Gestalt Therapy Essay, Research Paper

Gestalt Therapy

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I. Drumhead and Integration of Major Concepts

Founded by Frederick ( Fritz ) and Laura Perls in the 1940 & # 8217 ; s, Gestalt therapy is a phenomenological & # 8211 ; experiential methodological analysis which emphasizes experience and experimentation. Gestalt is a German term that means a & # 8220 ; complete form or constellation & # 8221 ; ( p. 112 ) . Though there are many modes and manners in Gestalt therapy, it is holistic in its attack amalgamation head, organic structure, and feeling ( p. 112 ) . Some constructs at the nucleus of Gestalt therapy are & # 8220 ; the being as a whole & # 8221 ; , accent on the & # 8220 ; here and now & # 8221 ; , and & # 8220 ; awareness & # 8221 ; ( pp. 223-225 ) .

Perls believed that & # 8220 ; human existences are unified organisms & # 8221 ; ( p.223 ) and that head and organic structure were non separate entities. It was of import that to understand the individual as a whole, one must see all dimensions of the individual such as physical operation, ideas, emotions, civilization, etc. , in a incorporate mode. All of these facets were feasible looks of the person.

Gestalt therapy besides places a great trade of accent on the & # 8220 ; here and now & # 8221 ; , nevertheless, it does non connote that the yesteryear and the hereafter are non of import. Past-unfinished concern can interfere with a individual & # 8217 ; s current and future being. For this ground, completing

unfinished concern is a important facet of Gestalt therapy ( p. 112 ) . It is thought that these unfinished state of affairss will of course emerge when the individual is focused on what is being done, thought, and felt at the minute ( p.224 ) . Concentrating on the & # 8220 ; here and now & # 8221 ; allows the person to be in touch with the ego and his/her environment which in bend enables the person to recognize his/her demands ( p.224 ) .

Awareness and recognition of experiences are cardinal elements to the completion of a gestalt. Awareness is grounded in the present demands of the person. Completion is dependent upon the person pickings duty for his/her ain feelings and behaviour. It is through this increased consciousness that the wellness ( or mental wellness ) of the person is restored.

II. Breakthroughs and Steps in Learning

Practicing Client Centered therapy helped me acquire over most of my fright and apprehensiveness approximately executing as healer and client in forepart of my schoolmates. So, as we ( the category ) began our first session in Gestalt I ab initio felt less nervous about take parting, in fact, I volunteered to be the first client in my group during the first presentation. Just like client centered therapy, I had once more been in a group that was assigned to Dr. Fiebert and I felt fortunate to hold him show because I knew that I would larn a great trade given his old ages of experience. I had learned through the reading and category talk that this was a therapy that called for the healer to be originative in acquiring the client to show emotions and feelings. I was dying to see what originative techniques Dr. Fiebert would use.

He began the session by inquiring me what I was cognizant of and I told him that I was experiencing some tenseness in my cervix and shoulders. He so asked me to depict the tenseness, rate the degree of tenseness on a graduated table of 1-10, increase the tenseness and associate it to and see or incident in my life. I linked to a recent state of affairs I had experienced with my female parent, whom he so brought in to the empty chair to get down the external duologue. My immediate reaction was to set up a defence by keeping back but I knew if I was traveling to truly learn anything I had to freely let myself to see this procedure.

In the 3rd phase we had identified and labeled my internal mutual oppositions & # 8211 ; Independent and Neglected. After a twosome of proceedingss in to this phase I was uncomfortable with the deepness of emotion that we were researching and once more put up my defences but seeking to maintain it at a superficial degree. Feeling this, Dr. Fiebert had me stand up and stamp my pes while reiterating a line that expressed my choler and defeat, and exercising that was aimed at acquiring me in touch with my feeling. When my session ended I felt a sense of alleviation non merely because I was no longer on the topographic point but besides because I was able to research some hard issued and understand them a small better. As Dr Fiebert continued working with the other pupils, I carefully observed the different techniques he used in each of the phases, from fantasy work in phase 1 to the physical look in phases 2 and 3, and eventually the originative ways in which he had the client label his/her internal mutual oppositions. He didn & # 8217 ; t reiterate these techniques as he worked with each one of us so it gave us the chance to detect a assortment of attacks that we could utilize subsequently. Overall, the session demonstrated how rapidly emotions could be evoked and how powerful a therapy it was.

At the following group session it was our bend to move as healer and since it was the first clip I knew I would clumsily puddle through it and I was comfy with that & # 8211 ; it was portion of the acquisition procedure. I was far more loath about being a client because I felt that had no control and was traveling to hold to confront my devils whether I liked it or non. Again I volunteered to be the first client, chiefly to suppress my fright but besides to see person else & # 8217 ; s technique before trying it myself. Although we merely focused on phases 1 and 2, most of us in the group had trouble as healer & # 8217 ; s and relied to a great extent on the facilitator. At the terminal of our session we discussed what we thought our single troubles were and the on we all had in common was the fright of doing our client interrupt down. We had all witnessed on or more of our schoolmates cry in the old session and none of us wanted to be the cause of such a dislocation. While we all realized that we could non be the & # 8220 ; true & # 8221 ; cause of such a reaction, we still found the possibility unsettling and felt a sense of duty for our clients. The facilitator assured us that as we proceeded we would be able to manage such a state of affairs.

Initially I thought I would hold trouble retrieving the construction and regulations of Gestalt therapy, but it was using the assorted techniques to arouse the clients feelings that I had problem with. I found it peculiarly hard to find which technique was appropriate to utilize in each phase, particularly in phase 1. As the healer in the 3rd category session, I was tempted to utilize fantasy work really early on, but the facilitator reminded me that it should be used as a last resort. Alternatively she instructed me to research the clients physical and emotional consciousness and associate it to a state of affairs and individual that is important to the client. I besides found it hard to transition from province to present, peculiarly from phase 2 to 3. I explained the passage from external to internal mutual oppositions in text edition footings instead than in apparent English. With a small coaching I was able to steer my client through the three phases reasonably good. By this clip I had proven to be adept at traveling the client between chairs and picking up on verbal and non-verbal looks.

After this session I decided to see the tapes at the library once more so I could detect how to properly passage between phases. I besides had a pattern session with a schoolmate where we coached each other through the three phases. This pattern session was a great learning experience because our strengths were in different countries. She was better at transitioning between phases and I was better at steering the client when in the phases. However, we both struggled with the first phase and focused a batch of our attending at that place until we felt reasonably comfy with our technique. Here I learned non to take the easy out and hotfoot into fantasy work but to take my clip with the client & # 8217 ; s physical province, emotions, ideas and feelings.

In the 4th session we ran out of clip and I didn & # 8217 ; t acquire a bend as healer. But, I was able to watch and larn from my schoolmates as they were introduced and guided through phase 4 ( the integrating phase ) . While I had ever been cognizant of the alterations that took topographic point in the client as he/she progressed through the phases, I was so enthralled in larning the technique of the therapy cheapness I had focused most of my attending on the healer & # 8217 ; s chair. I found myself concentrating largely on the clients during this session. I clearly saw how each client responded in the assorted phases of Gestalt and how the whole procedure unfolded. Those pupils who were non afraid to be unfastened and expressive specifically moved me. I was besides intrigued at how effortless it seemed to use the two chairs with these clients and how they automatically took on the appropriate position and behaviour of each chair.

The 5th session was where I was able to implement all four phases in Gestalt therapy for the first clip. I tended to trust a small to to a great extent on the facilitator to assist me through the phases partially because I didn & # 8217 ; T yet trust my ability and besides I hadn & # 8217 ; t been able to free myself of the jitteriness I experienced when being observed. At the terminal of the session the facilitator assured me that I was making all right and would likely merely necessitate one more pattern session to hone my accomplishments.

The following category meeting was devoted to a Gestalt workshop for those of us who had non worked with a invitee yet. The workshop was designed to research likely scenarios and to provide us with general guidelines for working with a invitee. One of the more of import things I got from the workshop was how to work with a immune client, or a client who feels silly making some of the experiments. This information would turn out utile when I did work with a invitee. After the workshop I had one more pattern session with a schoolmate and it went reasonably good. I was relaxed and comfy in the function of healer, which in bend made the client, experience more at easiness. I transitioned through to present 3 swimmingly but discovered that I still had some problem transitioning to present 4. Fortunately I was scheduled to run into with some schoolmates to videotape a therapy session prior to working with a invitee. Things went a small drum sander during this session and after sing the videotape I felt reasonably confident that I would be able to make a good occupation with the invitee.

Finally the twenty-four hours to work with a invitee came and once more I felt nervous about being observed and evaluated. As I sate in the observation room waiting for my client I went over the technique in my caput and tried to bury about the facilitators. As I began working with my invitee I rapidly forgot about the fact that I was being observed and focused all my attending on the client. We spent rather a spot of clip in province 1 and after wash uping all possible options I had to utilize fantasy as off to convey an I

ssue or feeling into consciousness. I guided him through the computing machine screen phantasy and his female parent popped up. Finally we had something, or so I thought. When this happened he instantly displayed opposition by intellectualizing the relationship between he and his female parent. However, we moved on to the 2nd phase and brought his female parent in to the empty chair for the external duologue. This phase started out instead slow and I still felt he was keeping something back. I had reassured him that it was a safe environment where he could state anything he wanted without fright. He eventually stated that he didn’t like the manner his female parent still treated him like a kid. After a twosome of base on ballss between the chairs, I still sensed he was keeping back and asked to declare his disfavor of being treated like a kid once more with more force. I so asked him to stamp his pes as he said this, but I could state he felt really self-aware about making this so I stomped my pes and noticed he seemed more at easiness. As we progressed to present 3, the client began to open up a little more and we successfully identified and labeled his internal mutual oppositions. In phase 4 I sensed that the client was dying to go forth so I took that as my remedy to wrap things up. Because I gave up control excessively easy I ended the session to suddenly. The facilitator came in after the client left to allow me cognize how I did. She told me I had done and first-class occupation when in the phases, but my passages were still a small “rocky” , and I had in fact ended the session excessively rapidly. She said overall I did truly good and had nil to worry approximately. Personally, if felt that I could hold done better by happening more originative ways to arouse some deeper feelings, but hindsight is ever 20/20.

III. Case Study

Description of the client: Paula is 5 & # 8217 ; 5 tall, somewhat plump, and really attractive 33-year-old female White. She has medium length blonde hair, hazel eyes and frocks really neatly. Paula is slightly diffident and a small cautious, but really warm, friendly, and polite. She I and invaginate who enjoys remaining place and watching films, listening to music, reading, and horticulture. She goes out with her friends on juncture and likes to entertain little groups of people in her place from clip to clip. Paula is besides a really intelligent and sensitive adult female who invariably strives to better her life.

*** The issues presented, relevant behaviour during the session, and application of interview techniques are illustrated in the elaborate history of the clients progress through the major phases in Gestalt therapy.

Phase 1 & # 8211 ; Emergence of the Problem:

When I asked Paula what she was sing she responded by saying she felt tense and stressed. I so asked her to nail, on her organic structure, where she felt this tenseness and emphasis and she reported experiencing a great trade of tenseness in her shoulders, cervix, and caput, peculiarly around the temples and brow. She described the tenseness in her shoulders and cervix as several big tight knots and the tenseness in her caput felt like there was a frailty clamped around her skull keeping the force per unit area. I asked her to rate the tenseness on a graduated table of 1-10, 10 being the worst, and she rated it at an 8. I so requested that she demo me how it felt by shrugging her shoulders tightly and squashing her eyes tightly shut. After this, I asked her to escalate the tenseness to a 9 or 10 and as she held this place for a few seconds I so asked her to retrieve the last clip she felt this manner. She began to state me of an incident she had with her female parent a twosome of twenty-four hours & # 8217 ; s prior when she took her female parent to dinner for her birthday. The eventide started out with some little talk where Paula told her female parent how great her occupation was traveling and that she would be acquiring a publicity and a ample wage raise really shortly. Her female parent ignored this intelligence and alternatively asked Paula if she had met anyone yet, intending a adult male. Paula was angered by this but resolved non to allow it acquire to her and alternatively continued on with the conversation. She subsequently told her female parent that she had merely joined a gym to acquire in better form. With that information the female parent rapidly replied & # 8220 ; are you certain you want to eat that so? & # 8221 ; Paula was hurt and angered by the fact her female parent wasn & # 8217 ; t being supportive in the least, but was alternatively being critical, although non overtly. Paula equated these cases to a & # 8220 ; hit and run & # 8221 ; & # 8211 ; she & # 8217 ; vitamin Ds take her poke at me and travel on to the following topic & # 8220 ; . When asked how her female parent & # 8217 ; s unfavorable judgments made her feel, she reiterated the injury and choler she felt that flushing. Now that these important feelings were brought into the present, we were ready to continue on to present 2.

Phase 2 & # 8211 ; Working with External Mutual oppositions:

In phase 2 we brought Paula & # 8217 ; s female parent, Virginia, into the empty chair. Paula described her female parent as a neatly kept, bantam older adult female who was highly judgmental of others and rather opinionated. She besides felt her female parent was emotionally unavailable and non really fond. Paula besides claimed that her female parent would likely be a small irritated about being in therapy. & # 8220 ; Appearances are really of import to her and we should look to be the perfect household & # 8221 ; , Paula said wryly. The duologue began by Paula saying her disfavor of her female parent & # 8217 ; s unfavorable judgments and how she wished her female parent would be more supportive. When she switched chairs to react, she claimed that these unfavorable judgments were meant to assist her girl better herself. This type of exchange went on for a few proceedingss and proved to be uneventful. I sensed Paula was keeping back some deeper feelings because she was non used to facing her female parent in this manner. I asked Paula to state something to her female parent that she ever wanted to but ne’er could. After believing for few seconds she came up with & # 8220 ; I hate you for doing me experience so unequal & # 8221 ; . She was hardly hearable as she said this and I noticed she besides looked down at the floor and gripped the weaponries of the chair tightly, bespeaking opposition. I brought these non-verbal cues to her attending and asked that she repeated her statement and dorsum it up with the felt sentiment. She repeated it a twosome of times with somewhat more strength, but she was still keeping back. I so asked her to prosecute in an experiment and instructed her to take a thick pillow from the couch, topographic point it on her lap and lb it as she repeated the same line & # 8220 ; I hate you for doing me experience so unequal & # 8221 ; . There was important addition in the strength of her look and by the 3rd repeat, she began to shout. I offered her a tissue and asked that she exchange so that Virginia ( the female parent ) could react, plus I didn & # 8217 ; t want to lose the impulse. She took a few seconds to reorganize before taking the place opposite her. She responded as Virginia, by saying she was regretful that her girl felt that manner, but she was merely seeking to assist and felt the unfavorable judgment was constructive and something that Paula needed to hear. This duologue ran on for a few more proceedingss and by this clip I felt I had a appreciation on the internal mutual oppositions. Before we concluded phase 2, I asked Paula to come up with a & # 8220 ; desired solution & # 8221 ; to this struggle. She merely stated that she wanted her female parent to & # 8220 ; back off & # 8221 ; and be more accepting.

Phase 3 & # 8211 ; Working with Internal Mutual oppositions

Before we proceeded to this phase, I made it clear that we were allowing her female parent spell and continued by explicating that the external struggle she merely experienced was really a manifestation of internal struggle ( of class, I used simpler linguistic communication ) . I shared with her what I believed to be her internal mutual oppositions. Paula represented the portion of her that wanted to be accepted as is but was excessively insecure to demand it. Virginia represented the more self-asserting side who was really rough and judgmental of Paula. Without much vacillation, she agreed that these were accurate observations. I asked the yearning to be accepted, insecure Paula to physically place with this mutual opposition by taking on her supposed position. She instantly responded by slouching in her chair, turn uping her weaponries in her lap, and gazing down at her places. I so asked her what her slogan would be and she replied, & # 8220 ; Love me for who I am & # 8221 ; . I had her switch chairs and take on the position of the self-asserting, rough, and judgmental Paula, she so sat up really directly with both pess steadfastly planted on the land and her custodies resting on the weaponries of the chair. She appeared as if she were ready to swoop on person at any blink of an eye. Her slogan was, & # 8220 ; I tell it like it is & # 8221 ; . Paula was now keenly cognizant of her two mutual oppositions. I had these mutual oppositions engage in duologue as in phase 2. Paula did this with small attempt or opposition, and automatically assumed the position and attitude of each mutual opposition when in their several chairs. Through this duologue we found that the self-asserting, rough, and judgmental side of Paula was the more dominant mutual opposition. However, the harsh and judgmental side of Paula is what fueled her insecurity and made it a dominant force in her life as good.

Phase 4 & # 8211 ; Integration:

The integrating phase occurred spontaneously and with small counsel from me. In fact there was no clear interruption between phases 3 and 4, they merely blended together. During the duologue, Paula was cognizant of how her mutual oppositions worked with and against each other and was able to observe the pros and cons of each side. As I continued to steer the duologue, Paula expressed that while she appreciated the self-asserting, rough, and judgmental side of her for being the drive force behind some of the more successful facets of her life and her desire to desire to better herself, she was unhappy with how it fed her insecurities. She felt her assertiveness should be redirected a t persons who judged her harshly, like her female parent, which, in bend, would assist her demand that she be accepted for who she is. I could state Paula was experiencing well less tense by this point so I decided to wrap up the session. I started by remembering how high she had rated her degree of tenseness at the beginning of the session and had her re-rate it at this point. She claimed that her tenseness had diminished to a 3 and that she felt much better. I ended the session by sum uping the assorted events and congratulating her on her bravery and willingness to research these hard issued and her ability to accept them as portion of her. She thanked me for assisting her through it and so we chatted for a piece before I went place.

Because I had worked with Paula antecedently in Client Centered therapy, we had already developed a resonance and a foundation of trust. She was a far more unfastened and willing participant this clip around which made my occupation much easier. Overall, I felt that the session, which lasted 82 proceedingss, went really good, and I genuinely felt that I had helped Paula.

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