• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This thoroughly revised edition of Gestalt Counselling introduces the fundamental concepts of Gestalt and systematically demonstrates how to apply and use these in practice. Taking a relational perspective, the expert authors explore how Gestalt can be used in a wide variety of ‘helping conversations’ from counseling, psychotherapy and coaching to mentoring, managing, consulting and guiding. After placing Gestalt in its current socio-political context, each chapter: Defines a major concept; Provides everyday examples and illustrative vignettes from a variety of settings to bring the theory to life and suggest how that concept may be usefully applied; Includes exercises for readers to practice themselves and with their clients

A ‘running case study’ featuring ongoing coaching work moves throughout the book, and boxed summaries, diagrams, checklists and sources of further reading make this the ideal text for use in training. The accessible, engaging writing style will appeal to undergraduates and graduates alike.

This book is essential reading for Gestalt-based Counseling & Psychotherapy graduate degrees, as well as for any course in the allied health professions where Gestalt is the foundation.

What Is an Experiment?

Experimentation is another major pillar of Gestalt practice. In an experiment, the client literally experiments or ‘tries on’ a new way of being or behaving so that, as Mackewn (1994: 106) says, he ‘tries out new behaviours, and sees what happens’ (emphasis in original). The function of experiments in Gestalt practice is to offer new potential figures to the client. But the best experiments are not engineered. They emerge from the process of the session, and neither therapist nor client should constrain themselves by becoming attached to a particular desired outcome. As Yontef says, ‘The combining of dialogue and phenomenological experimentation is one of the valuable and unique contributions of Gestalt therapy’ (1991: 114).

The experiment should be an adventure of discovery ...

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