- o Interested in the whole person
- o Emphasis on integration of thoughts feelings, behaviors, body and dreams
■ Field Theory
- o Organism must be seen in its environment or its context as part of a constantly changing field
● In flux
● In progress
■ Figure Formation Process
- o How client organizes environment from moment to moment
- o Background
● The undifferentiated field or ground
- o Figure
● The emerging focus of attention
■ Organismic Self Regulation o Restore equilibrium or contribute to growth and change
■ The Now
- o Power in the present
- o Nothing exists except the now
- o The past is gone and the future has not yet arrived
- o For many people the power of the present is lost
● They may focus on their past mistakes or engage in endless resolutions and plans for the future.
■ Unfinished Business
- o Feelings about the past are unexpressed
- o These feelings are associated with distinct memories and fantasies
- o Feelings not fully experienced in the background and interfere with effective contact
- o Preoccupation, compulsive behavior, wariness oppressive energy and self defeating behavior.
■ Layers of Neurosis
- o Perls likens the unfolding of adult personality to the peeling of an onion.
- o Phony layer- stereotypical and inauthentic
- o Phobic layer- fears keep clients from seeing themselves
- o Impasse layer- giving up power
- o Implosive layer- fully experiencing deadness
- o Explosive layer- letting go of phony roles
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