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PEELING THE ONION TO ESTABLISH CONTACT IN GESTALT THERAPY. Dr. Olguin Dr. Goodrich CSI-UNM Co-Advisors. What to Expect. This presentation covers the five contact layers to peeling the onion in gestalt therapy, a sample session will be performed.
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This presentation covers the five contact layers to peeling the onion in gestalt therapy, a sample session will be performed.
Understanding layers help counselors determine where a client is at with regards to being in the here-and-now. Attention to contact strengthens client-counselor relationship and client growth.
Gestalt is an existential-phenomonologicalapproach. People are capable of using and becoming aware of their senses as they strive towards actualization. Striving towards actualization includes regulating the polarities within the human organism. The client-counselor [I/thou contact] relationship is crucial in order for client change to occur. One method counselors can use to understand where a client is in terms of being in contact and here-and-now is referred to as peeling the onion (differing degrees of contact). The onion contains five layers of contact: Phony, Phobic, Impasse, Implosive, and Explosive. Do not rush clients passed the first three levels (Phony, Phobic, Impasse); these three levels are the foundation for client self-regulation and to safely move towards actualization. The five senses, moving and dialogue foster contact.
Peeling the onion is to get clients into the present moment to help them get a sense of their structure (the human organism/the self) by integrating one’s neurotic mechanisms. Counselors must be authentic and always respect client resistances, yet, exploring contact resistances is crucial for the promotion of awareness, responsibility, and self-regulation. How and what questions are typically used to help clients understand themselves in the present moment.
Questions relate to observations based on what clients present.
[Note blocks to energy: body tension, posture, closed, breathing, eye contact (cultural considerations)]