■ The experiment in Gestalt therapy
- o To assist clients self awareness of what they are doing and how they are doing it
- o Expanding awareness of client
- o Opportunity to “Try on” new behavior
- o Experiments bring struggles to life, inviting client to enact them in the present
- o Major emphasis on preparing clients for experiments though trusting relationship
- o Imposing stance
● Therapist meets own agenda for the client
● Acts as expert, power and control in therapist
- o Competing stance
● Therapist promotes rugged individualism with lots of negotiation compromise and confidence
- o Confirming stance
● Acknowledging the whole being of client
● Client’s needs and experience center of relationship
● Ideal type of confrontation
● Invites client to look at incongruities in verbal and nonverbal language, in words
■ Internal Dialogue o Identifies the struggle for control in a person, fragmented between controller and controlled, through Introjection of aspects of others
- o Between top dog and underdog
- o Between critical parent should and oughts and passive recipient without responsibility and with excuses
- o Empty chair
● Shift client into two chairs for dialogue role lay.
● Experiences conflict
■ Reversal technique
- o Role play the opposite of symptoms and behaviors client suffers
- o Client tries the very thing fraught with anxiety, therefore submerged and denied
- o Help clients to accept personal attributes that they have tried to deny
■ Rehearsal exercise
- o Behavioral rehearsal: role play a planned for new behavior with a person or people in client’s environment.
- o Reduce stage fright, anxiety or fear
- o Encourages spontaneity and willingness to experiment with new behaviors
■ Exaggeration Technique
- o Exaggerate movement or gesture repeatedly to intensify feelings attached by behavior to make inner meaning clear
- o Trembling hands or feet, slouched posture, bent shoulders, clenched fists, tight frowning etc.
■ Staying with Feelings
- o Keep client from escaping fearful stimuli and avoiding unpleasant feelings
- o Encourage to go deeper into feeling or behavior they wish to avoid
- o Facing, confronting, and experiencing feeling makes them able to unblock and make way for new levels of growth
● Takes courage and pain.
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