Thursday, September 1, 2016

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt Therapy
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Foundations
■ Existential and Phenomenological
o 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 experiencing rather than the abstractness of talking about situations
■ Rather than talk about childhood trauma, the client is encouraged to become the hurt child
■ Holistic approach to personality vs. mechanistic approach of Freud.
■ Value of examining present situations vs. repressed intra-psychic conflicts from early
childhood
■ Focus on process versus content
■ On presently experienced vs what is revealed by client from memory
■ Self understanding comes from individual’s behavior in the present versus why they behave as they do
■ Therapist goal: create experiments for client to assist their self awareness of what they are doing and how they are doing it.

Therapy Process
■ Promote awareness in client through
o Insight
o Self acceptance
o Knowledge of the environment
o Responsibility for choices
o Paradoxical theory of change
o Ability to make contact with others
o Clients expected to do their own seeing, feeling, sensing and interpreting vs passively allowing therapist to give insight and answers
■ Concepts of human nature
o Clients are manipulative
o Avoid self reliance
o Avoid taking on personal responsibility
o Clients have to stand on own two feet to deal with life problems themselves
o Move clients from environmental supports to self-support
o Help clients reintegrate disowned parts of personality

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