theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy n.
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Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. MacDonald Gestalt Therapy. Questions?. What key concepts do you know in terms of Gestalt therapy?. View of Human Nature. Self-reliance and reintegration Dialogue b/w client and therapist (therapist has no agenda

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  • What key concepts do you know in terms of Gestalt therapy?
view of human nature
View of Human Nature
  • Self-reliance and reintegration
  • Dialogue b/w client and therapist (therapist has no agenda
  • Spontaneous; here and now experience
  • Human nature is rooted in existential philosophy, phenomenology, and field theory
  • Individuals have the capacity to self-regulate in their environment
  • The process of “reowning” parts of oneself that have been disowned
the now
The Now
  • Existential & Phenomenological – it is 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 experiencingrather than the abstractness of talking about situations
    • Rather than talk about a childhood trauma the client is encouraged to become the hurt child
the now1
The Now
  • Ask “what” and “how” instead of “why”
  • Our “power is in the present”
    • Nothing exists except the “now”
    • The past is gone and the future has not yet arrived
  • 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
Unfinished Business
  • Feelings about the past are unexpressed
    • These feelings are associated with distinct memories and fantasies
    • Feelings not fully experienced linger in the background and interfere with effective contact
    • Pay attention on the bodily experience because if feelings are unexpressed they tend to result in physical symptom
  • Result:
    • Preoccupation, compulsive behavior, wariness oppressive energy and self-defeating behavior
    • Solution: get in touch with the stuck point.
contact and resistances to contact
Contact and Resistances to Contact
  • CONTACT– interacting with nature and with other people without losing one’s individuality
    • Contact (connect) and Withdrawal (separate)
  • RESISTANCE TO CONTACT – the defenses we develop to prevent us from experiencing the present fully
    • Five major channels of resistance:
      • Introjection • Deflection
      • Projection • Confluence
      • Retroflection
contact and resistances to contact1
Contact and Resistances to Contact
  • Introjection: uncritically accept others’ belief and standards without thinking whether they are congruent with who we are
  • Projection: the reverse of introjection; we disown certain aspect of ourselves by assigning them to the environment
  • Retroflection: turning back to ourselves what we would like to do to someone else
    • Directing aggression inward that we are fearful to directing toward others.
contact and resistances to contact2
Contact and Resistances to Contact
  • Deflection: A way of avoiding contact and awareness by being vague or indirect.
    • e.g., overuse of humor
  • Confluence: less differentiation between the self and the environment.
    • e.g., a need to be accepted---to stay safe by going alone with other and not expressing one’s true feeling and opinions.
  • Clients are encouraged to become increasingly aware of their dominant style of blocking contact
  • Please provide examples for each five resistance to contact?
energy and blocks to energy
Energy and blocks to energy
  • Pay attention to where energy is located, how it is used, and how it can be blocked
  • Blocked energy (resistance):
    • Tension some part of the body; numbing feelings, looking away from people when speaking, speaking with a restricted voice
  • Recognize how their resistance is being expressed in their body
  • Exaggerate their tension and tightness in order to discover themselves
therapeutic goals
Therapeutic Goals
  • Increasing Awareness and greater choice
  • Awareness includes knowing the environment, knowing oneself, accepting oneself, and being able to make contact.
  • Stay with their awareness, unfinished business will emerge.
therapist s function and role
Therapist’s function and Role
  • Increase clients’ awareness
  • Pay attention to the present moment
  • Pay attention to clients’ body language, nonverbal language, and inconsistence b/w verbal and nonverbal message (e.g., anger and smile)
  • “I” message
client s experience in therapy
Client’s Experience in Therapy
  • Therapist  no interpretation
  • Client  making their own interpretation
  • Three-stage (Polster, 1987)
    • Discovery (increasing awareness)
    • Accommodation (recognizing that they have a choice)
    • Assimilation (influencing their environment)
relationship between therapist and client
Relationship Between Therapist and Client
  • The quality of therapist-client relationship
  • Therapists knowing themselves
  • Therapists share their experience to clients in the here-and-now
  • Therapist Use of self in therapy
therapeutic techniques and procedures
Therapeutic techniques and procedures
  • The experiential work
    • Use experiential work in therapy to work through the stuck points and get new insights
  • Preparing client for experiential work
    • Get permission from clients
    • Be sensitive to the cultural difference (e.g., Asian cultural value: emotional control)
    • Respect resistance (e.g., express emotionsfear of lose control, could not stop, or weakness)
therapeutic techniques and procedures1
Therapeutic techniques and procedures
  • Increase awareness about the incongruence between mind and body (verbal and nonverbal expression)
  • The internal dialogue exercise
  • Making the rounds
  • Rehearsal exercise
  • Exaggeration exercise
  • Staying with the feeling
  • The Gestalt approach to dream work
therapeutic techniques and procedures2
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……”
  • Rehearsal exercise
    • Reverse the typical style (e.g., behave as negative as possible)
therapeutic techniques and procedures3
Therapeutic techniques and procedures
  • Rehearsal exercise
    • May get stuck when rehearsing silently or internally
    • Share the rehearsals out load with a therapist
  • Exaggeration exercise
    • Exaggerate gesture or movement, which usually intensified the feelings attached to the behavior and makes the inner meaning clearer.
  • Staying with the feeling
    • Go deeper into the feelings they wish to avoid
therapeutic techniques and procedures4
Therapeutic techniques and procedures
  • The Gestalt approach to dream work
    • Not interpret or analyze dreams
    • Bring dream back to life as though they were happening now
    • The dream is acted out in the present to become different parts of the dream
    • Projection: every person or object in the dream represents a projected aspect of the dreamer.
    • Royal road to integration
    • Dreams serve as an excellent way to discover personality
    • No remember-refuse to face what it is at that time
from a multicultural perspective
From a multicultural perspective
  • Contributions
    • Work with clients from their cultural perspectives
  • Limitations
    • Focus on “affect”
      • Asian cultural value: emotional control
      • Prohibiting to directly express the negative feelings to their parents.
summary and evaluation
Summary and Evaluation
  • Contributions
    • Present-centered awareness
    • Pay attention on verbal and nonverbal cures
    • Bring conflicts or struggles to actually experience their conflict and struggles
    • Focus on growth and enhancement
    • See each aspect of a dream as a projection of themselves
    • Increase awareness of “what is”
    • Empirical validation for the effectiveness
summary and evaluation1
Summary and Evaluation
  • Limitations
    • Ineffective therapists may manipulate the clients with powerful experiential work
    • Some people may need psycho-education