1st Edition

New Directions in Gestalt Group Therapy Relational Ground, Authentic Self

By Peter H. Cole, Daisy Anne Reese Copyright 2018
    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    Gestalt therapists often work with groups. Group therapists from a variety of theoretical orientations frequently incorporate insights and methodology from gestalt therapy. New Directions in Gestalt Group Therapy: Relational Ground, Authentic Self was written with particular attention to both gestalt and group work specialists in providing a comprehensive reference for the practice of group therapy from a gestalt perspective. In includes an introduction to gestalt therapy terms and concepts written to make the gestalt approach understandable and accessible for mental health practitioners of all backgrounds. It is appropriate for students as well as seasoned psychotherapists.

    Peter Cole and Daisy Reese are the co-directors of the Sierra Institute for Contemporary Gestalt Therapy located in Berkeley, California. They are the co-authors of Mastering the Financial Dimension of Your Psychotherapy Practice and True Self, True Wealth: A Pathway to Prosperity. They are a married couple, with five children and four grandchildren between them.


    Part I: Practicing Gestalt Group Therapy (GGT). 1 Holding, Listening and Resonating. 2 Working with the Group Process in the Present Moment. 3 Creating a Relational Group Culture. 4 Promoting Healthy Group Boundaries. 5 Attending to levels of experience in the group. 6 Experiment, Somatic Experiencing, Empty Chair and Other Classical Techniques. Part II: Understanding Gestalt Group Therapy. 7 The "Here and Now" 8 Group Process. 9 Rupture and Repair of the Self. 10 Affective Flow and Affective Processing. 11 Holding the tension of the Polarities. 12 The Paradoxical Theory of Change, Complexity and Symbolizing. 13 The Continuum of Experience. Part III: Going Deeper: Reflections on Gestalt Group Therapy. 14 Integrating Classical and Modern Gestalt Therapy approaches in GGT. 15 The Dialogical Stance. 16 In The Shadow of the Leader. 17 Harnessing the Power of GGT for all Group Therapists. Appendix: An Introduction to Gestalt Therapy Concepts and Terms.


    Peter Cole and Daisy Reese are the co-directors of the Sierra Institute for Contemporary Gestalt Therapy located in Berkeley CA. They are the co-authors of Mastering the Financial Dimension of Your Psychotherapy Practice and True Self True Wealth.  They are a married couple with five children between them and four grandchildren.


    Daisy Reese, LCSW, CGP is in private practice in Berkeley and Sacramento CA. She has taught group therapy at The Wright Institute (Berkeley) and at The Psychotherapy Institute (Berkeley). She is a graduate of the Washington School of Psychiatry's National Group Psychotherapy Therapy Institute and is a certified group psychotherapist (American Group Psychotherapy Assoc.). She is past president of the Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society. 


    Peter Cole, LCSW, CGP is in private practice in Berkeley and Sacramento CA. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry with UC Davis School of Medicine where he has taught gestalt therapy for over 25 years.  He has taught group therapy at the Stanford University School of Medicine, The Wright Institute (Berkeley) and The Psychotherapy Institute (Berkeley).  He is a graduate of the Washington School of Psychiatry’s National Group Psychotherapy Institute. He is a certified group psychotherapist (American Group Psychotherapy Assoc.) as well as a certified gestalt therapist (Pacific Gestalt Institute). Peter is also a Chartered Financial Consultant who in specializes in serving clients with social and environmental concerns.

    New Directions in Gestalt Group Therapy is a superlative book on Gestalt group therapy that once and for all shows that group therapy is part of Gestalt therapy’s relational DNA. It is much more than that. Daisy and Peter bring their unparalleled expertise in this field to comprehensively combine historical, theoretical, practical, and clinical material  in order to clearly present their contemporary Gestalt group therapy model to the reader. They show that right now, in this particular world with our specific relational, social, political, and global crises, their relational dialogical approach to gestalt group therapy ought to be more widely known. New Directions in Gestalt Group Therapy is an important step toward bringing bringing their model of gestalt group therapy to clinicians and group practitioners of all modalities, for whom this book is an essential resource.

    Dan Bloom, Jd, LCSW. Past President Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy & New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy. Editor in Chief: Studies in Gestalt Therapy: Dialogical Bridges.

    Since Dan Rosenblatt’s anecdotal little book Opening Doors, there have been a number of books on gestalt group therapy, including mine. None that I have seen though have the depth, detail, originality, comprehensiveness and usefulness as this one. And it is also touchingly personal at times. I think it is extremely very valuable for novice and experienced therapist alike, and will someday be a classic.

    Bud Feder, Phd. Co-Editor: Beyond the Hotseat Revisted. Author: Gestalt Group Therapy: A Practical Guide. Past president: Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy & The New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy.



    Peter Cole and Daisy Reese have brought to life the processes of transformation in the context of the human experience through Gestalt Therapy. They have synthesized all that they learned in their training groups and private practice groups and allowed the reader a path to join them in their journey of hope and change.

    Connie Concannon, LCSW, CGP; Associate Clinical Professor UC San Francisco, Past President: American Group Psychotherapy Association.


    With New Directions in Gestalt Group Therapy, Peter Cole and Daisy Reese have made an important contribution to gestalt therapy’s growing library of clinical and theoretical literature. Cole & Reese’s integration of gestalt and group therapy principles opens up new avenues of thinking and introduces methodological advances that will be highly relevant to all gestalt therapists who work with groups: whether they work as practitioners, trainers or organizational consultants. Deeply personal in parts, and interlaced throughout with rich clinical material, this book is the product of mature clinicians who approach theory with sophistication and creativity. I recommend it to all gestalt therapists who work with groups.

    Gary Yontef, Phd. Author - Awareness, Dialogue and Process: Essays on Gestalt Therapy. Co-Founder and Senior Faculty: Pacific Gestalt Institute


    This is a well-written, wonderful weaving together of solid gestalt therapy theory and modern group therapy principles, including the all-important systems theory. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The clinical material was interesting and helpful in elucidating the theory. After running groups and teaching group therapy for almost five decades, I found much to think about for my own practice and teaching. The authenticity, humanness, and mastery of Daisy and Peter shine throughout. I especially appreciated the various quotes - and the Afterword Essay commenting on the election of Donald Trump. I feel strongly that those of us with an understanding of group dynamics have much to say to our fellow citizens at this time in our country's history.

    Maryetta Andrews-Sachs, LICSW, CGP, FAGPA. Faculty (Former Dean and Chair) Washington (DC) School of Psychiatry National Group Psychotherapy Institute. Past President, Mid-Atlantic Group Psychotherapy Society.


    I love this whole book!  It will be so useful to the world of group facilitators and the world of Gestalt practice. Peter and Daisy  speak with a lovely balance between theory, pragmatics and examples: breaking new ground, they elaborate the shadow side of group dynamics in a way that expands our maps and our capacities to meet each other more fully and humanly while also calling our attention to the importance of the 'experienced cultural influences' and capacities for GGT to impact social change.  A great new contribution.

    Mary Ann Kraus Psyd. Co-chair: Groups Facilitation Training Program, Gestalt Institute of Cleveland


    This new book of Peter Cole and Daisy Reese is another step in moving beyond the Hot Seat to group processes, integrating Gestalt ideas of awareness, contact and presence that focus on the individual, with field theory forces that relate to the group-as-a-whole. In today's digital world with its virtual connections, the idea of contact and the importance of embodiment, so central in Gestalt theories and Gestalt Group Therapy, seem obsolete. Peter and Daisy remind us that without it we lose our meaningful attachment to one another. The relational emphasis of the writers puts this book at the cutting edge in the field of psychotherapy. I recommend this book both to therapists who do not know enough about Gestalt Group Therapy, and to Gestalt colleagues who want to deepen their understanding in this field". 

    Haim Weinberg, Phd. Co-Author: The Social Unconscious in Persons, Groups and Societies. Past President: Israeli Association of Group Psychotherapy and The Northern California Group Psychotherapy Society.


    New Directions in Gestalt Group Therapy does a fine job both of elaborating the theory of gestalt group therapy and of inviting the reader to the experience of what it is to participate in such groups.

    At the same time, this book goes beyond the sometimes-limiting boundaries of Gestalt therapy, introducing the reader to the wider view and values that the Gestalt philosophy of being entails. The authors remind us that there is a part of each person that sometimes is in need of help.  They invite the reader to find hope both personally and collectively through connectedness and relationship. This book reminds us that all humans survive and thrive in groups, and the quality of our lives depends on our ability to co-exist as peacefully and respectfully as possible.

    Dr Talia Bar-Yoseph Levine. President Elect: Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy. Editor: The Bridge: Dialogues Across Cultures and Gestalt Therapy: Advances in Theory and Practice.


    This clearly written book is an invaluable resource for clinicians of any theoretical orientation. It is packed with a wealth of essential information for beginning professionals as well as for seasoned therapists, and a must-read for students and those in training. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and understanding of group work, and how groups work!

    Eva Gold, Psyd. Co-Director Gestalt Therapy Training Center—Northwest and author of Buddhist Psychology and Gestalt Therapy Integrated: Psychotherapy for the 21st Century