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Gestalt Therapy

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Theresa Menard

on 3 February 2014

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Transcript of Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt Therapy
Holism-whole person
The Now - Appreciate and Experience the Present
Contact and Resistance to Contact
Therapeutic Goals
Phenomenological inquiry- paying attention to now.
Common problem for clients they focus on past or future
Contact - interacting without losing one's individuality.
Confluence- blending of conflict and resolution- neutral stance
Increase awareness of self
Gradually assume ownership of experiences
Develop skills and values
Become aware of their senses
Learn to accept responsibility for their actions
Be able to ask for help and get
Therapist's Function and Role
Client's Experience in Therapy
Therapist and Client Relationship
Therapy Interventions
The main job of the therapist is to invite clients into an active partnership to learn about themselves by adopting an experimental attitude toward life.
A important function is to pay attention to the client's body language.
Therapist increase client's awareness and they decide what they will or will not do with their personal meaning.
“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 cannot be helped.”
I am me. You are you.

Therapist are responsible for our presence and remain open.
Establishing and maintaining therapeutic atmosphere by:
Therapy is a two-way engagement that changes both players.
Fritz Perls, 1969,
Basic Principles underlying the Theory of Gestalt
Internal Dialogue Exercise
Making the Rounds
Reversal Exercise
Rehersal Exercise
Exaggeration Exercise
Staying with Feeling
Dream work
Experiments are tools to help client gain fuller awareness
through exercises to elicit emotions.
Use of statements
“What” and “How” questions
“I” statements to promote clients ownership
Present tense so the focus is on the present not the past-"empty chair"
Continuum of experience
The here and now
Paradoxical theory of change
The experiment
The authentic encounter
Process orientated diagnosis
The client is an active participant who makes their own
interpretation and meaning.
Three stage integration to show growth
Use authentic dialog
Direct expression
Decrease stereotypic exercises
Trust in client's experiencing
Organismic self-regulation-restore equilibrium
Figure formation process-experience
Field theory- person & environment
Role of Confrontation
Confrontation -way to invite client to examine their behaviors,
attitudes, and thoughts.
Group Counseling
Multicultural Perspective
Corey, G. (2013a). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (9th ed.). Brooks/Cole, Thomson Learning, Inc.
Take the client's context into account to see the unique way a individual sees and interprets their culture
Many bicultural clients struggle with two cultures at same time
Clients ask to focus on gestures, facial expressions and inner thoughts
High level of intense feelings
Sharing can be seen as weakness
Cultures prohibit emotions toward parents
Use sensitivity and adaptive methods to deal with delicate situations
Encourages direct experience and actions
Group provides a context for creativity to use interventions and experiments.
Engage clients in self-disclosure to enhance relationships and create a sense of mutuality within group.
Don't s
Avoid assumptions
Don't impose our worldview or values on them.
Approach with respect, interest, compassion and presence.
Contact boundary disturbances
Introjection-accept others beliefs before understanding them
Projection- disown aspects and assign to someone else
Retroflection- doing to ourselves instead of others- self mutilate
Deflection- distraction- avoiding the issue
Six methodological components
Existential Encounter - clients move in a certain direction
Speech patterns, words congruent with emotions
"It" instead of "I", "maybe", "I guess," "I suppose," and "I can't" when they mean "I won't."

Body posture, hand gestures
Discovery-new realization about themselves
Accommodation-recognizing they have a choice
Assimilation-influence their environment
Clients look at their verbal and nonverbal expressions
Not aimed at weakness or negativity, but challenged to seeing
why they are blocking their strengths.
The client has to decide if they want to accept this
invitation to learn more about themselves.
Key to confrontation

Latner, J. (1992). The Theory of Gestalt Therapy. In Gestalt therapy: perspectives and applications. Cambridge, Mass.
Retrieved from http://www.latner.net/userfiles/313033/file/gestalt_therapy.pdf
Yontef, G. (2002). The Relational Attitude in Gestalt Therapy Theory and Practice. International Gestalt Journal, 25(1), 15–34.
Retrieved from http://www.igt.psc.br/ojs2/index.php/igtnarede/article/viewFile/1754/2423
The philosophy of gestalt therapy explicitly promotes respect
and appreciation of differences. Practicing this philosophy requires humility.
Gary Yontef
Contact is the experience of difference. Without difference, there is no contact. If you touch your own fingers, you will feel in one finger the pressure of the other. If you do not, you will not feel the meeting-there is no contact. Without knowing how we are different, there is no relationship, because relating must involve two.
Latner, J. (1992).
Full transcript