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The Function of Aggression in Therapy

The rationale for this has come out of repeated experiences with clients being accused of aggression.  I believe the client has not intended to hurt or scare; to be angry or aggressive.  So what is going on?

Suicide and Therapy Essay

Behind every suicide is an untold story of intolerable isolation.  In front of every suicide is a sense of desolation,grief,and helplessness shrouded in shame.

Exploring the Client's Words in Therapy

Through the creative use of language, we are able to communicate our feelings, thoughts, needs and experiences.  However, in the verbal communication of our experience the language used has the facility to remove the experience itself, leaving only the labelling – the assigned meaning.  “We lose something when assigning meaning too quickly, attempting to put the experience in a tidy labelled box” (Cyndi, 2009, p. an online conversation).

Roots Identity Personality
I want to draw attention to this relationship of Roots and Belonging, and to do so by hyphenation so instead of Belonging there is Be-Longing, drawing attention to the longing that exists for each of us is wanting ‘to Be’.  The context here is the sense of searching and exploring who we are in the world and the sense to Be, to Be myself, to ‘just Be'
Purpose of Research
Lincoln and Guba (cited by Brown, J. R. 1997, p73) give five axioms of qualitative research:
  1. Realities are multiple, constructed, and holistic
  2. Knower and known are interactive, inseparable
  3. Only time- and context-bound working hypotheses (ideographic statement) are possible
  4. All entities are in a state of mutual simultaneous shaping, so that it is impossible to distinguish causes from effect
  5. Inquiry is value-bound
Sand tray in Therapy
The Contacting Process
Rather than me/self being a structure, e.g., composed of id ego and super ego, Perls et al, the founders of Gestalt view Self as a process, and most importantly consider Self to be “the system of contacts at any moment”. (Perls et al., 1951 p235)
 “the self (is) the function of contacting the actual transient present”. ”.   (Perls et al, 1951 p371)

 

Self is Discovered at The Contact Boundary

Touch in Therapy
Imagery and Creative Work in Therapy
The power of imagery and creative work in therapy is that it provides a route that can bypass a client’s constructed thoughts and behaviours that limit or deny their felt experience.
The danger of imagery and creative work in therapy is that it provides a route that can bypass a client’s resistance to explore thoughts, behaviours and feelings.
Intimacy and Love in Therapy

As humanistic counsellors we seek to foster ‘intimate’ relationships with our clients because we believe that that is the vehicle that can enable therapeutic change for our clients.  ‘Confidentiality, and therefore privacy, is an implicit part of the encounter, as is a level of intimacy that sometimes reaches, if not exceeds, that of parent and child or husband and wife. We are privy to the secrets the client is barely willing to share with himself.’ (Kottler, 1993, p. 3)

Therapeutic Practice:
Proximity Disclosure Ending and Appreciation
Resistance to Change: the ah but moments
The Value of Research
The Role of Touch
The Contact Cycle

Based on reading from Gestalt Counselling in Action by Petruska Clarkson

Different reading have given variations on the phrasing or naming of the turn around of events or experiences that make up the phases of contact by the self with the environment.

Additionally the full context and meaning is better brought out in consideration of the creative-adjustment styles in this cycle, so read in conjunction with Cycle Disturbance

Change

The Gestalt therapist rejects the role of "changer," for his strategy is to encourage, even insist, that the patient be where and what he is. He believes change does not take place by "trying," coercion, or persuasion, or by insight, interpretation, or any other such means. Rather, change can occur when the patient abandons, at least for the moment, what he would like to become and attempts to be what he is

Projection (assignment)
We sit in a room believing we are looking out of a window but are actually looking into a mirror.
Actualising Tendency in Person-Centred Therapy

Note quotations

Actualisation has different meanings in theories of the person.  Most notable is the difference of Maslow's Hierachy of Needs.

people legitimately adopting the label ‘person-centred’ have chosen to believe in the actualising tendency with its various implications... van Deurzen-Smith (1988: 56) criticises the assumption... human beings are ‘basically positive creatures who develop constructively, given the right conditions’.

... when a person is truly free to become what they most deeply is, free to actualize their nature as an organism capable of awareness, then they clearly appears to move toward wholeness and integration.

These notes are effectively quotes from the original text; delivered in a manner to aid reading without loss of context

Anxiety in Gestalt Therapy

Note quotations

If we see psychology as the study of human experience, then psychopathology is the study of the dysfunctions of that experience. If we regard human experience as essentially unique since it includes all the contact operations that link human beings with their world, then the study of the dysfunctions of experience will show us some of the ways in which experience may cease to be unique, presenting instead a number of flections.

A psychotherapeutic approach adopted for its focus on the concept of experience can be linked to a psychopathological description of the flections of this experience.

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Gestalt Theory of Dependence

Note Quotations

 

People who develop addictions often grow up in families where self-medicating is an element in one’s early coping strategy.

in dependent process people are used to obtain substances and people are pawns in self-medicating behaviors.

The primary relationship becomes the substance or behavior that soothes and the people become the secondary relationship serving the first.

Addictive experience is the retreat from novel stimuli, from contact in the current field and a desire for repetition of previous experience

These notes are effectively quotes from the original text; delivered in a manner to aid reading without loss of context

Borderline. The Wound of the Boundary by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb

Note quotations

The borderline is often impulsive, chaotic, affectively unstable, and at times experiences relationships in paranoid manner.  A lack of perceptive stability, with impulsiveness, may lead to the risk of suicidal behaviours, eating disorders, predisposition to abuse,addiction and antisocial behaviour.

Borderline personality disorder faces a human drama in which uttering one’s emotions leads to an expansion of the self which is always dramatically conflictual: a profound sense of split leads the sufferer to desire and at the same time loathe contact with the other.

These notes are effectively quotes from the original text; delivered in a manner to aid reading without loss of context

Borderline Personality Disorder

notes from

Awareness Dialogue & Process by Gary Yontef

Note quotations

The Gestalt therapy attitude on contact, boundaries, personal responsibility, and dialogue is a natural for treating borderline patients.  Some psychoanalysts have varied from the psychoanalytic stance in working with borderline patients and moved closer to a dialogic approach.

The borderline client will often experience very intense primitive affect but not have the self-functions developed sufficiently to contain assimilate and work through.  At the beginning of therapy, the client typically can discuss in the split-off coping mode

These notes are effectively quotes from the original text; delivered in a manner to aid reading without loss of context

Early Affect-Confusion: Borderline

Concepts and Practice of Integrative Psychotherapy

Richard Erskine

Note quotations

Early affect-confusion, or, the “borderline” between despair and rage. The need of consistent therapeutic presence and compassionate attunement to the loneliness and fear. Primarily focused on the child unrequited need for self-definition and the need to make an impact-in-relationship.

The tasks would be to understand and resolve the hyper-vulnerability, the early affective confusion and the relational needs that had been thwarted in the process of growing-up.

These notes are effectively quotes from the original text; delivered in a manner to aid reading without loss of context

Gestalt Therapy with the Phobic-Obsessive-Compulsive Relational Styles by Giovanni Salonia

Note quotations

Gestalt Therapy reads phobias, obsessions and compulsions as dysfunctional relational styles.  Every psychic disturbance reveals and derives from an interruption of the process of approach between organism and environment.  Missing the contact with the environment stops the growth and produces the symptoms.  Interruptions of contact are learned in the primary relationship, are manifested in the various relationships, that the organism attempts to set up with the environmentng.

These notes are effectively quotes from the original text; delivered in a manner to aid reading without loss of context

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