Friday, January 04, 2013

ACA Podcast: Gestalt Therapy

I had a few moments today to listen to a Podcast from the American Counseling Association on Gestalt Therapy. Those of you familiar with Gestalt Therapy approaches most likely remember their graduate studies watching the "Gloria" videos with Fritz Perls demonstrating his interpretation of Gestalt Therapy. The Podcast I listened to was by John Frew, Ph.D. who is a private practitioner who utilizes Gestalt therapy, theory, and methods. The following is a brief review of what I learned. It is in no way endorsed by anyone and I am not endorsing anyone or any organization. I found the information, however, beneficial and helped me to understand the Gestalt approach better. Gestalt therapy and theory is based on wholeism. Wholeism taking into account all parts of the person such as thoughts, feelings, behaviors, dreams, and more. All of the internal person is connected to their environment and individuals are motivated by needs. As a Gestalt therapist, one would look at the most salient issues first (i.e. what sticks out). Gestalt theory is a theory of health and strengths, rather than pathology. It takes a strengths-based approach and believes that people can generally regulate themselves within their own environment. This is called "organismic regulation." If individuals have satisfaction with needs, then they move on to other needs. Awareness is a key concept for treatment. An individual focuses on intrapersonal and interpersonal awareness and if there is an equilibrium with them. If there isn't, then pathological issues can arise and the individual can focus on seeking resolution. This can be done by focusing on the here and now and making creative adjustments. The past does matter in regards to the creative adjustments that individuals made in the past that are no longer functional. At times, individuals buy into the beliefs of others and adopt it as their own. This is called an introject. At times, they must make a new creative adjustment to come to a resolution. Dr. Frew provided a lot of helpful information. If you're a member of the ACA, I would recommend listening to his podcast. Jamison Law