Reading Material
Mainly Gestalt Psyhotherapy related, as you might expect.  Therapy theory as well as research, educational, and training texts that I have utilised in my clinical therapy work; in my role as lecturer in psychotherapy at several UK universities; and in the preparation and delivery of my workshops.
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Title

"How can we educate children for peace?"

BookNotes

Abstract

By "aggression" most people understand the wish to attack, to destroy and to kill. Therefore they condemn it wholeheartedly, and the general trend in our civilization for many centuries goes towards the more or less complete suppression of this apparently most dangerous instinct. ... the small child is a little savage, an untamed animal, whose behavior is directed primarily by the pleasure principle and with little thought to the demands of reality. ... the average family reacts in the following way: Every overt sign of aggression in the child (crying, kicking, biting, breaking things, etc.) is met by the grown ups with disapproval. ... is directed at the child's impatience and bad moods. ... outbreaks ... often lead to severe punishment. ... The child is told to be good natured, obedient, respectful. ... usually achieved either by appealing to the child's fear of trouble and punishment or to his desire to be loved. ... for hundreds of generations people have been brought up in this way, we must admit that the results are rather disappointing. ... scrutinize the common conception of "aggression." ... child's aggression causes grown ups a lot of inconvenience and annoyance. Therefore ... it as undesirable and try to break the child's will. ... also of suppressing his curiosity and his inquisitiveness.

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Title

9 Clues That You May Be Dealing With a Psychopath

Articles

Abstract

The neuroscience of psychopathy reports some intriguing findings.  Psychology Today UK Posted Jun 08, 2017

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Title

A Relational Approach to Personality Disorder and Alliance Rupture

Research

Abstract

It is agreed by clinicians from diverse orientations as the cognitive (Pretzer & Beck, 2005), interpersonal (Benjamin, 2005), attachment (Levy, 2005), and object relations (Clarkin, Yeomans, & Kernberg, 2006) perspectives that clients with personality disorders encounter difficulties with self or identity and interpersonal functioning. In fact, more often than not, it is an interpersonal problem in the social or work environment that brings clients with personality disorders into treatment. As such, interpersonal functioning is a major focus of treatment with this group of clients.

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Title

A bodhisattva-spirit-oriented counselling framework: inspired by Vimalakīrti wisdom

Research

Abstract

A number of studies have integrated Buddhist principles into therapeutic interventions, demonstrating effective outcomes; however, very little Buddhist textual data support the theoretical foundation of those models. This exploratory research conceptualises a counselling framework based on a canonical analysis of the Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa Sūtra, together with a qualitative inquiry. 

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Title

A literature review of the evidence for the effectiveness of experiential psychotherapies

Research

Abstract

The purpose of this literature review is to review the evidence base for the effectiveness of experiential psychotherapies, conducted in international and Australian settings. A systematic review of internationally published research from the last five years, and Australian research from the last 10 years, was conducted using PsychINFO, Google Scholar, and Web of Science databases. The findings of research studies included in this review have been integrated with the findings of previous meta-reviews on experiential psychotherapies. Five meta-reviews and 14 recent studies met the inclusion criteria. There is a very high standard of evidence for the effectiveness of experiential psychotherapies with depression, medical conditions and unresolved relationship concerns. Experiential therapies are equally efficacious in improving psychological coping compared to other interventions, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The evidence for the effectiveness of experiential psychotherapies with anxiety is weaker, and further research is needed. Experiential therapists need to be willing to participate in research to build the evidence base for this modality.

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Title

Actualising Tendency in Person-Centred Therapy

BookNotes

Abstract

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.

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Title

Affect, attachment and attunement: Thoughts inspired in dialogue with the three-volume work of Allan Shore

Articles

Abstract

the relevance of bio-energetic metabolism within the contexts of body-psychotherapy: backgrounds to the relevance of the work of Allan Schore

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Title

Aggression, Time, and Understanding: Contributions to the Evolution of Gestalt Therapy

BookNotes

Abstract

In what follows we will outline the positions that we have worked out with respect to Perls's theory of aggression and to the therapeutic treatment of human aggression. ... make up Perls's theory of aggression: "destroying" in the sense of "de-structuring" (to break into parts), "assimilation" and "life supporting" or, as Perls wrote in other places, "growth." ... Perls's theory of aggression: "destroying" in the sense of "de-structuring" (to break into parts), "assimilation" and "life supporting" or, as Perls wrote in other places, "growth." ... the attempt to overcome Freud's negative view of aggression as an outcome of the "death instinct" and to link it instead with the positive force of life. ... For Perls aggression is a "biological force" (1969a, p. 5) in the service of life that is closely related to what he calls "assimilation" ... For Perls aggression is a "biological force" (1969a, p. 5) in the service of life that is closely related to what he calls "assimilation" ... By biting, chewing, and digesting the original structure of food is "destroyed" and transformed so that it becomes similar to the organism (Latin; ad-similatio) and usable for survival and growth.

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Title

Anxiety Within the Situation

BookNotes

Abstract

"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.

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Title

Attachment Theory Some Implications for Gestalt Theory

Articles

Abstract

Attachment theory has been developed over the last fifty years as one way of understanding the foundations of our capacity and need to make and sustain rel ationshi ps. It has made an important contribution, not only to the way that we view the development of the earliest relationships in our lives, but also to our understanding of the processes of separation and loss . The implications for psychotherapy i n general are becoming clearer, and in this article specific attention is paid to ways in which it may be useful for Gestalt therapists to be mindful of key attachment concepts, how they may emerge in our work, and how they may be used therapeutically.

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Title

Attachment in the consulting room: towards a theory of therapeutic change

Articles

Abstract

Effective therapists need guiding models, but, paradoxically, the benefits of psychoanalytic psychotherapy may not flow from its espoused theories. Using an attachment framework, it is argued that psychoanalytic psychotherapy in common with all therapies has three principal components: an attachment relationship; meaning-making; and change-promotion. Secure and insecure models of attachment help understand how therapists guide the therapeutic relationship in helpful or unhelpful directions. Freedom of meaning-making is a mark of secure attachment. Change is promoted by placing clients in a ‘benign bind’ characterised by: close engagement; discrepancy between client transferential expectations and therapist response; and exploration and verbal descriptions of the feelings arising from these discrepancies. An attachment meta-perspective helps reconcile apparent differences between differing psychoanalytic and non-psychoanalytic theoretical perspectives.

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Title

Attachment, Relational-Needs, and Psychotherapeutic Presence

Articles

Abstract

Humans require the contactful presence of another person who is attuned and responsive to relational-needs. Insecure attachment patterns are the result of repeated disruptions in significant relationships. This article describes eight relational-needs that, when repeatedly unsatisfied, lead to insecure attachment patterns based on the fears of loss of relationship, vulnerability, violation, and invasion. The healing of insecure attachment patterns occurs through a contactful psychotherapeutic presence that occurs when the attitude, behavior and communication of the psychotherapist consistently respects and enhances the client's integrity while responding to relational needs

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Title

Attunement

BookNotes

Abstract

the therapist must be attuned to the client’s here-and-now experience … With … sensitive attunement, … the therapist will be experienced as dependable, consistent, and trustworthy.

Feeling understood and in contact involves more … It involves having them know how we feel about those words and sensing that they share or reverberate with how we feel. It involves their being attuned to us, … it goes beyond empathy,… it involves the deeply personal response of the hearer as well as the intent of the speaker (Stern, 1985).

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Title

Beyond ESTs Problematic assumptions in the pursuit of evidence based practice

Articles

Abstract

There has been much confusion in the literature of psychotherapy between the broad concept of evidence-based practice and the narrower set of criteria that have been employed in designating certain treatments as “empirically validated” or “empirically supported.” In contrast to the appropriate concern with examining the evidence for the efficacy of various approaches to therapy and for the theoretical assumptions that underlie them, the “empirically supported treatments” movement has been characterized more by ideology and faulty assumptions than by good science. This paper examines in detail the scientific and logical limitations of the “EST” movement and aims to place the empirical investigation of theory and practice in psychotherapy on a sounder basis.

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Title

Beyond Empathy: Attunement and Presence

Articles

Abstract

In 1967 I was selected as the psychotherapist for a group of nursing students in Chicago after a mass murderer had entered the student’s dormitory and killed several of the student nurses. I provided individual and group psychotherapy for the 19 and 20 year old students who were experiencing stress reactions that included a myriad of relational problems, learning difficulties, a lack of goals and orientation and a mixture of fatigue and restlessness. At that time in my professional life I knew little about post-traumatic stress disorder. Over the ensuing years, a number of clients have repeatedly taught me about the relational importance of attunement and presence in healing the wounds of both acute and cumulative trauma.

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Title

Borderline The Wound of the Boundary

BookNotes

Abstract

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.

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Title

Challenge – as an intervention in therapy

Scribbles

Abstract

I have recently been in discussion with my therapist peers regarding ‘challenging’ interventions in therapy, and what exactly is meant by ‘challenge’ in this context. In consideration of the humanistic positioning of our therapies, Gestalt and Integrative, there are a number of exclusions from the varied meanings found in the Oxford Dictionary of English. What I have done here is filtered the definitions to those that fit a therapeutic intervention for a humanistic, relational, experiential, phenomenological, existential, person and present centre approach.

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Title

Change

Scribbles

Abstract

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. 

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Title

Change Stability

Scribbles

Abstract

Resistance - Stability versus 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.

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Title

Change through the Frame of Attachment

Articles

Abstract

This article is based on a Case Story presentation at the GANZ Conference Melbourne 2012: Elements of Change: Context Connection Complexity.

What I hope to do is to explore how change can occur when we bring context and connection together via attachment theory and Gestalt therapy. I will introduce some of the ideas I have been interested in and how they have translated into my therapy room. The concept of a co-created experience is a foundation of Gestalt therapy and being aware of my own attachment style as well as the clients’ can create a complex and supportive experience for the client.

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Title

Childhood trauma, proactive coping, and borderline personality among adults

Research

Abstract

Research on the factors causing borderline personality (BP) has not been done although Indonesian adults are showing several behaviors classified under BP criteria. According to the theory, childhood trauma and proactive coping play a role against BP. Therefore, research is done to find out the relationship between childhood trauma, proactive coping, and borderline personality. The researcher expects to prevent the occurrence of BP by understanding the relationship. Participants in this study aged 20-40 years (N = 247). The results of this study shows relationship between childhood trauma, proactive coping and BP, R = .548 (p <.01). Childhood trauma and proactive coping contribute for 29.3% of BP. Childhood trauma affects BP (t = 4,130) and proactive coping affects BP (t = - 6,319). From this data, it is concluded that BP can be prevented by avoiding childhood trauma and increasing proactive coping.

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Title

Client Choice Of Treatment And Client Outcomes

Research

Abstract

Participants in this study suffered from severe mental illness and were homeless at baseline. They were given their choice of five different treatment programs. The current study investigated two major questions: (1) what is the impact of positive expectancies about the efficacy of the chosen program on number of contacts with the chosen program and client outcomes; and (2) what is the impact of positive views about nonchosen programs (alternative choice variables) on contact with the chosen program and client outcomes. Client outcomes assessed were psychotic

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Title

Client experiences of agency in therapy, Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies,

Research

Abstract

This study sought an understanding of clients’ experiences with psychotherapy from clients’ own points of view. Eleven 18–23-year-old clients or former clients participated in in-depth, semi-structured interviews about their experiences and opinions of therapy. The interviews were transcribed, and themes were extracted, drawing on techniques from Grounded Theory.

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Title

Cognitive-behavioural therapy versus psychodynamic psychotherapy for the treatment of depression: a critical review of evidence and current issues

Research

Abstract

Two of the most popular psychotherapeutic approaches to treat depression are cognitive-behavioural therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy, yet little consensus has been reached concerning which therapy is most beneficial for the treatment of depression. A review of the literature revealed that, while cognitive-behavioural therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy are the most effective psychotherapeutic modalities for the treatment of depression, evidence suggests that neither of these modalities is superior to the other.

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Title

Could you just listen

Scribbles

Abstract

When I ask you to listen to me, and you start giving me advice, you have note done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me, and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.

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Title

Crisis Psychotherapy

BookNotes

Abstract

In a crisis, the person comes on a crossroads. ... encounters both what s/he is and what s/he can be if s/he changes him/her/herself. crisis occurs when a person ... must come to know him/her/herself as limited. ... What is a crisis? Paul Tillich calls it “the walk through Hell,” apt, descriptive, and phenomenologically precise ... mode of conflict and suffering.

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Title

Dependent Behaviours

BookNotes

Abstract

"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"

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Title

Dissociation Affect Dysregulation and Somatization

Research

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between the current diagnostic formulation of PTSD and the symptoms of dissociation, affect dysregulation and somatization. Over the past century, these symptoms consistently have been shown to be related, regardless of whether investigators have approached their subjects prospectively or retrospectively, or from the vantage point of 1) psychological trauma, 2) dissociation, 3) somatization, or 4) disorders of affect regulation.

PTSD, dissociation, somatization and affect dysregulation can be different expressions of adaptation to trauma. While they often go together, traumatized individuals may suffer from different combinations of symptoms over time. When treating individuals with histories of psychic trauma, it is critical to attend to the dimensions of dissociation, somatization, and affect dysregulation, even when intrusive recollections of the trauma currently are not prominent symptoms.

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Title

Early affect-confusion

BookNotes

Abstract

"... described how each relationship ended because of “incompatibility.”  ... perceived the men in her life as not understanding her and/or not respecting her needs. she is often feeling depressed; fearing abandonment;

in emotional pain; no one understands her; either self-critical or critical of others; destructive in most relationships; behavior oscillates between being extremely needy of others and hating them for failing her.

My tasks would be to resolve her hyper-vulnerability and early affective confusion;

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Title

Egan Skilled Helper Model

Scribbles

Abstract

Comment about the book:

Emphasizing the collaborative nature of the therapist-client relationship, THE SKILLED HELPER is internationally recognized for its successful problem-management and opportunity development approach to effective helping, using a practical, three-stage model. In this new ninth edition, Egan continues to build upon the "positive psychology", solution-focused theme by adding insightful new discussions on evidence-based practice, research, and philosophical perspectives.

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Title

Embracing the Adolescent

Scribbles

Abstract

The Teenager and you,  contact...between child and adult.

The adolescent’s sense of self is not yet so strong that words and thoughts - symbolic representation - are enough to anchor its reality in the world.

The adolescent self is a tentative reality, not yet proved.

In many instances the answer to What is he trying to prove? It’s simple.

He is trying to prove that he is who he takes himself to be.

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Title

Emotional Response and Therapist Reply

BookNotes

Abstract

An angry person needs …

The client who is afraid requires …

The reciprocal response to sadness is …

All of therapy is not fear and sadness and anger; there are joyous moments as well …

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Title

Escaping, forgetting and revisiting the scene: The post-traumatic compulsion to repeat in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Research

Abstract

There are levels at which our cognitive structures are not so well developed and especially when we rely on auxiliary figures (usually parents) to help us deal with what is taking place in and around us. It proposes that the sense that is made or not made of these events within the environment contributes to the development of dramatic versions of their meaning.

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Title

Excitements Life Abilities And Risks Of Each Domain

Scribbles

Abstract

The domain becomes, for us, the experiential realm relative to a certain capability of contact. In other words, the being confluent, introjecting, projecting, etc. cannot be phases of development, but are modalities of contact of which the child is capable and which continue to be developed throughout life. The therapist asks, not to what phase of development the patient’s block refers, but how the patient’s present capabilities of projecting, retroflecting etc. (developed through time) are combined in a Gestalt represented now by the patient’s being-in-therapy. The domains are competences of an intersubjective experience, of modalities of contact that become more evident at a certain point of the child’s development and which are developed throughout the course of life, as autonomous-in-mutual-interaction capabilities.

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Title

Exploring the Client's Words in Therapy

Essays

Abstract

The client brings to therapy their entire being of thoughts behaviours, emotions, and body. Various therapies are offered that focus the work through a particular mode of being, for example, thought or behaviour or emotion or body. All such therapies incorporate attention to the entire being of the client to one degree or another and the interrelating is mostly through the medium of speech; talking, as in, talking therapies. 

In this essay the focus is on the client’s talking. The purpose is to expand the client’s awareness of their talking, of their language, and move to speech that embodies the experience in the speech. Ordinarily, talking is at a habitual level and not often moves to talking that is between and with the other. Through the separation of this everyday speech, so often neurotic in structure, and a move to speech that is connected in heart and mind the client begins to experience meaningful dialogue and connectedness in the present moment.

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Title

Expressive, research and reflective poetry as qualitative inquiry: a study of adolescent identity

Research

Abstract

This article explores the uses of poetry in qualitative research. In this study of adolescent identity and development, poetry is used as data, as a means of data representation, and as a process of inquiry. The authors explore the nature of poetry as a tool of qualitative research for investigating human phenomena. Autobiographical poems are used as data which are analysed through thematic analysis. From this analysis, research poems in the form of Japanese tankas are created. Finally, the third and fourth authors respond to the original poems and the ‘findings’ from the grounded theory analysis as responsive poems.

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Title

Fears of Abandonment (and Borderline Personality Disorder)

BookNotes

Abstract

"Diagnostic criterion ... The frustration and disorientation that the child feels in no longer finding the mother where s/he had left her when s/he drew away to explore the world, are at the basis of the borderline’s fear of being abandoned and of the consequent acting-out ... Patient’s experience ... “intolerance of solitude” ... what emerges is acting out, ... the anger with which the patient manages fear of abandonment,"

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Title

Generational Conflict. A New Paradigm for Teams of the 21st Century

Articles

Abstract

Recent literature has been pointing to the fact that, in the workplace, there has been a growing state of tension and conflict between the Baby Boomers, those between 55 and 37 years of age, and Generation X, those between 36 and 18 years of age. A study was conducted to see if there were any significant differences between the Boomers and the Xers in the extent to which they valued teams. 

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Title

Gestalt Contact Cycle Explained

Scribbles

Abstract

At the point where the self is balanced, between cycles, after completion and prior to the next fore-contact there is either internal or external disturbances will impinge upon the self heralding the start of the figure/background formation process.

The self feels, senses, (a) disturbance, a change of status and so (a) figure forms to the fore front. The person is ready to notice, to be aware

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Title

Gestalt Contacting Process

Scribbles

Abstract

Contacting Process

Contact with anything not novel - not different - does not require adjustment because the familiar, by definition, has been adjusted to (either by integration or rejection).

The Novel

Contact with anything not novel - not different - does not require adjustment because the familiar, by definition, has been adjusted to (either by integration or rejection). What is pervasive is not an object of contact, ie, not assimilable. Essentially, what is not different is not contacted. Therefore what is assimilated is always novel

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Title

Gestalt Fundamentals and its Development

BookNotes

Abstract

"founding a theory of the self capable of grasping the experience during a process of contact of the organism with the environment (as opposed to intrapsychic), revealing the creativity of the ego in this process, which is at one and the same time creator and created."

"Until twenty years ago it was difficult to remain in the relationship; today it is difficult to feel oneself in the relationship".

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Title

Gestalt In The New Age

BookNotes

Abstract

Its philosophical underpinnings bring into play a wide array of concepts in a novel way ... unique coming together of different perspectives – a unique epistemological and ontological position that devolved from its adherence to three foundational sources, ... field theory, phenomenology and dialogue ... has implications far wider than the field of psychotherapy and invites fresh and innovative viewpoints in the field of human activity. ... “Gestalt philosophy of being” ... “Gestalt therapy” is used as an umbrella expression, ... This stance, however, minimizes the breadth, the depth and the beauty of Gestalt as an overall “philosophy of being.” ... The Gestalt philosophy of being traverses cultural restrictions and different languages and offers a healing through meeting in a diverse cultural universe as ours currently is ... the Gestalt philosophy of being is uniquely predisposed and ready to cultivate our humanity and humanize our culture in our new world. ... “Gestalt philosophy of being” – an approach to maintaining and sustaining relationship. ... recognizes that persons use the same philosophical and practical guidance wherever they go, ... it becomes part of their individuated make-up. ...

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Title

Gestalt Phenomenology And Embodied Cognitive Science

Articles

Abstract

Several strands of contemporary cognitive science and its philosophy have emerged in recent decades that emphasize the role of action in cognition, resting their explanations on the embodiment of cognitive agents, and their embedding in richly structured environments. Despite their growing influence, many foundational questions remain unresolved or underexplored for this cluster of proposals, especially questions of how they can be extended beyond straightforwardly visuomotor cognitive capacities, and what constraints the commitment of embodiment places on the ontology of explanations. This special issue aims to contribute to these foundational debates by drawing on important precursors to embodied cognition in mid-twentieth century gestalt psychology, its immediate successor ecological psychology, and their dialectical counterpart, phenomenology. Gestalt psychologists and phenomenologists wrestled with many of the same foundational questions that still haunt us today, in a manner that seems refreshing in hindsight, and poised to contribute constructively to contemporary debate. Looking back on this history reveals deep commonalities across competing embodied approaches, exposing fundamental tensions that remain unresolved, but also paving the way to a more ecumenical and conciliatory embodied cognitive science.

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Title

Gestalt Theory of Dependent Behaviors

BookNotes

Abstract

Gestalt Therapy, stated that the classification, description, and   analysis of the structures of the self are the subject matter of   phenomenology ... the experience of self ... deserves a phenomenological scaffold to hang the features of dependence, ... addictive and self-medicating process. This chapter

provides a Gestalt therapy orientation to the “what” and “how” of   dependent behavior

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Title

Gestalt Therapy Approach to Depressive Experience

BookNotes

Abstract

"common denominator underlying all depressive experiences will be identified in the hopeless sense of defeat experienced in the vain attempt to reach the other"

"We can approach a person experiencing depression by considering symptoms to be a manifestation of what is happening in the relational dimension. ... posits the depressive experience in a frame of meaning that emerges from the relational field"

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Title

Gestalt Therapy Recounted

BookNotes

Abstract

The Reasons for the Book ... to penetrate into the mesh of contemporary Gestalt clinical work, determine how it has developed, ... find the necessary interweaving between clinical work and society which defines the epistemological roots of this approach. ... the therapist’s response evokes with aesthetic power the figure/ground dynamic that moves the patient’s contact. ... phenomenological perspective, centered on the experiential field ... therapist, is the post-modern declension of the Gestalt method ... responding to the new cultural trends and ... a development of the Gestalt approach that is consistent with its founding principles.

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Title

Gestalt Therapy and Developmental Theories

BookNotes

Abstract

It is important not to underestimate how therapist’s theoretical premises as well as his subjectivity could constitute an obstacle to an accurate perception of the patient’s experience ... above all when this risk involve children’s development and non verbal communication.  Gestalt Therapy has re-examined itself in relation to developmental theories ... a model for working with children (Oaklander, 1988; Bove Fernandez et al., 2006) and a description of child’s body growth phases (Frank, 2001) was developed by Gestalt theory and practice. ... attempt was made in the Eighties to outline a child developmental theory using the ways and times of the contact cycle (The From We-to I/You model; Salonia, 1989a or. ed.; 1992). ... Gestalt Therapy approaches the human animal organism, ... which weaves together the body ... (the theory of the Self with its functions: Id, Personality and Ego), ... the relationship ... (the theory of the contact with its ways and times: the Gestalt contact cycle) ... and time ... (the theory of growth and its relational time experienced).

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Title

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

Articles

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 IThou dialogue as effective therapeutic components

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Title

Identifying and Alienating

BookNotes

Abstract

In the work of contacting, we may now define the function of the ego, identifying and alienating and determining the boundaries or context. “Accepting an impulse as one’s own” means, in the sequence, to have it as part of the ground in which the next figure will develop. (This is what Freud meant to say by “the ego is part of the id.”) Such identifying is often deliberate; and the ego will function well — in its orientations and manipulations — if it is identified with grounds that in fact will develop good figures, provided the grounds have energy and likelihood. (So Freud says, “The ego as part of the id is strong, the ego cut off from the id is weak.”)

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Title

Imagery and Creative Work in Therapy

Essays

Abstract

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.

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Title

Impact Of Traumatic Experiences In Childhood For The Development Of Borderline Personality Disorder

Research

Abstract

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) have a marked affect instability, identity pathology, chaotic relationships, and dangerous behaviors, including suicide, having a huge impact on daily life. (Porter et al., 2020). Even though BPD has a severe impact in the population, little is known about the etiology or risk factors that can contribute to this disorder, and the interventions than can be made in an early stage of life.

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Title

Inquiry

BookNotes

Abstract

In a psychologically healthy individual, internal and external contact interact; each depends upon the other, and neither can exist in isolation. ... three therapeutic elements ... can further this process: inquiry, attunement, and involvement. ... help the client to integrate his or her self: ... Inquiry ... the process by means of which the therapist invites the client to explore his or her experiencing. ... The therapist inquires about every aspect of the client’s growing awareness. ... the therapist must be attuned to the client’s here-and-now experience (actually, the past and the present flow together and are often indistinguishable in the moment of experiencing) ...

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Title

Integrating Expressive Methods in a Relational-Psychotherapy

Articles

Abstract

Therapeutic Involvement is an integral part of all effective psychotherapy. This article is written to illustrate the concept of Therapeutic Involvement in working within a therapeutic relationship – within the transference -- and with active expressive and experiential methods to resolve traumatic experiences, relational disturbances and life shaping decisions.

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Title

Integrating Mindfulness-Based Empirically Supported Treatments into Evidence Based Practice

Research

Abstract

A dissertation submitted to the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Psychology

The common elements approach is a growing means of implementing EBPP and tethering clinical decision making to the evidence base. The goal of this dissertation is to discern the common elements of the mindfulness-based empirically supported treatments (MB-ESTs) to better inform clinical practice. This work extends and expands on the original work of Fielding (2009) on this topic, with a firm rationale based on prior common elements studies. In the current study, there will be two primary changes; 1. The methodology is being revised, and; 2. The most recent manuals and research developments will be included. This dissertation contributes to the mindfulness scholarship because it offers an opportunity to further validate and derive the core constituents of effective mindfulness-based treatment. From this study of the common elements of the MB-ESTs, benchmarks may be derived for clinical considerations for mindfulness-based evidence based practice

Kristen Kochamba. Doctor of Psychology, 2017. Azusa Pacific University. Advisor: Katharine Putman, Psy.D

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Title

Intimacy and Love in Therapy

Essays

Abstract

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)

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Title

Intolerance of Uncertainty-Focused Treatment for Adolescents With Excessive Worry: A Pilot Feasibility Study

Research

Abstract

Bouts of excessive worry are common across the lifespan, increasing in frequency and complexity during adolescence and adulthood, and are found in several psychiatric disorders, particularly the anxiety disorders. There are evidence-based treatments for adolescents with anxiety disorders but psychological treatments designed specifically to target excessive worrying in adolescents are rare. Intolerance of uncertainty (IU), a cognitive predisposition described as a fear of the unknown, is highly associated with worry among adolescents. This study investigated the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of IU-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (IU-CBT) for adolescents with excessive worry.

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Title

Involvement

BookNotes

Abstract

In a psychologically healthy individual, internal and external contact interact; each depends upon the other, and neither can exist in isolation. ... three therapeutic elements ... can further this process: inquiry, attunement, and involvement. ... help the client to integrate his or her self: … the client is offered the therapist’s interest and involvement; ... With careful inquiry, sensitive attunement, and authentic involvement, the therapist will be experienced as dependable, consistent, and trustworthy. ... It has been our observation that good therapists, regardless of theoretical orientation, engage in inquiry, value attunement, and are concerned that their involvement be genuine and appropriate. ...

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Title

Juxtaposition

BookNotes

Abstract

Juxtaposition occurs when there is, for the client, a marked contrast between what is provided in the therapeutic relationship and what was needed and longed for but not provided in previous relationships (Erskine, 1994, 1997)

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Title

Let the Straw Man Speak Husserl's Phenomenology in Context

Articles

Abstract

Gestalt therapy has long acknowledged its indebtedness to phenomeno­ logical philosophy in general and to Edmund Husserl in particular, but ironically in a fashion that disregards the organic context of this work. The result is too often exemplified by discussions of phenomenology that either misrepresent its contribution to Gestalt therapy or apply its insights in stilted or inappropriate fashion.

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Title

Love in Psychotherapy

BookNotes

Abstract

love is a concept which (though taken for granted) proves difficult to define, for both the therapist and the patient. ... The Therapist’s Love ... We can distinguish between two kinds of love the therapist may have for the patient: one linked to the role and one that springs spontaneously from the situation. ... As Gestalt therapists, we answer without a shadow of a doubt that our profession is an art, and that therefore emotional involvement is an intrinsic part of the method of treatment. ... involvement is real, her/his feelings toward the patient are genuine, ... But can this involvement of the therapist be called love? ...

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Title

Love, Admiration, Or Safety. A System of Gestalt Diagnosis of Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations that Focuses on What Is Figure for the Client

Articles

Abstract

Greenberg proposes a system of Gestalt diagnosis of Borderline, Narcissistic and Schizoid adaptations that focuses on what repeatedly becomes figure for the client during interactions with others. She reconceptualizes Borderline, Narcissistic and Schizoid personality disorders as relatively inflexible organizations of the organism/environment field that are made and remade at each moment at the contact boundary through figure/ground formation.

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Title

No Change? A Grounded Theory Analysis of Depressed Patients' Perspectives on Non-improvement in Psychotherapy

Research

Abstract

Understanding the effects of psychotherapy is a crucial concern for both research and clinical practice, especially when outcome tends to be negative. Yet, while outcome is predominantly evaluated by means of quantitative pre-post outcome questionnaires, it remains unclear what this actually means for patients in their daily lives. To explore this meaning, it is imperative to combine treatment evaluation with quantitative and qualitative outcome measures. This study investigates the phenomenon of non-improvement in psychotherapy, by complementing quantitative pre-post outcome scores that indicate no reliable change in depression symptoms with a qualitative inquiry of patients’ perspectives.

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Title

Non-Directivity A Fiction and an Irresponsible Denial of Power

BookNotes

Abstract

… a ‘non-directive’ approach is seen by some to be a denial of the inevitable power of the therapist the second of Rogers’ six conditions requires that the client is vulnerable or anxious clients are likely to follow what they perceive as directions from them.

for person-centred therapists to pretend they are non-directive is to deny reality leads to an avoidance of the real issue of the imbalance of power the importance of the non-directive approach is found in Rogers’ Counseling and Psychotherapy (1942).

the person-centred view of non-directivity has been essentially structural whereas a functional view might be more appropriate. The importance of directivity is not in what the counsellor does but in what the client experiences. Whether my behaviour as a therapist looks directive or non-directive to my peers is entirely irrelevant The question which should be asked is not ‘is the therapist behaving directlvely?’, but ‘is the client being directed?’

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Title

Ontological and Epistemological Foundations of Qualitative Research

Research

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to describe the most relevant features of qualitative research in order to show how, from the Epistemology of the Known Subject perspective I propose, it is necessary to review first the ontological and then the epistemological grounds of this type of inquiry. I begin by following the path that leads from the Epistemology of the Knowing Subject to the Epistemology of the Known Subject, proposed as a new and non exclusive way of knowing. I pass on to describe the primary and secondary characteristics of qualitative research, expressing the need for an ontological rupture. Finally, cognitive interaction and cooperative knowledge construction are considered as two fundamental features in the process of qualitative research grounded on the Epistemology of the Known Subject.

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Title

Out of This World: Suicide Examined. Myths, Misrepresentations, and Fallacies

BookNotes

Abstract

Prevalent current approaches and diagnoses attempt to reduce suicidality to a set of faulty behaviours, complex models of motivations and impulses, negative thoughts,

They deny or avoid the fact that suicide, as an act of killing, is underpinned by aggression turned against the self.

suicidal behaviour results from a complex interplay of factors,

Intention, feelings of entrapment, triggered by defeat/humiliation, determined by, factors that facilitate/obstruct addition, background factors (e.g., deprivation, vulnerabilities) and life events (e.g., relationship crisis),

the central features of the suicidal state: defeat, entrapment, constriction, etc., two very important aspects about suicide. 

One: that it is an unconscious act. 

Two: that it is an act of aggression. The intention is to kill the self and at the same time aggress the Other.

The real whammy in suicide, and what makes it so difficult to get hold of, is that, more often than not, the person does not know this herself. Usually her aggressive wishes are so deeply repressed, cut off, unknown, and, most important, felt to be unacceptable, that they are utterly repressed.


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Title

Panic Attacks

Scribbles

Abstract

first published by davidforrest on Sat, 27/10/2012 - Based on: Panic Attacks and Postmodernity: Gestalt Therapy Between Clinical and Social Perspectives. Gianni Francesetti (Editor) 2007.

Those suffering panic attacks tend to describe their condition as something unsayable. This unsayability would seem to lie at the very heart of the panic attack experience.

The unsayable is in the very essence of the panic attack; defying the logic of the experience - in every other sense the client 'knows' (mostly) they are not going to stop breathing; not going to have a heart attack; is not going to suffocate.

The unsayable is not a failure or deficit of language, rather is itself in the origin of the panic attack.

The daily life of those who suffer panic attacks is suddenly interrupted, as if they had suffered a severe trauma. In panic attacks, as opposed to a trauma event, there is no phenomenological source for the client's anxiety; a trauma has occurred - its nature, however is unsayable.

As therapists we are dealing with the consequences of a trauma that has not been fully experienced. Our task is to construct a new ground of security. We cannot recreate the previous sense of security; it is no longer here, it is gone; it has past, forever.

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Title

Panic Attacks

Scribbles

Abstract

Those suffering panic attacks tend to describe their condition as something unsayable. This unsayability would seem to lie at the very heart of the panic attack experience.

The unsayable is in the very essence of the panic attack; defying the logic of the experience - in every other sense the client 'knows' (mostly) they are not going to stop breathing; not going to have a heart attack; is not going to suffocate.

The unsayable is not a failure or deficit of language, rather is itself in the origin of the panic attack.

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Title

Phenomenology of Practice

Articles

Abstract

Phenomenology of practice is formative of sensitive practice, issuing from the pathic power of phenomenological reflections. Pathic knowing inheres in the sense and sensuality of our practical actions, in encounters with others and in the ways that our bodies are responsive to the things of our world and to the situations and relations in which we find ourselves. Phenomenology of practice is an ethical corrective of the technological and calculative modalities of contemporary life. It finds its source and impetus in practical phenomenologies of reading and writing that open up possibilities for creating formative relations between being and acting, self and other, interiorities and exteriorities, between who we are and how we act.

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Title

Phobic-Obsessive-Compulsive Relational Styles

BookNotes

Abstract

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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Title

Poetry Therapy as a Tool for Strengths-Based Practice

Articles

Abstract

This article explores the congruence between poetry therapy and the strengths perspective of social work. It demonstrates the ways in which poetry therapy is consistent with the strengths perspective and discusses methods for its utilization in direct practice settings.

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Title

Poetry as a Creative Process in Psychotherapy

Articles

Abstract

Poetry and therapy promote healing and growth in similar ways; however, poetry also can enhance psychotherapy. Comparing poetry and therapy can facilitate new insights into how therapy works. In this presentation, several parallels between therapy and poetry are considered. With each of these themes, it is discussed how poetry can be integrated to enhance therapy with some clients.
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Title

Poetry as a Creative Process in Psychotherapy

Articles

Abstract

Poetry and therapy promote healing and growth in similar ways; however, poetry also can enhance psychotherapy. Comparing poetry and therapy can facilitate new insights into how therapy works. In this presentation, several parallels between therapy and poetry are considered. With each of these themes, it is discussed how poetry can be integrated to enhance therapy with some clients.

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Title

Predictors of suicide relative to other deaths in patients with suicide attempts and suicide ideation: A 30-year prospective study

Research

Abstract

Background: Although there is a large literature that prospectively examines predictors of suicide, low base rates of suicide and imprecision of measurement hinder definitive conclusions from being drawn. Method: This study examined predictors of suicide relative to other types of death in a sample of 297 patients who had been hospitalized for suicide ideation or a suicide attempt between 1970 and 1975 and who were confirmed dead in 2005. Many predictors were measured using well-validated assessment instruments.

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Title

Relational Aggression and Why Kids Engage In It

Articles

Abstract

Relational aggression is an insidious type of bullying that often goes unnoticed by parents and educators.  Consequently, teens and tweens that engage in relational aggression are often able to bully, control and manipulate others all under the radar of adults. In fact, some kids are so skilled at this type of bullying that no one would ever suspect them of hurting others.

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Title

Relational Group Psychotherapy the Healing of Stress Neglect and Trauma

Articles

Abstract

This article is the Keynote Address given at the 4th International Integrative Psychotherapy Association Conference, April 17, 2009. In speaking to the conference theme of “Acute Trauma, Cumulative Neglect, and Chronic Stress” the article describes some of the principles of Relational Group Psychotherapy. The theory of methods is based on the concept that the healing of trauma, neglect and stress occurs through a contactful therapeutic relationship. Relational group psychotherapy draws from several developments in group therapy, particularly the cybernetic feedback and other-centered models. It emphasizes the healing power of relationships between group members and the importance of phenomenological inquiry, affective attunement, identification, and relational-needs. The leader’s tasks are to stimulate the flow of contactful dialogue and to teach about human needs and healthy relationships.

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Title

Relational Needs

BookNotes

Abstract

"Although relational needs are present for both participants in every relationship, the therapeutic relationship is unique in that the needs of the therapist must be secondary to those of the client. The client’s relational needs are in the foreground; the therapist’s needs are in the background ... a healing relationship is one in which relational needs are recognized and responded to appropriately".

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Title

Representing narrative process in therapy: Qualitative analysis of a single case.

Research

Abstract

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in an approach which views counselling and psychotherapy as being concerned with giving clients opportunities to articulate, examine and re-author aspects of their life-stories. However, most of the literature associated with this approach has been based on observations of clinical practice, and there is a need to develop more systematic research in this area. The present study uses qualitative methods to identify and categorize different types of narrative events occurring in therapy discourse. A representation is offered of the process by which experience is narrativized during therapy. The data for this analysis is drawn from an intensive study of one session of person-centred counselling. The issues involved in applying this method of qualitative analysis are discussed, and the implications of these findings for research and practice are outlined.

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Title

Research Poetry and Meaning Making: Stanzas from an Autoethnography

Articles

Abstract

The notion of liminality encompasses the uncertainty which is characteristic of the creative process, the difficulty of defining and explaining creativity, and the fact that creative processes occur in a range of spaces and contexts, from the individual to the cultural and political. The complex nature of creativity and its diverse manifestations suggests that multiple research methods and might be appropriate. The study under discussion incorporates an arts-based approach to enhance the enquiry,

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Title

Resistance to Change: the ah but moments

Essays

Abstract

At this point the importance of the ‘contact cycle’ is to highlight the process of contacting requires the formation of some-thing and the destruction of some-thing to enable contact.

‘ah-but’ is, at least, a hiccup in the figure formation of contact, at most, it prevents the contact.

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Title

Roots Identity Personality

Essays

Abstract

My invitation is for you to share an exploration of roots, with an apprehensive excitement to Play, with abandonment of roots and with attachment of routes. Where do we dig in our heels and what for us heals? Roots inform and contextualise our Past - what Was, our Present - what Is, and Future – What (is to) Be: Our “There and Then” to our “Here and Now” with our “Where and What”.

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Title

Sand Tray in Therapy

Essays

Abstract

The use of the sand tray is, generally, a powerful tool of exploration with a client.  The sand tray is used with both adults and children in therapy  The use of the sand tray as a medium of exploration provides the client an opportunity for expression that bypasses any requirement to speak, explain, or justify (though this might remain an internal dialogue for the client).

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Title

Schools of Psychotherapy and the Beginnings of a Scientific Approach

Research

Abstract

The theoretical, clinical, and empirical foundations of psychotherapy come from five primary movements that still exist today, continue to evolve, and remain scientifically productive: psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, systemic, and integrative. The goal of this chapter is to examine the philosophical, clinical, and scientific underpinnings of each of these major traditions in detail. Experts in these five approaches will describe: (a) the model of psychopathology (especially focusing upon etiological and maintenance factors emphasized in assessment and case formulation); (b) the focus and specific techniques used in treatment planning and implementation; (c) the hypothesized therapeutic mechanisms of change; and (d)the outcome literature/empirical support for each modality. We conclude with a look toward the future of the science of psychotherapy and the scientist-practitioner model of psychotherapy.

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Title

Self is Discovered at The Contact Boundary

Essays

Abstract

The Self is discovered at the Contact Boundary.

Discuss with reference to your personal experience on the programme.

Discovery suggests finding something that already exists. Something that is available to be found. With this state of already being come the possibilities of already being active, dynamic, at rest, etc. As such this something may already be affective. Furthermore, existing but not being discovered does not preclude this something being experienced.

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Title

Social Context and Psychotherapy

BookNotes

Abstract

Comment by Philip Lichtenberg

Salonia locates personal functioning within one’s larger social existence, including one’s place in history.

He places psychological theories within the history of ideas ... shows how early theory of Gestalt Theory ... emphasizes claims to individuality and personal self-regulation. ... he adroitly notes that now we must attend to self-regulation of relationships ... he suggests we go beyond “basic personality” in a society to a “Basic Relational Model” that the society promotes. ... Salonia places mental health and psychopathology within the relational model. ... “contact competency” differentiates these aspects of personal functioning very well. 

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Title

Suicide and Therapy Essay

Essays

Abstract

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.

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Title

Suicide and internalised relationships: A study from the perspective of psychotherapists working with suicidal patients

Research

Abstract

A study was conducted into the personal meanings of suicide. It is recognised that early experiences of relationships can have a bearing upon a later tendency towards suicide. This project investigated the representations which these relationships take on within the person’s inner world and their effect upon the person’s behaviour. One hundred psychotherapists were surveyed, by means of a postal questionnaire, regarding their work with suicidal patients. Five follow-up interviews were conducted. The main themes that emerged in the patients ’ relationships were rejection, invasion and engulfment. These were experienced as forms of abandonment. Incidents involving loss or rejection in the patients’ present life were found to re-activate these earlier relationships.

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Title

Surviving Relational Aggression: Tips for Adults and Girls

Articles

Abstract

Establishing and maintaining healthy friendships is one of the most important tasks adolescents, especially girls, face in their daily lives. Many girls spend a large portion of their day either engaging with their friends or thinking about their friendships. Navigating this world can at times be likened to an elaborate game of chess, where each move is thought out and methodical, and strategies change based on the moves of others. 

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Title

Teenage Anger

Scribbles

Abstract

In anger - not rage - the person is expressing more clearly what is happening; what is wanted; what is going wrong; what is not being done; and so on. This does not mean this expression is correct - for the situation - nor that the expression needs to be given in to. When not angry the person may not be saying something that inwardly is waiting to be said. Sometimes only in anger is it safe to say what's inside. Safety is ... emotional safety.

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Title

Teenage: Self Harm

Scribbles

Abstract

The most common reasons given by pupils for deliberate self harm were 'to find relief from a terrible state of mind' or because they had 'wanted to die'. Contrary to popular belief few were 'trying to frighten someone' or simply 'get attention'.

  • The majority of those who self-harm cut themselves.

  • Girls are nearly four times more likely to self-harm than boys.

  • The most common reason given was 'to find relief from a terrible situation,' the least common reason was 'to get my own back.'

  • up to half of those who self-harm seek help from friends before acting.

However I would like you to read through this information...

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Title

Ten Things Your Teen Is Reluctant To Tell You

Scribbles

Abstract

It's hard to be a PG teen in an X-rated world...  When you say "absolutely not," it takes the monkey off my back...  You used to drive my monsters away, but now I have different ones...  I'm not being moody, I don't know how else to respond

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Title

The Function of Aggression in Therapy

Essays

Abstract

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?

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Title

The Historical Roots of Gestalt Therapy Theory

Articles

Abstract

The theory of Gestalt therapy is itself a new Gestalt, though it does not contain many new thoughts. What its founders, Fritz and Laura Perls and Paul Goodman, did was to weave a new synthesis out of existing concepts. 

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Title

The Journey of the Counselor and Therapist: Research Findings and Perspectives on Professional Development

Research

Abstract

This article summarizes a reformulation of the main findings and perspectives from a cross-sectional and longitudinal qualitative study of the development of 100 counselors and therapists. The results are presented as a phase model and as a formulation of 14 themes of counselor/therapist development. The following six phases are described: The phases of the lay helper, the beginning student, the advanced student, the novice professional, the experienced professional, and the senior professional

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Title

The Mind Behind the Bully: The Psychology of Bullying - A Platform for Good

Articles

Abstract

There’s a lot of information out there dedicated to protecting our kids from bullying and enforcing policies to ensure it doesn’t happen, but the real key to stopping this problem is understanding it. Bullies are definitely people like the rest of us, so what’s so different about them that their social skills are so drastically different?

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Title

The Need For Gestalt Therapy Research

BookNotes

Abstract

The gestalt   approach to psychotherapy has not been well researched; ... During gestalt   therapy’s early years, there was an anti-intellectual bias among many gestalt   therapy practitioners, partly in reaction to the perceived over intellectualization of the theory out of which it developed - psychoanalysis. ... The research   has often been narrowly focused and limited, ...  it is not possible to apply these   results to the effectiveness of the gestalt approach generally, ...    techniques are assessed out of context, their meaning   is limited. ... existing research rarely includes a sound research design ... Research protocols have also not always been sufficiently rigorous to meet today’s   research standards

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Title

The Role of Touch

Essays

Abstract

Touch has a greater significance in the therapeutic process than most other actions in that its use remains controversial and often approached with caution. My intention is to evaluate the role of touch in the context of the clients process through a case example. In this I acknowledge much may be done without touch however I intend to point out how powerful and restorative the intervention with touch can be.

As part of the use of touch I will draw attention to the need to consider mind and body as one and how this provides for addressing somatised experiences in the context of the Gestalt cycle of contact, and associated interruptions.

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Title

The Three Functions of the Self

BookNotes

Abstract

"Having defined the self as the complex system of contacts necessary for adjustment in a difficult field, the authors of Gestalt Therapy identified certain “special structures” which the self creates “for special purposes” ... Id, ego and personality are just three of the many possible experiential structures … understood as examples of the person’s capacity to relate to the world"

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Title

The felt sense and how it can therapeutically be mediated by photographs

Articles

Abstract

In mental health care the focus of diagnosis and treatment is too much on someone´s behavior and the cognitive aspects adhering to behavior. … We become conscious of the signals from our senses as sensations, which are translated into certain emotions or moods (for instance joy, excitement, despair and depressed feelings). Feeling “tense” or “down” or “cheerful” or “enthusiastic” can have a pendant in background feelings of tension or relaxation, of fatigue or energy, of well‐being or malaise, of anticipation or dread (Damasio, 1999, p. 52), … We posed the question: why not develop exercises in perceiving reality and model in this way the process of sensing the world as one that is inviting, vibrant and warm? Thus facilitating the appropriation of what until now for many persons with mental illness may have been a hostile world? We think that the creation of a positive felt sense or “guts” feeling, may be mediated by an aesthetic shock that makes your heart beat faster, gives you a boost of energy and that in the end (when it is reflected on and given words) may create the motivation to follow it up with action. … In the same way that you can be moved by music or a poem, an image or images can have an impact and change something in how you relate to your (existential) world. You feel or experience that you are alive and that you are lifted out of the limited perspective of being a person with mental health problems. Your horizon may widen.

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Title

Therapeutic Practice

Essays

Abstract

Proximity,  Disclosure,  Ending,  Appreciation

This workshop came out of requests to include various aspects of therapeutic practice, particularly disclosure.  Allowing myself to freefall from these requests led to the arrival of four aspects of this workshop.  I did not overly consider how they might interrelate, if at all, beyond being aspects of the therapy relationship.  In the composition of these ‘emerging thoughts’ I was considering the habitual dimensions of my work, or what I would like to think the possible habitual dimensions.  One pleasing aspect of these essays and workshops is how they prompt a freshness in my thoughts and my work; I am better off in my work through these activities – well, that’s continuing professional development for you!

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Title

Touch in Therapy

Essays

Abstract

In this workshop, my intention is to provide an opportunity to explore what touch evokes.  As the starting point of our own experience and thoughts about touch there is some guided experiments for how touch may be described and utilised in the therapy room.

Consider that touching elicits a sensation, a feeling, for both the one touching and the one touched.  How is this sensation experienced by each?  Already I am looking at the action of touching and being touched between person and person; because touching a chair, for example, does not illicit an experience between person and object in that the object does not experience the touch, the touch is not reciprocated.

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Title

Treating People with Borderline Personality Disorder

BookNotes

Abstract

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

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Title

Value Of Research PGCert and Emerging Thoughts

Essays

Abstract

To explore the importance of research for Gestalt Psychotherapy requires to first providing an understanding of what Gestalt Psychotherapy is and secondly to understanding the meaning, type and purpose of research. In the context, then, of Gestalt and Research I will explore the importance for theory and practice and in so doing reflect on the ethical issues attached to this.

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