• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

`Anybody with the slightest interest in brief therapy should read this book. Now that the initial controversy over brief therapy has begun to subside it is great to see how brief therapy works in practice. Gaie Houston's book is part of a series published by SAGE which sets out to do this - and hers is particularly illuminating and accessible. As she points out Gestalt is better equipped than many mainstream therapies to be applied to situations with extreme time constraints because it is both flexible and it acknowledges the part that can be played by other therapies. But what propels Houston's book out of the hum drum - or indeed the defensive (or offensive) diatribes about short therapy which have appeared over the past few years - is her vivid accounts of real-life sessions, both one to one and group, which punctuate the text' - Amazon Review Brief Gestalt Therapy demonstrates how the Gestalt approach can be used effectively in brief interventions with clients. Gestalt's distinctively integrative nature and emphasis on a highly co-operative working alliance, make it particularly suited to brief work. The book sets out the basic theory and principles of Gestalt and looks at each phase of the therapeutic process from initial assessment through the beginning and middle stages to the ending of the work. It presents clear, practical strategies for therapists to follow and in particular examines: } aspects of Gestalt which are especially relevant to brief work -} the elements of successful therapy -} ways of improving skills. Brief Gestalt Therapy includes vignettes and detailed case studies which bring the theory alive. It will contribute much to both existing literature on Gestalt therapy and also brief therapy, and will be invaluable to trainee and practising Gestalt therapists.

The Brief Gestalt Therapy Group
The brief gestalt therapy group

There are many similarities between BGT in individual and in group settings. The differences are large enough, as well, to merit separate consideration. This chapter will be partly theoretical and to a larger extent methodological, and will be fleshed out by the group case study that follows.

As indicated in Chapter 1, group therapy appears in many cases to be of both immediate and lasting value to participants. The study by Vevers and Hemming (1995) indicates persistence of therapeutic gain, and marked reduction in visits to the doctor's surgery, after attendance at a 10-week Gestalt therapy group. Evans (1999) reports a 25 per cent re-referral rate among mentally-ill patients after his first brief Gestalt group – this ...

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