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Gestalt Therapy and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Irony and the Challenge

Updated: May 31, 2023

ABSTRACT

The purpose of the present study is to review the theoretical, strategic, and tactical/technical contributions of Gestalt therapy to the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and to examine its contributions to the professional literature. From a theoretical point of view, the conceptualization of PTSD as a special case of “unfinished business” posits Gestalt therapy as a treatment of choice for this syndrome. From a strategic point of view Gestalt therapy offers phenomenology and I-Thou dialogue as effective therapeutic components. Finally, from a tactical point of view, Gestalt therapy offers unique mechanisms for surfacing trauma-related conflicts from the past and solving them in the present.



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Reference:

Cohen, A.,Ph.D., 2003 Gestalt Therapy and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Irony and the Challenge. Gestalt Review, 7 (1): 42-55, 2003

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