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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