Monday, October 27, 2014

Foundations of Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt Therapy



Foundations

■ Existential and Phenomenological

  • o Grounded in the client’s “here and now”


■ Initial goal is for clients to gain awareness of what they are experiencing and doing now

■ Promotes direct experiencing rather than the abstractness of talking about situations

■ Rather than talk about childhood trauma, the client is encouraged to become the hurt child

■ Holistic approach to personality vs. mechanistic approach of Freud.

■ Value of examining present situations vs. repressed intra-psychic conflicts from early
childhood

■ Focus on process versus content

■ On presently experienced vs what is revealed by client from memory

■ Self understanding comes from individual’s behavior in the present versus why they behave as they do

■ Therapist goal: create experiments for client to assist their self awareness of what they are doing and how they are doing it.


Therapy Process
■ Promote awareness in client through

  • o Insight
  • o Self acceptance
  • o Knowledge of the environment
  • o Responsibility for choices
  • o Paradoxical theory of change
  • o Ability to make contact with others
  • o Clients expected to do their own seeing, feeling, sensing and interpreting vs passively allowing therapist to give insight and answers


■ Concepts of human nature

  • o Clients are manipulative
  • o Avoid self reliance
  • o Avoid taking on personal responsibility
  • o Clients have to stand on own two feet to deal with life problems themselves
  • o Move clients from environmental supports to self-support
  • o Help clients reintegrate disowned parts of personality





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Monday, October 20, 2014

Experiential Therapy

Experiential Therapy


Theory Foundation

■ Modern person has means to live but often has no meaning to live for- this is the malady of our times, meaninglessness or existential vacuum

■ Purpose of therapy is to challenge people to find meaning and purpose through suffering,
work and love

■ It takes courage to BE 

  • Our choices determine the kind of person we are
  • We are in constant struggle with:


  1. Our want to grow toward maturity and independence
  2. Realizing expansion and growth is often a painful process
  3. Struggling between security and dependence and delights and pain of growth


■ Phenomenological approach

  • People’s perceptions or subjective realities are considered to be valid data for investigation
  • Phenomenological discrepancies
  • Two people perceiving the same situation differently

■ Non-Deterministic approach
o Existentialist argue that it is an oversimplification to view people as controlled by fixed physical laws
o Encouragement of theories that consider individual initiative, creativity, and self fulfillment
o Focus on active, positive aspects of human growth

I-Though dialogue vs. I-It Dialogue
o I-though

  • human confirms the other person as being of unique valued
  • Direct mutual relationship

o I-it

  • Person uses others but does not value them for themselves
  • Utilitarian

o Self disclosing of therapist emotional response to client’s demonstration of valuing of client’s feelings and perspective.




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Monday, October 13, 2014

Experiential Therapy

Experiential Therapy



Aim of Existential Therapy

■ Rejects deterministic outlook on mankind

■ People are free and responsible for their choices and actions

■ People are the authors of their lives

■ Existential therapy encourages clients to:

  • o Reflect on life
  • o Recognize range of alternatives
  • o Decide among them


Goal

  • o Help clients recognize ways they passively accepted circumstances and surrendered control
  • o Help clients to start to consciously shape their own lives by exploring options for creating a meaningful existence.



Tasks of the Therapist
■ Invite clients to recognize how they have allowed others to decide for them

■ Encourage clients to take steps toward autonomy

■ The Question
o “Although you have lived in a certain pattern, now that you recognize the price of some of your ways, are you willing to consider creating a new pattern?”

■ Relationship between therapist and client

  • o Therapy is a journey taken by BOTH therapist and client

● The person to person relationship is key
● The relationship demands that therapists be in contact with their own phenomenological world

  • o The core of the therapeutic relationship

● Respect and faith in the client’s potential to cope.
● Sharing reactions with genuine concern and empathy






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Monday, October 6, 2014

Adlerian Therapy Social Interest

Adlerian Therapy 



Social Interest

■ Adler’s most significant and distinctive concept.
■ Refers to an individual’s attitude toward and awareness of being part of the human community.
■ Mental health is measured by the degree to which we successfully share with others and are concerned with their welfare.
■ Happiness and success are largely related to social connectedness.


Role of Birth Order Psychological Positions

■ Motivates later behavior.
■ First born/ Oldest o Favored pseudo-parents, high achievers

  • o Receives more attention, spoiled

■ Second born

  • o Rivalry and competition
  • o Behaves a in a race, often opposite first child

■ Middle Child

  • o Often feels squeezed out

■ Last born

  • o More pampered, “baby,” creative, rebellious, revolutionary, avant-garde

■ Only Child

  • o Does not learn to share or cooperate with other children
  • o Learns to deal with adults



Encouragement

■ Encouragement is the most powerful method available for changing a person’s beliefs
■ Helps build self-confidence and stimulates courage
■ Discouragement is the basic condition that prevents people from functioning
■ Clients are encouraged to recognize that they have he power to choose and act differently


5 Basic Tasks

■ Acceptance
■ Achieving Intimacy
■ Work
■ Spiritual Dimension
■ Community/Friendship






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Monday, September 29, 2014

Basic Dimensions of the Human Condition

Experiential Therapy



Basic Dimensions of the Human Condition

■ The capacity for self awareness:

  • o The greater our awareness, the greater our possibilities for freedom
  • o Awareness is realizing

● We are finite- time is limited
● We have potential, the choice to act or not to act
● Meaning is not automatic- we must seek it
● We are subject to loneliness, meaninglessness, emptiness, guilt and isolation

■ The tension between freedom and responsibility

  • o People are free to choose among alternatives and have a large role in shaping personal destinies
  • o Manner in which we live and what we become are result of our choices
  • o People must accept responsibility for directing own lives


■ Creation of an identity and establishing meaningful relationships

  • o Identity is the courage to be
  • o We must trust ourselves to search within and find our own answers
  • o Our great fear is that we will discover there is no core, no self
  • o Aloneness

● We must tolerate being alone with self
● We must have a relationship with ourselves first

  • o Struggling with identity

● We are trapped in doing mode to avoid experience of being

  • o Relatedness

● At their best our relationships are based on our desire for fulfillment, not our deprivation

■ The search for meaning

  • o Like pleasure, meaning but be pursued

● Finding meaning in life is a byproduct of a commitment to creating, loving, and working

  • o Life is not meaningful in itself, the individual must create and discover meaning
  • o Goals deal with

● Discarding old values
● Coping with meaninglessness
● Creating new meaning

■ Accepting anxiety as a condition of living

  • o Anxiety arises from striving to survive and maintain own being
  • o Existential anxiety is normal- life cannot be lived, not can death be faced, without anxiety

● Anxiety can be a stimulus for growth as we become aware of and accept our freedom
● We can blunt our anxiety by creating the illusion that there is security to life
● If we have the courage to face ourselves and life we may be frightened, but we will be able to change

  • o Neurotic anxiety creates guilt


■ The awareness of death and nonbeing

  • o Awareness of death is a basic human condition which gives significant to our living
  • o We must think about death if we are to think significantly about life
  • o If we defend against death our lives can become meaningless
  • o We learn to live in the “now”
  • o One day at a time results in a zest for life and creativity





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