

Taal, J. (2015). De drie stadia van imaginatie. download

Taal, J. (2003). Verbeeldingsprocessen en de verwerking van kanker. Beeldende therapie en imaginatie. In: C. Holzenspies, J. Taal. Kanker in Beeld. Verwerking door creatieve expressie. 8-20. download

Alma, H & Taal, J. (2014). Verbeeldings  Toolkit  bij  het  omgaan  met  kanker. Rapportage  van  een  pilot onderzoek. Utrecht: Universiteit voor Humanistiek. download

Alma, H & Taal, J. (2015). Verbeeldings Toolkit. Psychosociale Oncologie, 23, nr. 1, 16. download

Taal, J. (2014). Placebo effect en imaginatie.  download

Taal, J. (1994). Imaginatietherapie. Tijdschrift voor Psychotherapie, 20 (4), 227-246. download

Taal,J. (2012). Verbeeldings Toolkit. Psychosociale Oncologie. nr. 2. download

Taal, J. (2007). Psychosynthese en imaginatie in coaching. Tijdschrift voor Coaching. download

Taal J. (2002) Creatieve therapie beeldende therapie en imaginatie. Tijdschrift Psychosocial Oncologie, 10, 14-15.

Taal, J. (2003). De hulpverlener: De duizendpoot en het verscheurde hart. In: C. Holzenspies, J. Taal. Kanker in Beeld. Verwerking door creatieve expressie. 2003. 33-37.

Holzenspies, C & Taal, J. (2003). Kanker in Beeld. Verwerking door creatieve expressie.

Taal, J. (1997). Organisatie Imaginatie. Verbeelding in opleiding, training en management. Capita Selecta 32, Kluwer Bedrijfswetenschappen, Deventer.

Van Straalen, P. & Taal, J. (2001). Beeldonderzoek in de Zorg.Tekenen voor de Zorg, de verbeelding van een vak. Uitgave Duaal Zorg Overleg en VBZ. Haarlem.

Taal, J. (2002). Visie-ontwikkeling: gebruik je verbeelding. Leren in Ontwikkeling , oktober.

Taal, J. (2002). We gaan ervoor. Waarvoor? Opleiding & Ontwikkeling , november. download

Taal, J. (2004). Symbolen gebruiken. Leren in Ontwikkeling, juli/augustus. download

Deiters, P. & Taal, J. (2005) Imaginatie in loopbaanbegeleiding. LOOPBAAN, 10 (5). download

Taal, J. (2001). Binnen en buiten. Over geestelijke vitaliteit en de zoektocht naar innerlijke bronnen. PANTA.

Taal, J. & Zoutberg, J. (2007). Imaginatie in coaching. Coaching Gids . Deventer: CoachingNet.

Taal, J. (2000). Het logo van de School voor Imaginatie en prehistorische grotkunst. download

Taal, J. (2009) Daydreaming into the enthralling world of the female breast. download

Taal, J. (2009) Nabeschouwing in: De passie van leven, liefde en dood door Ari van Buuren.


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