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on 3 May 2014

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Transcript of Gestalt

Key Concepts
Gestalt prayer

I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.
If not, it can't be helped.

(Fritz Perls, 1969)
Client/ Helper Relationship
Major Figures
Gestalt and Art Therapy
Holism: A gestalt includes & transcends the sum of its parts. Emphasis is on looking to the whole for the meaning of the parts.

Field theory: Person must be seen in his or hers environment. Everything is in process.

Phenomenological basis: Reality consists of objects and events as they are perceived or understood in human consciousness. All reality is subjectively interpreted.

Figure-formation: Foreground (figure) and background (ground).
What is the focal point of client's attention?

Organismic self-regulation: When we regulate ourselves according to needs that arise from our natural functioning (a spontaneous impulse that comes from our whole self).
A process of making choice/responses to our needs.

Existential, phenomenological and process-based – the client’s “here and now”

Goal is for clients to gain awareness
of what they are experiencing & doing now while
also learning to accept and value themselves.

Increase clients’ awareness (of self, environment, & relationship with others)

Clients do their own seeing, feeling, sensing, & interpreting

Awareness, choice and responsibility

Process vs. content
Fritz Perls (1893-1970) & Laura Perls (1905-1990)
designed specifically for each individual. Allowing client to engage in activities that allow for new emotional experiencing and new insights
The I/thou relationship, a dialog relationship

Clients are active participants

They make their own interpretations & meaning

Therapists express honest reactions to clients

Therapist is direct and confrontational

Elliott, N. (2013). Catching dreams: applying gestalt dream work to
canadian aboriginal peoples.
First Peoples Child & Family Review, 7(2), 34-42.

Harman, R. L. (1974). Goals of gestalt therapy.
Professional Psychology, 5(2)
, 178-184. doi:10.1037/h0037609

Oaklander, V. (2011). Gestalt play therapy. In C. E. Schaefer (Ed.),
Foundations of play therapy (2nd ed.
) (pp. 171-186). Hoboken,
NJ US: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Yontef, G. (2002). The relational attitude in gestalt therapy theory and
International Gestalt Journal, 25/1
, 15-34.
Retrieved from http://www.igt.psc.br/Artigos/relational

Rooted in Existential philosophy, phenomenology
and field theory

By becoming fully aware of what is happening within oneself and outside of oneself people have the ability to and can change (self-regulate)

Change happens when client can reintegrate a "disowned" part of the self back into the mix of identity
The View of Human Nature


Experiments are created in a way that fits the individual's way of perceiving and how they interpret or see the world

Focuses on the dialogue in a nonjudgmental way

Gestalt therapist should continually be exploring their own biases, in order to better serve the client

Intense feelings that arise may be too much for those who are more emotionally reserved
-creating uncomfortable feelings and resistance
Energy: Where is the energy located?

Contact: Interacting with people and nature without losing one's individuality. Necessary for change. The relationship between "me" and others. Contact involves feeling a connection with others or the world outside oneself while maintaining separation from it.

Unfinished business: Unexpressed feelings from the past that occur in the present and interfere with psychological functioning.
Stay with it



The internal dialogue


Making the rounds

Guided fantasy

Body techniques

Therapist disclosures

Full transcript