1st Edition

Relational Organisational Gestalt An Emergent Approach to Organisational Development

By Marie-Anne Chidiac Copyright 2018

    This book provides a comprehensive view of the application of Relational Gestalt theory to Organisation Development and change interventions in organisations.

    Uncertainty and frequent change are the hallmark of our times. In the field of Organisational Development and Change, fixed methodologies no longer adequately address the uncertainty and uniqueness of today's more complex change situations and more adaptive approaches to change are needed.

    Gestalt is a relational, dialogic, and emergent approach which means that it views individuals and organisations as embedded in their context, dependent on, and emerging from within a web of relationships and interactions. As such, Gestalt offers a transformative, integral and bespoke methodology for working with this complexity. This approach supports practitioners to attend to their presence, seek out the most pressing issues and mobilise for sustainable change. Gestalt has at its heart the notion of use-of-self as instrument which allows practitioners to be responsive to emergent issues and situations.

    Relational Organisational Gestalt is at the leading-edge of Gestalt theory and application in organisational settings.


    I: Understanding Emergent and Relational Approaches; One: From organisations as machines to living systems; Two: Gestalt as a relational and emergent approach; Three: The organisational self: a gestalt view of organisational functioning; II: Gestalt Concepts and Practices; Presence; Four: A relational orientation and ethical presence; Sensing; Five: Raising awareness and phenomenological inquiry; Six: Field theory and the cycle of experience; Supporting; Seven: At the threshold: meditations on will, grace, and liminal space *; Eight: The practice of dialogue and relational support; Nine: The art of gestalt interventions; Sustaining; Ten: Experimentation; Eleven: Endings and unfinished business; III: Applying Gestalt to Organisational Settings; Twelve: Practice considerations in introducing a gestalt approach; Thirteen: Relational gestalt coaching: a transcript of dialogue at work; Fourteen: Gestalt work with a family business; Fifteen: Bringing gestalt to cyber security; Sixteen: Supporting a merger in the pharmaceutical industry


    Marie-Anne Chidiac


    "This book reinvigorates an age-old pattern in human institution—the ‘process of relating’ through the Gestalt lens. It also re-examines in the context of complexity, interdependence, connection in which emergence is the main reality, whether OD and Gestalt can draw on each other to make systemic wide change sustainable beyond the intra, inter, group levels. The ‘relational frame’ of practice is thoroughly explained via a clear exposition of the field of Gestalt. This makes the book an important educational, informative, and accessible resource to both novice and experienced Gestalt/OD practitioners. Dr Chidiac has made a significant contribution to the applied behavioural science field—very well done indeed."—Dr. Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge, recipient of two "Life Time Achievement Award" in the field of Organisation Development (US Organisation Development Network 2013; International OD Association 2016)

    "This important book is about transformational organisational change: what clients say they want, but for which they are seldom prepared. As Chidiac convincingly argues, transformational change is an emergent, unpredictable process, and organisations are, at their core a series of multi-layered, complex relationships that can be grouped into forms, patterns and interactive processes. Chidiac helps us to understand how to help create the conditions for this emergence. One doesn't just learn to see organizations as multidimensional forms, forces, and fields, but as living, breathing entities. I recommend it highly."—Joseph Melnick, Ph.D., Founding Editor, Gestalt Review and Co-Chair, Cape Cod Training Program, Gestalt International Study Center

    "This is a wonderful book! I love it. It offers theory in a comprehensive, yet accessible way that is perfectly balanced with practical tips. Core concepts of the Gestalt Relational approach are highlighted in such a way that I stayed interested until the last page. The case studies also offer a clear illustration of what this approach means in practice. With presence at the heart of the Gestalt Relational approach, the author has managed to convey this in each page through her own presence. Many compliments."—Frans Meulmeester, author, Changing is Standing Still: A Gestalt Perspective on Organizations and Chair of the EAGT GPO Committee.

    "This book places the Gestalt approach to organisations within the relational turn of contemporary human sciences. The process of relating is central today in many fields, and the world of organisations urgently needs new perspectives and tools to consider its functioning in a wider look than just a productive machine. Marie-Anne Chidiac describes in a clear and well-structured way her relational Gestalt approach to organizational development. Hers is a courageous and effective model that adds dignity to liveliness, which is enormously empowering of any organisation. This can lead organisations toward an integrated experience of working-with at a personal, social, political level."—Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb, Director, Istituto di Gestalt HCC Italy (www.gestaltitaly.com); author of The Now for Next in Psychotherapy: Gestalt Therapy Recounted in Post Modern Society