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Gestalt Group Therapy. Chapter 11, Theory & Practice of Group Counseling, by Gerald Corey Presented by Jeanine Goodwin. In the Beginning…. Fritz & Laura Perls Established in the 1940’s Focused on person-centered awareness, and addressing the client’s unresolved issues

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gestalt group therapy

Gestalt Group Therapy

Chapter 11, Theory & Practice of Group Counseling, by Gerald Corey

Presented by Jeanine Goodwin

in the beginning
In the Beginning…
  • Fritz & Laura Perls
  • Established in the 1940’s
  • Focused on person-centered awareness, and addressing the client’s unresolved issues
  • Quickly known for its confrontational, “hot seat” approach
  • Originally designed for one-on-one therapy
  • The group aspect was indirect (one-on-one therapy in front of an audience)
the revised standard version
The Revised Standard Version
  • Referred to as relational Gestalt therapy
  • Introduced by Erving and Miriam Polster
  • Less confrontational
  • More supportive, accepting, and challenging
  • Little use of the “empty chair” technique
  • Focuses on the client-therapist relationship, empathy, dialogue, and helping the client tap into his/her own wisdom and resources
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7cwa5X6zgk
therapeutic goals
Therapeutic Goals
  • AWARENESS!!!
  • Integration of polarities
  • Achieving contact with self and others
  • Learning how to clearly state wants or needs
  • Learning how to support one another
  • Learning how to make use of the resources within the group versus using the therapist as a resource.
key concepts and principles
Key Concepts and Principles
  • Awareness
  • Holism (“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”)
  • Field Theory
  • Figure-Formation
  • Organismic Self-Regulation
  • Here-and-Now
  • Unfinished Business
  • Contact and Disturbances to Contact
  • Energy and Blocks to Energy
group leader role and function
Group Leader Role and Function
  • Creates experiments to help members tap their resources
  • Focuses on awareness, contact, and experimentation
  • Actively engaged with group members and frequently self-discloses
  • Creates an atmosphere and structure conducive to the members’ creativity and innovation
  • Less emphasis on technique, more emphasis on direct self-expression, presence, authentic dialogue, and the client-therapist relationship
  • Contacts with group members on an “I/Thou” basis
  • Serves as an “artist involved in creating new life” according to Polster and Polster (1973) (Corey, 2008, p. 290).
  • Uses his/her own experience as an essential component of the therapy process.
stages of group therapy
Stages of Group Therapy
  • First Stage
    • Identity and Dependence
      • Group members (with the therapist’s help) explore questions they have about their identity within the group
      • Second Stage
        • Influence and Counterdependence
          • Group members grapple with issues of influence, authority, and control
  • Third Stage
    • Intimacy and Interdependence
      • Real contact occurs within and among the group members.
      • Members are helped to recognize their unfinished business not worked through in the group.
      • Group leader no longer the ultimate authority, but serves as a resource or consultant.
techniques procedures
Techniques & Procedures
  • Experiments
  • Attention to Language
  • Nonverbal Language
  • Internal Dialogue Experiments
  • Making the Rounds
  • Fantasy Approaches
  • Rehearsal
  • Exaggeration Experiment
  • Dream Work
gestalt in school groups
Gestalt in School Groups
  • Emphasis on building quality therapeutic relationships
  • Art & Storytelling
  • Empty Chair
  • Topdog-Underdog
  • Techniques are limited within some adolescent groups (p. 306)
    • Here and Now
    • Dream Work
gestalt in multicultural groups
Gestalt in Multicultural Groups
  • World View
  • Phenomenological
  • Emphasis on non-verbal expression
  • Use of imagery and fantasy*
    • Speak in native tongue
  • Solid understanding of the limitations of Gestalt techniques in dealing with diverse populations
strengths
Strengths
  • Quality of contact
  • Authentic relationship and dialogue
  • Emphasis on field theory, phenomenology, and awareness
  • Creativity and spontaneity
  • Integration of theory, practice, and research
  • Present-centered methodology
  • Focus on the body (affect, non-verbals)
limitations
Limitations
  • Elicitation of emotions
  • Misuse of power
  • Competency of the therapist or group leader
  • Rigidity and Pushiness in therapy
  • Misapplication of methodology
references
References
  • Corey, G. (2008). Theory and Practice of Group Counseling, 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.
  • Polster, E. & Polster, M. (1973). Gestalt Therapy Integrated: Contours of theory and practice. New York: Brunner/Mazel.
  • Yontef, G.M. (1993). Awareness, Dialogue, & Process: Essays on Gestalt therapy. Gouldsboro, ME: The Gestalt Journal Press