Gestalt therapy offers a present-focused, relational approach, central to which is the fundamental belief that the client knows the best way of adjusting to their situation. By working to heighten awareness through dialogue and creative experimentation, gestalt therapists create the conditions for a client's personal journey to health.
Gestalt Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques provides a concise guide to this flexible and far-reaching approach. Topics discussed include:
- the theoretical assumptions underpinning gestalt therapy
- gestalt assessment and process diagnosis
- field theory, phenomenology and dialogue
- ethics and values
- evaluation and research.
As such this book will be essential reading for gestalt trainees, as well as all counsellors and psychotherapists wanting to learn more about the gestalt approach.
Table of Contents
Preface. Acknowledgements. Part I: Maps for a Gestalt Therapy Journey – Theoretical Assumptions Underpinning the Approach. 1. What is Gestalt? 2. What is a Gestalt? 3. Creative Adjustment. 4. Figure and Ground. 5. The Here and Now. 6. Self as Process: Selfing. 7. The Self: Concepts of Id, Ego and Personality. 8. Holism and the Orientation Towards Health. 9. Gestalt’s Relationship to the Psychiatric/Biomedical Model . 10. The Awareness Continuum. 11. Individualism and Field Paradigms. 12. The Contact Boundary. 13. The Gestalt Cycle of Experience: Early Formulations. 14. The Gestalt Cycle of Experience: Later Developments. 15. Resistances, Interruptions, Moderations to Contact. 16. Introjection. 17. Retroflection. 18. Projection. 19. Confluence. 20. Dimensions of Contact. 21. Unfinished Business: The Zeigarnik Effect. 22. Caring and Creative Indifference. 23. The Paradoxical Theory of Change. 24. Autonomous and Aesthetic Criterion. 25. Support as ‘That Which Enables’. 26. Contact and Resistance. 27. The Five Abilities. Part II: Beginning the Therapy Journey – Preparations and Setting Off. 28. The Therapy Setting and Context. 29. Expectations explored, Contracts established. 30. Listening to the Client’s Story. 31. Process Diagnosis. 32. Assessment. 33. The Client’s Situation. 34. The Client’s Contact Functions. 35. The Client’s Awareness (Three Zones of Awareness). 36. Transference, Counter-transference, and Co-transference Possibilities. 37. How the client "Bodies Forth". 38. Treatment Planning: Planning the Journey. Part III: The Therapy Journey. Section 3.1: Exploring the Client’s ‘Lifespace’, Field, or Situation. 39. The Lifespace and the Field. 40. Viewing the Lifespace through a Developmental Lens. 41. The Therapy Space as Present Situation. 42. The Need Organises the Field. 43. Investigating Supports. 44. Shame and Guilt as Functions of the Field. 45. A Setting for Challenge and Experiment. 46. The Cultural Field. 47. Creative Experimentation. 48. Use of Metaphor and Fantasy. 4.9. Homework and Practising. Section 3.2 Focus on Experience: Phenomenology in Gestalt Therapy. 50. Sensations and Feelings. 51. Co-creation, Temporality, Horizontalism. 52. Intentionality: Reaching Out and Making Sense of my World. 53. Transcendental Phenomenology and Husserl. 54. The Discipline of Phenomenological Reduction. 55. Existential Phenomenology: ‘I am’. 56. Intersubjectivity: I am Always Embedded in my Experience. 57. Attending to the Bodily ‘Felt Sense’. 58. Projective Identification. 59. Energy, Interests, Needs, Vitality. 60. Awareness and Diminished Awareness. 61. Patterns of Contacting. 62. Working with Dreams. Section 3.3 Dialogue – Emerging through Relationship. 63. Martin Buber: I-Thou and I-It Relating. 64. The Between. 65. Inclusion – A Cautionary Note Regarding Empathy. 66. Presence. 67. Confirmation. 68. Commitment to Dialogue. 69. Non-Exploitation. 70. Living the Relationship. 71. Attunement. 72. The I-Thou Attitude, the I-Thou Moment. 73. Self-Disclosure. 74. Language. 75. Rupture and Repair. Part IV: Becoming – Transitions along the Journey. 76. Aggressing on the Environment. 77. Developmental Theory. 78. The Five Layers Model. 79. Experimentation. 80. Developing Supports. 81. Polarities and the Top Dog/Under Dog. 82. ‘Aha’ Experience. 83. Catharsis and Release. 84. Developing Awareness of Awareness. 85. Individual and Group Therapy. 86. Endings. 87. Ongoing Self-therapy. Part V: Ethics and Values: Key Signposts for All Journeys. 88. Therapeutic Boundaries. 89. Assessing Risk. 90. Attending to the Wider Field. 91. Working with Difference. 92. Sexual Issues. 93. Touch in Therapy. 94. Gestalt Supervision. 95. Therapist Support. Part VI: Research and Evaluating the Approach: Destination and Looking Back. 96. Gestalt’s Spiritual Traditions and the Transpersonal. 97. Research and Appropriate Research Paradigms. 98. Applications of Gestalt beyond 1:1 and Group therapy. 99. Looking Back and Reviewing. 100. On Uncertainty. References.
Dave Mann is a UKCP Registered Gestalt Psychotherapist, Supervisor and Trainer affiliated with the Metanoia Institute, Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute and Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute. He is also a former Assistant Editor of the British Gestalt Journal.
"Mann shows a wealth of specialist knowledge, communicated clearly, and takes the reader on a therapeutic journey into the world of Gestalt. I recommend this book to all practitioners, students and professionals, as well as to clients wishing to review the journey they have made with their therapist." - Terry Browning, Gestalt Counsellor, London & Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
"Whether you are familiar with Gestalt Theory, or just starting out, this book is a must. Mann has successfully undertaken the task of outlining key concepts in Gestalt Theory and has provided a benchmark to work from. Do not consider borrowing this book, you must buy it! You will keep dipping into it for references, definitions, ideas and examples."- Dr Sally Denham -Vaughan, UKCP Registered Gestalt Psychotherapist, Trainer, Supervisor and Writer.
"I wish this book had been available when I was beginning to learn about therapy. I treasure the sophisticated humanity, grace and flexibility that gestalt therapy embodies and yet its theory can be difficult to grasp. Mann, writing in his conversational style, draws the reader into gentle conversation with a wise elder who makes gestalt therapy accessible without reducing its wisdom." - Lynne Jacobs, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Pacific Gestalt Institute, Los Angeles, CA, USA.