1st Edition

Queering Gestalt Therapy An Anthology on Gender, Sex & Relationship Diversity in Psychotherapy

Edited By Ayhan Alman, John Gillespie, Vikram Kolmannskog Copyright 2023
    164 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    164 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The first peer-reviewed book of its kind, this important volume addresses a current gap in the field of gestalt therapy: that the practice—and psychotherapy more broadly—still suffers from pervasive hetero- and cis-normativity.

    This book offers gestalt-therapy-based research and training material on gender, sex, and relationship diversity (GSRD), including chapters on a variety of GSRD issues and how therapists can become more GSRD-sensitive. The contributors position themselves across the whole spectrum of GSRD and offer their voices as an invitation to further queer the gestalt community with diverse content ranging from academic, research-oriented pieces to experiential, reflective perspectives. Featured chapters explore topics including gender-radical clients, sex and sexuality, relationship diversity, integrating GSRD and gestalt therapy, and addressing heteronormativity in gestalt therapy training.

    Queering Gestalt Therapy is for everyone who is interested in gender, sex, and relationship diversity, especially as they relate to gestalt therapy practice. This book will be especially useful for therapists, supervisors, coaches, and students of gestalt therapy.

    Welcome everyone

    Ayhan Alman, John Gillespie and Vikram Kolmannskog

    1. Understanding Gender Radical Clients

    Daniel Morrison

    2. Gender-identification

    Elsa Almås

    3. Holding Uncertainty so that it can be Thought About: Relational Gestalt Therapy with Gender Creative Children

    Dominic Hosemans

    4. The Drag and Queer Years as a Means of Developing a Therapeutic Self: Bringing Street Work into the Office

    Parvy Palmou

    5. Experiment and Phenomenology in Treating Gender Dysphoria

    Rebecca Waletich

    6. 'Selfish and Destructive': Where does the late-in-life lesbian seek therapeutic support?

    Miriam Grace

    7. A gay son and his dying straight dad: An account of ambiguous loss and the embodiment of homophobia

    Paul V Ricketts

    8. Activism and Therapy

    Sanjay Kumar

    9. Compulsive sexual behaviours: Moving beyond the frontiers of addiction thinking

    Silva Neves

    10. Queering relationships

    Daniel Morrison

    11. LGBTQIA in Rural Ireland: Lives Creatively Lived

    Billy Desmond

    12. Gender, Sex and Relationship Diversity (GSRD) Sensitive Gestalt Psychotherapy

    Ayhan Alman

    13. 'I assumed that it was a man she was in love with': Heteronormativity and queer experimentation in gestalt therapy training

    Vikram Kolmannskog


    Ayhan Alman is a queer psychotherapist with a Muslim, Middle Eastern context, and western upbringing. He trained as a gestalt psychotherapist at Metanoia Institute in London. Therapeutically, he is interested in how prejudice and bias impacts on the mental health of marginalised communities.

    John Gillespie is a gestalt therapist based in London. He is founding director of New Gestalt Voices and longstanding editor of the NGV International Journal. He works as a freelance consultant in the charity/public sectors, combining this with low cost therapy work.

    Vikram Kolmannskog, Dr.Philos., is a queer-of-colour professor, gestalt therapist, and writer. He trained at, and currently works as a professor at, the Norwegian Gestalt Institute. In addition, he has a private therapy and supervision practice near Oslo and offers training both nationally and internationally. He is the author of several books, including The Empty Chair: Tales from Gestalt Therapy (Routledge, 2018).

    'Queering Gestalt Therapy is a truly pertinent and seminal contribution to the field of psychotherapy, irrespective of therapeutic orientation and training. This volume offers readers a breadth of understanding in its leading-edge discussion of the complexities and nuances in considering gender identities, sexual orientations, and relationship diversities. Readers will be rewarded with an essential broadening of awareness-informing-understanding, perspective, and clinical practice across the human landscape.'

    Allan Singer, Psychotherapist in Private Practice, Boston, MA, USA

    'Thanks to all who contributed to this timely anthology. I was simultaneously enlivened and brought up to date on reading through the diverse voices of contributors. This book makes an important and belated addition to our gestalt field. Anyone practising gestalt therapy with a general population today needs to read it.'

    Malcolm Parlett PhD, Author of Future Sense, former editor of the British Gestalt Journal

    'Queering Gestalt Therapy is the book missing from the Gestalt reading list. It manages to unfold a new perspective on the subject matter using Gestalt theory, whereas it invites the reader to take a closer look in each author’s personal world that contains the meticulous experience on working with gender radical clients. It is a highly recommended book for all mental health practitioners, regardless their school of thought, as it will embellish their professional practice.'

    Maria Tzioni, Gestalt Psychotherapist and Yoga Instructor