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PEELING THE ONION IN GESTALT THERAPY - The University …

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PEELINGTHEONION TOESTABLISH CONTACTINGESTALT THERAPY
Dr.OlguinDr. GoodrichCSI-UNM Co-Advisors
What to Expect
This presentation covers the five contactlayers to peeling the onion ingestalttherapy, a sample session will be performed.Understanding layers help counselors determine wherea client is at with regards to being in thehere-and-now.Attention to contact strengthensclient-counselorrelationship and client growth.
Gestalt and Contact
Gestalt is an existential-phenomonologicalapproach. Peopleare capable of using and becoming aware of their senses as they strive towards actualization. Striving towards actualization includes regulating the polarities within the human organism. The client-counselor [I/thou contact]relationship is crucial in order for client change to occur. One method counselors can use to understand where a client is in terms of being incontact andhere-and-now is referred to as peeling the onion (differing degrees of contact). The onion contains five layers of contact: Phony, Phobic, Impasse, Implosive, and Explosive. Do not rush clients passed the first three levels (Phony, Phobic, Impasse); these three levels are the foundation forclient self-regulation and tosafely move towards actualization. The five senses, moving and dialogue foster contact.
Questions Peel the Onion
Peelingthe onion istoget clients into the present moment to help them get a sense of their structure (the human organism/the self) by integrating one’s neuroticmechanisms.Counselors must be authentic and always respect client resistances,yet,exploringcontactresistances is crucial for the promotion of awareness, responsibility, and self-regulation. How and what questions are typically used to help clients understandthemselvesin the present moment.Questionsrelate to observations based on what clients present.How/What are you doing?How/What do you feel?What do you want?How/What do you avoid?What do you expect?
LevelsofContact (Layers of neuroses)
Phony- Games, assumed roles, react in stereotyped, unauthentic ways. Pretending.Phobic- Avoidance (of pain), hide real self, act out fears, feel vulnerable and helpless. Denying.Impasse-Appearstuck and unable to meet counseling goals. No sense of direction.Implosive-Become awareof ways they limit themselves.Experimentwith change of unfinished business and move toward integration of fragmented parts.Vulnerable.Explosive- Experiencere-integration of fragmented parts, wholeness, authentic, gain energy, express emotions, move towardactualization and authenticity. Intense expression.[Noteblocks to energy: body tension, posture, closed, breathing, eye contact (cultural considerations)]
References/RESOURCES
Corey, G. (2005).Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy(7thed.). Brooks/Cole.Perls, F. (1969).GestaltTherapyVerbatim. Moab, UT: Real People PressPerls, F. (1973). TheGestalt Approach and Eye Witness toTherapy.Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books.Polster, E., &Polster, M. (1973).Gestalt Therapy Integrated. New York:Brunner/Mazel.Zinker, J. (1991). Creative process in Gestalt therapy: The therapist as artist.The Gestalt Journal, 14(2),71-88.VioletOaklander: Gestalt for children and adolescents.Windows to our children.http://www.gestalt.org

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PEELING THE ONION IN GESTALT THERAPY - The University …