Gestalt___Fritz_Perls - GESTALT THEORY GESTALT Founders...

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Unformatted text preview: GESTALT THEORY GESTALT Founders: Fritz & Laura Perls 1930 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 2 FRITZ & LAURA PERLS FRITZ PERLS 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 3 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 4 GESTALT THERAPY • Encompasses many concepts from existential & person-centered therapies person– Emphasizes importance of therapeutic alliance – Is phenomenological, experiential, humanistic, optimistic – Promotes awareness & responsibility – Present-oriented Present– Explores and experiences emotions & sensations 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 5 GESTALT THERAPY, cont. • Places emphasis on the gestalt gestalt – “A structured entity that is more than and different from its parts. It is the foreground figure that stands out from its ground, it ‘exists’”. exists’”. – People experience psychological difficulties because they have become cut off from important parts of themselves • Purpose of Gestalt therapy – To help people become aware of these neglected & disowned parts – To restore a sense of wholeness, integration, balance 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 6 OVERALL GOAL OF THERAPY For clients to become aware of : What they are doing, How they are doing it, and How they can change themselves, and, at the same time, • To learn to accept and value themselves. 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 7 IMPORTANT INFLUENCES von Ehrenfels Gestalt Philosopher • • • BERLIN SCHOOL OF GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY WERTHEIMER "Cerebral Integration" KOFFKA "gestalt" KOHLER "humanness" GESTALT THERAPY FRITZ PERLS Gestalt Psychotherapy 2/10/2005 LAURA PERLS Gestalt Training 8 Gestalt Therapy GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY THEORETICAL UNDERPINNINGS • Max Wertheimer GESTALT THERAPY – “cerebral integration” integration” – writings on motivation & perception FIELD THEORY GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY PHENOMENOLOGY EXISTENTIALISM • Kurt Koffka – Definition of gestalt • Wolfgang Kohler – Humanness 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 10 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 9 PHENOMENOLOGY • The Study of Human Experience through Attending to the Subjective Observations of Individuals • Gestalt Therapy treats what is “subjectively” felt in the present, & what subjectively” is “objectively” observed objectively” • Goal is AWARENESS or insight – Clear understanding of the structure of the situation being studied 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 11 EXISTENTIALISM • Concerned with Human Existence as Directly Experienced • Existential Dialogue – Inclusion – Presence – Commitment to dialogue – Dialogue is lived 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 12 FIELD THEORY • A focus on the whole • Kurt Lewin’s Contribution Lewin’ – Phenomenological Field – Differentiation / Contact – Boundaries 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 13 THEORETICAL CONCEPTS • View of humankind – Emphasis on self-actualization self– Basic assumption • People can deal adequately with their own life problems if they know what they are and can bring all their abilities into action to solve them – Role of Gestalt Therapy • To help people develop awareness, inner support, & self-sufficiency self2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 14 CONCEPTS, cont • Wholeness, integration, balance – “Man is a total organism functioning as a whole” whole” – Polarities • Many personalities lack wholeness & are fragmented • Are aware only of some parts; deny or cut off other parts • Need for homeostasis leads people to view selves & world in extremes, or polarities • Polarities reflect internal or interpersonal conflicts • To achieve wholeness, people must become aware of & integrate their polarities, especially of mind & body 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 15 CONCEPTS, cont • Wholeness, integration, balance, cont – Figure-ground concept Figure• Although we strive for homeostasis, the world is always in flux, always changing • World around us is the ground, or background, of our lives • Certain elements come into the foreground, demanding our attention • Figure-ground are always changing Figure2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 16 CONCEPTS, cont • Wholeness, integration, balance, cont – Ego boundary • “The organism's definition in relation to its environment” environment” • Is not a fixed thing, is always in flux, too: Fluid ego boundary – Identification – Alienation CONCEPTS, cont • Wholeness, integration, balance, continued – Homeostasis versus flux • People experience a constant state of flux – Which poses threats to our efforts toward homeostasis • Weak ego boundaries: Overidentify with others • Rigid ego boundaries: Too cut off from others 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 17 • Our lives are always changing • Through awareness of & identification with all aspects of ourselves, we can deal successfully with flux and still have a sense of integration & wholeness 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 18 CONCEPTS, cont • Awareness – An essential component of emotional health – Both hallmark of healthy person & a goal of treatment – Causes of lack of awareness • Preoccupation • Low self-esteem self2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 19 AWARENESS • • • • • Knowing the environment Responsibility for choices Self-Knowledge Self-Acceptance Ability to contact Gestalt Therapy 20 2/10/2005 CONCEPTS, cont • Awareness, continued – Environmental contact • Necessary for growth – When we make contact with others or the world we must react & change – The experience of contact teaches us about ourselves & our environment; helps us feel a part of our world while defining more clearly who we are 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 21 5 LEVELS OF CONTACT • “Peeling the onion” –(Cliché Layer) Cliché – – – – – 2/10/2005 Phony Layer Phobic Layer Impasse Layer Implosive Layer Explosive Layer Gestalt Therapy 22 5 LEVELS OF CONTACT 5 LEVELS OF CONTACT • Phony or Role-playing Layer Role– Reacting to others in stereotypical & inauthentic ways – Client plays games & gets lost in roles – By behaving “as if”, client tries to if” live up to a fantasy that others have created 23 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 24 • (Cliché Layer) – Non-contact with others Non–“Cocktail talk” talk” 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 5 LEVELS OF CONTACT • Phobic Layer – Client avoids pain, hides real self to prevent rejection –Acts out of fear –Feels vulnerable & helpless 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 25 5 LEVELS OF CONTACT • Impasse Layer – Client is stuck in his/her maturation • Between dependence on outside support & ability to be self-supportive self• Avoids autonomy – Client attempts to manipulate environment to take responsibility – Feels a sense of deadness; feels that he/she is nothing 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 26 5 LEVELS OF CONTACT • Implosive Layer – All previous roles are stripped away – Client becomes aware of how he/she has limited self – Defenses are exposed – Client begins to make contact with genuine self – A sort of death occurs as client gives up old layers & connects with possibilities 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 27 5 LEVELS OF CONTACT • Explosive Layer – Client lets go of phony roles & pretenses – Releases great amount of energy – Allows client to become alive & authentic, experiencing both pain & joy – Client is able to feel & express emotions & move toward actualization 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 28 CONCEPTS, cont • Awareness, continued – Here and now • Live in and be conscious of the present moment • When we are centered in the present, we are more likely to be congruent CONCEPTS, cont • Growth disorders – Client denies or rejects aspects of self & environment • Not living in the present • Not making fulfilling contact with others • Lacks awareness • Is not self-actualized self- – Responsibility • We must accept responsibility for our own lives and our choices • We must also recognize that we are part of society 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 29 – Makes extensive use of ego defenses 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 30 RESISTANCES TO CONTACT • • • • • • INTROJECTION PROJECTION RETROFLECTION DEFLECTION CONFLUENCE BLOCKED ENERGY Gestalt Therapy 31 RESISTANCES TO CONTACT • INTROJECTION – Tendency to critically accept others’ beliefs & standards others’ • Without assimilating them to make them congruent with who we are • Without determining whether they are toxic to us 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 32 2/10/2005 RESISTANCES TO CONTACT • PROJECTION –Taking parts of self that are unacceptable & directing outward onto others • Especially those parts inconsistent with one’s self one’ image 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 33 RESISTANCES TO CONTACT • RETROFLECTION –A split within the self • Elements of the self are rejected, disowned • In some cases turned back in toward self in self-injurious selfways 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 34 RESISTANCES TO CONTACT • DEFLECTION – Process of distraction making it difficult to maintain contact • Overuse of humor • Use of abstract generalizations • Asking questions RESISTANCES TO CONTACT • CONFLUENCE – Blurring of differentiation between self & environment • Clients with high need to be accepted & liked • A way of staying safe by going along with others & not expression true feelings & opinions 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 35 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 36 RESISTANCES TO CONTACT • BLOCKED ENERGY – Energy that is blocked & manifested by tension in some part of the body CONCEPTS, cont • Growth disorders, cont. disorders, – Often has unfinished business • Unfinished solutions, incomplete Gestalts • Inevitable, but must be dealt with if become overwhelming • Feel stuck or blocked, & may experience physical symptoms – Major goal is to help client become aware of backlog of unfinished business & bring it to closure 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 37 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 38 TREATMENT 4 major emphases of Gestalt work 1. To pay attention to experience & become aware of & concentrate on the actual present situation 2. To maintain & promote the integrity & interrelationships of social, cultural, historical, physical, emotional, & other important factors 3. To experiment 4. To encourage creativity 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 39 TREATMENT GOALS • Promoting attention, clarity, awareness • Helping people live in the here-&-now here• Enabling people to bring closure to their unfinished business • Increasing people’s appreciation of & access to people’ their own considerable resources • Helping them depend less on outside support • Promoting responsibility, appropriate choices, self-sufficiency self2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 40 TREATMENT GOALS, cont. • Facilitating their efforts to have meaningful contact with all aspects of themselves, others, & environment • Promoting self-esteem, self-acceptance, selfselfselfselfactualization • Reducing polarities in their lives • Developing skills they need to manage their lives successfully without harming others • Improving their sense of wholeness, integration, balance 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 41 TREATMENT GOALS, cont. • “We do not analyze. We integrate. not integrate • Ultimate aims – Promote natural growth of human organism – Enable people to live aware & actualized lives 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 42 HOW PEOPLE CHANGE • Awareness is primary vehicle of change – As client gains awareness of unfinished business & own strengths & resources, he can move forward toward growth & selfselfactualization – Especially important is awareness gained through the body (which most people tend to ignore) 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 43 THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE • Create an “I-Thou” relationship Thou” • Both client & therapist fully present in the here-&-now here• Client encouraged to take an active role in taking responsibility for self 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 44 ALLIANCE, cont • Therapist’s role Therapist’ – Bring client’s awareness to client’ • Wandering attention • Emerging incongruencies • Being fragmented or out of contact EXPERIMENTS • Learning experiences for the client – Promote awareness – Bring problems & unfinished business into the present where they can be resolved • Are respectful, inviting, & carefully timed • Take the form of – Enactments – Role plays – Homework – Suggested activities between sessions 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 46 – Focus on listening & helping clients find their “own way through the pauses & blocks” blocks” 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 45 USE OF LANGUAGE • By choosing words carefully, therapists create environment that encourages change • “What” and “How” questions to keep What” How” client in present moment – Rarely ask “why” why” USE OF LANGUAGE, cont. • Emphasis on statements, rather than questions, creates more of a therapeutic partnership • The present tense – their present experience • Encouraging responsibility – For client’s self, words, & behaviors client’ – Begin statement with “I take responsibility for…” for…” – Make the implicit explicit 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 48 • I statements allow client to own & focus on his own feelings & experiences – Encourage ownership & responsibility, integration 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 47 LANGUAGE PATTERNS • Not in book – neat stuff! – – – – – – “It” Talk It” “You” Talk You” Questions Power Denial Metaphors Hidden Stories LANGUAGE PATTERNS – It Talk • “It” Talk: When clients say it instead of It” I, they are using depersonalizing language. “It is difficult to make friends”. The therapist asks them to friends” substitute I for it: I find it difficult to make friends. 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 49 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 50 • “You” Talk: Generalized use of “you”; You” you” substitute “I”. Instead of “you are hurt when others don’t accept you”, rephrase don’ you” it to, “I feel hurt when others don’t don’ accept LANGUAGE PATTERNS – You Talk LANGUAGE PATTERNS – Questions • Questions have a tendency to keep the questioner hidden, safe, and unknown. Clients are asked to change their questions into statements. In making personal statements, clients begin to assume responsibility for what they say. 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 51 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 52 LANGUAGE PATTERNS – Power Denial • Language that denies power: tendency to deny their personal power by adding qualifiers or disclaimers to their statements. “I feel like a victim, but I feel powerless to do anything about it”. The “but” serves to it” but” discount the first part of the statement. Omit qualifiers such as maybe, perhaps, sort of, I guess, possibly, etc. Substitute “won’t” for won’ “can’t”; change “I should” to “I choose to” or “I can’ should” to” want to”. to” 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 53 LANGUAGE PATTERNS – Metaphors • Listening to a client’s metaphors, client’ such as “spill my guts” or “I don’t have a guts” don’ leg to stand on”. Beneath a metaphor on” may lie a suppressed internal dialogue that represents critical unfinished business or reactions to a present situation. Encourage the client to say more about what he/she is experiencing. “What does it feel like to be ‘ripped to shreds’”? shreds’”? 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 54 LANGUAGE PATTERNS – Hidden Story • Listening for language that uncovers a language story. Therapist picks out a small part of what the client says (and has glossed over) and focuses on and develops this element DREAMS • Viewed as “the royal road to integration” integration” – Parts of a dream represent projections or aspects of the dreamer – Awareness comes from assuming the various roles or parts of the dream & enacting them as though it is happening in the present – Puts client in charge of the process – Allows client to take responsibility for his dream, see it as part of self, have greater sense of integration – Enables client to become aware of thoughts/emotions that he might otherwise disown 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 55 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 56 FANTASY • Use of guided imagery to help client become more self-aware self– Parts of the fantasy are projections or aspects of the person – Therapist encourages client to process the experience by becoming the parts of the fantasy & speaking as though he is each part ROLE PLAY • Empty Chair Technique – 2 chairs, each representing as aspect of client’s life client’ – Client spends time sitting in each chair & talking from the perspective represented by that chair – Can create an “aha experience” experience” • Shock of recognition in which client gains new emotional awareness & understanding • Can also be used to bring closure to unfinished business 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 57 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 58 TOP DOG/UNDERDOG • Part of ourselves attempts to lecture, urge, threaten the other part into “good behavior” behavior” – Altho Top Dog seems to be in charge, Underdog is also very powerful – Use Empty Chair to raise awareness of this game & encourage integration of both parts of the self BODY AS VEHICLE OF COMMUNICATION • Many clients cut themselves off from their bodily sensations • Therapists pay attention to body’s messages body’ – Call attention to movement(s) & ask about their message. “What is your leg saying as it kicks out?” out?” – Locate emotions in client’s body client’ – Encourage client to exaggerate body’s movements or body’ symptoms to focus attention on where energy is located to remove the block 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 59 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 60 GROUPS • The Hot Seat – Client is encouraged to express & stay with his feelings – Feedback from the group on client’s body client’ language & verbal messages helps promote awareness APPLICATION • A powerful action-oriented approach action• Diagnostic groups it helps – Dysthymia – Generalized anxiety disorder – Mild dysfunctional personality patterns or traits – Somatoform disorders (psychosomatic) – Eating disorders 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 62 • Making the Rounds – Client in the Hot Seat says something to each member of the group in turn – Group members take turns giving the client feedback 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 61 APPLICATION, cont. • Diagnostic groups not appropriate – Very disturbed clients – Schizophrenic or paranoid clients – Clients in urgent crisis, out of touch with reality, not able to make true contact with others, those who won’t take any responsibility, those who are won’ fragile – Not good for clients only wanting help with specific problem APPLICATION, cont. • Confrontational nature may not appeal to non-Western cultures non• Gestalt integrated with feminist therapy • Good for people with disabilities • Often integrated into other therapies • Is appropriate for brief therapy, when a contract narrows the focus of treatment 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 63 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 64 EVALUATION: LIMITATIONS • Reflection of individualism typical of white American middle class society • Risk of oversimplification • Risk of neglecting past concerns • Risk of overemphasizing emotions & ignoring cognitions • Tends to evoke strong emotional reactions • Requires skilled & experienced clinician 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 65 EVALUATION: STRENGTHS • Philosophy of life, growth, change • Provides specific ways to help people realize their growth • Respects individual & seeks to adapt treatment to needs of each person • Emphasis on process & clientclienttherapist relationships are up-toup- todate 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 66 EVALUATION: CONTRIBUTIONS • Concepts of immediacy & wholeness • Importance of mind-body integration mind• Innovative strategies – Empty Chair – Emphasis on nonverbal messages – Processing of dreams – I statements 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 67 GESTALT DREAMWORK • Present-oriented view, seeing parts of Presentthe dream as projected aspects of the client • Therapist is supportive & guides client thru the process – Makes sure that no unfinished business remains to trouble the client 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 68 DREAMWORK, cont 1. Client presents the dream, using present-tense present2. Elements of the dream are identified – Note gaps or omissions 3. Client assumes roles of each element & speaks about emotions/experiences of that element 4. Work together to make sense of dream in light of what is already known about the client 2/10/2005 Gestalt Therapy 69 ...
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