Bridging the gap between psychology and politics, Lichtenberg presents a powerful argument for applying the methods and insights of the Gestalt perspective to social and political problems. Focusing on the inner dynamics of power and abuse relationships, this thoughtful treatment of victim/oppressor fusion has stimulated new thinking about abuse, exploitation, and the processes and methods essential to personal and political change.
Table of Contents
A Beginning. Identification with the Aggressor: A Clinical Formulation. Projection Upon a Primed Vulnerable Other: A Clinical Formulation. Empowering and Disempowering Reciprocally. Some Qualities When People Fuse. Self as Agent, Self as Agency: A General Statement. Cautions on Taking Psychological Ideas Into a Social Action Arena. The Angry Weak and the Angry Powerful. Intense Social Emotions are Key. The Quick-Circuiting Process and the Delusion of Fusion. Working with the Full Delusion of Fusion. Noticing and Changing Faulty Identifications. Discovering and Undoing Projections. Recovering and Reorganizing Anger. On Anxiously Acting Assertively. Who Wants Social Change, Who Starts It, Who Supports It? Is All This Practical?
Philip Lichtenberg, Ph.D., is the Mary Hale Chase Professor in Social Sciences and Social Work and Social Research at the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr College, where he has been teaching for 35 years. He is also Co-Director of the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia and maintains a psychotherapy practice.