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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


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.
Logo for GestaltUK psychotherapy with David Forrest

Spring Road


WS13 6BQ

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Alexandra Street



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