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Phobic-Obsessive-Compulsive Relational Styles


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 environment.

Phobia is described as unmotivated, intense fear of an object or a space unrealistically perceived as dangerous ... the phobia fundamentally concerns the anguish of feeling certain emotions which the body evaluates as insupportable.

Obsessions are thoughts, impulses or images of an invasive, repetitive kind which are presented to the mind unwished for, irrational and uncontrollable by the individual. Their function appears to be to control the energy and the sensations the body begins to be aware of and is afraid of because it feels them to be irrepressible drives to destructive actions.

Compulsive actions are actions that the patient feels forced to carry out under the drive of an irresistible internal duress in order to calm the excessive tension Restraining compulsions should be distinguished from expulsive compulsions


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