Gestalt Therapy. View of Human Nature: people are. self-reliant spontaneous capable of self-regulation able to reintegrate the disown parts of themselves striving toward actualization and growth . The present (here and now). Directly Experience rather than talking about situations
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View of Human Nature: people are • self-reliant • spontaneous • capable of self-regulation • able to reintegrate the disown parts of themselves • striving toward actualization and growth
The present (here and now) • Directly Experiencerather than talking about situations • Becoming the hurt child rather than talking about childhood trauma experiences. • Ask “what” and “how” instead of “why” • The power is in the present. • However, many people focus on past mistakes and future plans.
Unfinished Business (UB) • Definition: Feelings about the past are unexpressed • May be of anger, hatred, guilt, fear… • May be memories and fantasies • Interfere with effective contact • Tend to result in physical symptoms • By working through unfinished business, the preoccupation with the past is complete.
Contact & Resistance to contact • Contact– interaction with nature and other people without losing one’s individuality • Contact is necessary for change to occur • Resistance to contact – the defenses that prevent us from experiencing the present fully
Contact Boundary Disturbances • Clients are encourage to be aware of their dominant style of blocking contact • Introjection: uncritically accept others’ view without reviewing them • Children often take parents’ opinions as fact • Projection: disown certain aspect of ourselves by assigning them to others • Feeling anger may lead a person to project anger onto others • Retroflection: doing to ourselves what we want to do to others, • Biting one’s nails can be a substitute for aggression toward others
Energy and blocks to energy • Attend to where energy is located, how it is used, and how it can be blocked • Blocked energy is a form of resistance • Recognize how their resistance is being expressed in their body • feeling numb • Exaggerate their tension and tightness in order to increase awareness
Therapeutic Goals: helping clients • to enhance awareness • to depend on themselves • to bring the past or future into the present • to achieve integration of the whole person • Verbal behavior, nonverbal behavior, feelings, thoughts, perceptions.…
Therapist’s function and Role • Increase clients’ awareness • Attend to the present moment • Attend to verbal, nonverbal, and inconsistent message • Help clients to experience their being “stuck” • Make “I” statement • It is difficult to make friendsI have trouble making friends
The Therapeutic Relationship • Therapeutic relationship is important for the therapy to be effective • Be empathetic, genuine, and understanding • Share therapists’ experiences to clients in “here-and-now” • Apply the notion of “use of self” in therapy
Therapeutic Change • Not making progress is due to fear of change (Perls, 1969) • Exploring the reluctance • The Change Process: three-stage (Polster, 1987) • Discovery (get a new perspective) • Accommodation (learn that they have a choice) • Assimilation (change their environment)
Therapeutic techniques and procedures • The experiential work • Use experiential work in therapy to work through the stuck points and gain new insights • Preparing client for experiential work • Obtain permission from clients • Be sensitive to cultural differences • Respect resistance
Therapeutic techniques and procedures • The internal dialogue exercise • Top dog (critical parent) and underdog (victim) • Empty-chair (two sides of themselves) • Making the rounds • Go around to each person and say “What makes it hard for me trust you is……” • Reversal exercise • Reverse the typical style (e.g., behave as negative as possible)
Therapeutic techniques and procedures • Rehearsal exercise • Share the rehearsals out loud with a therapist • Exaggeration exercise • Exaggerate gesture or movement, which usually intensifies the feelings attached to the behavior • Staying with the feeling • Go deeper into the feelings they wish to avoid
Therapeutic techniques and procedures • The Gestalt approach to dream work • Do not interpret or analyze dreams • Bring dream back to the present life as though they are happening now • Every person or object in the dream represents a projected aspect of the dreamer • Dreams serve as an excellent way to discover personality • Not rememberingrefuse to face what it is at that time
Research on Gestalt Therapy • Compare with a waiting list control or no treatment, Gestalt therapy is effective • In general, results are similar among Gestalt therapy, P-C therapy, or CBT. • Leslie Greenberg and colleagues conducted a series of research on empty chair technique • Across studies, the empty chair technique is helpful by reducing self-criticism and increasing self-understanding.
From a multicultural perspective • Contributions • Work with clients from their cultural perspectives • Limitations • Focus on “affect” may not be appropriate • Asians value emotion self-control • Direct expression of the negative feelings to their parents is not appropriate.
Summary and Evaluation--contribution • Enhance awareness • Attend to verbal and nonverbal cues • Directly experience rather than talking about it • Focus on growth and enhancement • See each aspect of a dream as a projection of themselves
Summary and Evaluation-limitation • Ineffective therapists may manipulate the clients with powerful experiential work • Some people may need psycho-education