Sylvia Crocker's A Well-Lived Life is a work of a daring and creative thinker, offering a bold reconceptualization of Gestalt therapy that extends all the way from its philosophical foundation to the nuances of its clinical application. In prose that is clear as a bell, Crocker fully exposes the depth and power of Gestalt therapy's field theoretical model, deftly moving from individual to larger systems work and back again, and capturing the full range of human psychological phenomena as she goes.
From the acquisition and maintenance of simple behavioral habits, to the construction of personal narrative and myth, Crocker's Gestalt therapy model is equally at home and applicable. Her vision of Gestalt therapy is at the same time startingly unique and comfortably familiar. She is firmly rooted in Gestalt Therapy's 'phenomenological behaviorism, " but at the same time offers us a model for assessing and working with self functions which is remarkably creative, and represents an important new contribution to the field.
And throughout the text, interpolated between her provocative theoretical formulations, we encounter Crocker the clinician - moving straight ahead, getting right at the issue, making sense, and all the while, concretely instructive regarding the nature of the work. This is a book that will make a difference, challenging the way we think about the practice, the craft of psychotherapy.
Table of Contents
Ullman, Foreword. Brown, Brown, Introduction. Part I: An Approach to Human Change. The Unity of Theory and Method in Gestalt Therapy. Processes of Contact: A Dynamic Model of the Self. Functional and Dysfunctional Processes of Contact. Part II: The Philosophical Ground. Opposing Paradigms (Aristotelian vs. Platonic) in Gestalt Therapy and Psychoanalysis. Foundation of the Concept of the Self. All There Is, Is Now: A Gestalt Theory of Human Nature. Part III: Human Maturity and Fulfillment. A Well-Lived Life: A Gestalt Perspective. Meetings of Persons: Reflections on Authentic Relationships. The Spiritual Dimension of Gestalt Therapy. Beyond the 20th Century. The Strengths.
Sylvia Crocker, Ph.D., trained at the Gestalt Institute of Los Angeles and in Europe. A founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy, she chaired its Theory Development Committee for six years. She is a Gestalt trainer and therapist in private practice in Laramie, WY.
"In a series of essays, Sylvia Crocker brings her philosophical mind to present a comprehensive framework for Gestalt therapy. She integrates our original theoretical underpinnings with additional insights from human development and a wide range of other contemporary theories (ranging from chaos theory to spirituality). She provides a rich perspective which expands our basic theoretical and clinical framework and provides a positive Gestalt model for mental health. A Well-Lived Life is an original and challenging book for both students and practitioners of Gestalt therapy!"
Iris Fodor, Ph.D., New York University