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Enhancing Your Therapy with Gestalt Approaches
Gestalt Therapy continuing education social worker CEUs

Section 29
Appendix: Client Reproducible Worksheets

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| Gestalt
Social Worker CEUs, Psychologist CEs, Counselor CEUs, MFT CEUs

The "My Movements" Technique
Review CD Track 2 for more information regarding this technique.
This technique can be implemented to help a client increase his or her awareness of his or her body.

Try to focus on how each movement feels.  As you make these movements, notice what you can observe about each one.  Are your movements more fluid or more jerky?  Can you notice how different movements in one part of your body result in sensations and movements in connected parts?  Are you asking your body to move in ways that do not fit its structure?

1. Start with your neck.  Rotate your head and feel the range of motion your neck allows… Now, make your neck hard and rigid, focusing on the muscles near your spine.  Does this feel familiar?  Now release the muscles at the back of your neck… How does that feel? 
2. Now, focus on your head. Try some biting motions with your jaw… Clamp your jaw shut… Now let it hang open.  Feel how you can move your jaw side to side as well…
3. Next, focus on your face.  Notice how your nose feels when you open your eyes wider than usual.  Now squint… Now clamp your eyes shut.  Open your eyes, and with your head still, roll your eyes around as if you were tracing "X's" in the air with them.  Move the muscles behind your eyebrows up and down.  How does this feel?

The "Can't Substitution" Technique
Review CD track 4 for more information regarding this technique.
This technique can be implemented to help a client recognize increase his or her awareness of the difference between 'can't' and 'won't' statements.

1. Try to recall some other 'can't' statement that you use often.  Repeat them slowly to yourself, and notice the feelings that accompany them.
2. You may recognize that there are some things on your list that you actually cannot do.  See if you can tell the differences between the types of can't statements.  Are there some you could do if you invested the time and energy it would require?
3. Focus on your other can't statements.  Repeat them a few times.  Now try substituting 'won't' where you said 'can't.  Do you feel any difference?
4. Repeat one of the won't statements again, and be aware of the feelings that come with it.  Are you taking the responsibility that is a part of saying "I will not"? 
5. Try to get in touch with the nature of your refusal.  Allow the refusal to expand.  Feel the strength that is in it. 
6.  Compare how you feel when making a "won't" statement to how you feel when you make a "can't" statement.  The difference is your sense of responsibility for your behavior."

The "Happened to Me" Technique
Review CD track 5 for more information regarding this technique.
This technique can be implemented to help a client recognize his or her use of the passive voice.

1.  Make a list of all of your activities through the day up until our session.
2. Rewrite all of your statements using the passive voice:  "I was gotten out of bed, my face was washed, breakfast was fed to me", and so on.
3. Cast away all the volition and will in your behavior.  Imagine yourself in a completely predetermined day in which all of your behaviors and actions are set for you.  Reflect on how this makes you feel.
4. Next, reverse this process, by replacing all of the passive verbs in your statements with active ones.  You may have to exaggerate some of your activities to use the active tense.  Assume you have complete control over what you do.  "I got out of bed.  I washed my face, I ate breakfast."
5.  Reflect on how using the active tense makes you feel.  Now, consider how much responsibility you are willing to take.

The "Exaggerated Gestures" Technique
Review CD track 6 for more information regarding this technique.
This technique can be used to help a client increase his or her awareness of nonverbal behaviors.

Focus your awareness on your mouth and jaw.  As you move through these gestures, notice how each feels.  Where do you feel tension?  What movements make you feel relaxed?  How does each motion change how you are feeling?

You lick your lips…
You smile slightly…
You grit your teeth…
Your mouth is dry…
Your mouth drops open suddenly…
You bite your lips…
You snarl…
You jut your jaw forward…
You grin broadly…
You clamp your jaw shut…
You spit…
You are kissing…
You stick out your tongue…
You move your tongue rapidly…
Your lower lip is quivering…
Your lips are drawn tight…

The Stump-Cabin-Stream Technique, by John O. Stevens
Review CD track 8 for more information regarding this technique.
This technique allows the client to project into several different roles, allowing a broad range of feelings, self-perceptions, and needs to emerge.

1.  First, imagine that you are a tree stump in the mountains… Visualize yourself and your surroundings… Take some time to describe what you look like…  What is your existence like as a tree stump?  What kinds of things happen to you?
2. Near this stump, there is a cabin.   Now, I'd like you to become the cabin… Again, try to get the experience of being this cabin…  What are you like?  What do you have inside you?  Take some time to experience being the cabin…
3. Near the cabin, there is a stream.  I’d like you now to become the stream.  What kind of stream are you?  What are your surroundings like?  How do you feel as a stream?  What kind of experiences do you have?
4.  As this stream, I would like you to talk to the cabin.  What do you say to the cabin?  Talk to the cabin and  imagine that the cabin answers back, so that you have a conversation… Now become the cabin again and continue the conversation.  What do you have to say to the stream?  Continue this dialogue for a while…
5.  Now say goodbye to the mountains… Say goodbye to the cabin, the stream, and the stump… Come back here to this room and your existence here… Open your eyes when you are ready…

The "Puppeteer Technique"
Review CD track 9 for more information regarding this technique.
This technique allows a client project two personal aspects which tend towards opposites.

1. Imagine yourself as a puppet.  Describe yourself with strings and all.  Feel yourself as a puppet by yourself.  What can you do?  What feelings do you have?  Now imagine a puppeteer approaching.  How do you feel towards the puppeteer? Speak to the puppeteer about your relationship.
2.  Now switch over.  Be the puppeteer.  What do you have to say in response to the puppet?  What are your feelings about the puppet?
3. Continue this dialogue.  What differences do you feel in the two roles?  Which feels more familiar to you?  Which do you prefer? 

The "When I Was 12" Technique
Review CD track 10 for more information regarding this technique.
This technique can help a client increase his or her awareness of an alienated childlike aspect of the self.

1.  Imagine yourself at age 12, and to describe yourself. 
2.  Next, describe what kinds of playful things you do at age 12. 
3.  Choose one of these playful things, and try doing it now.
4.  Ask yourself how you feel as you give yourself permission to play. 

The "I Give You the Power" Technique
Review CD track 11 for more information regarding this technique.
This technique can help a client increase awareness of how he or she lets other affect his or her feeling.

1. First, think of a person that "makes you feel bad".  Imagine this person is sitting in the chair across from you.  Take a moment to carefully visualize this person.
2. Tell this person how he or she affects you.
3. Now, tell this person, "I give you the power to make me feel this way."  Repeat this statement a few times
4. Think how saying this makes you feel.  Is it a negative or a positive experience?  Do you feel uncomfortable?
5. Choose another person who you feel affects your feelings, and repeat steps 1-4.

The "Now I Feel" Technique
Review CD track 11 for more information regarding this technique.
This parroting technique can help a client increase awareness of how he or she is responsible for feelings.

1. Take the sentence, 'Now I feel, and I'm responsible for that' and state whatever you are feeling.
2. Keep going.  If you feel silly about the experiment, you might state, "Now I feel this is silly, and I'm responsible for that." 
3. Reflect on how you feel when you are making these statements. 

The Topdog-Underdog Dialogue
Review CD track 12 for more information regarding this technique.
This technique can help a client increase his or her awareness of bipolarities in his or her personality.

1. Feel what it is to be your topdog.  Now, imagine yourself in a dialogue with your underdog.  Make some "should" statements and some criticisms… Listen to the kinds of things you say… What feelings do you have as you do this?  What do you experience in your body?
2. Now, switch over and be your underdog.  Answer the criticisms.  Listen to your reasons, excuses, and explanations… What do you feel towards the topdog?
3. Continue this dialogue for a while… What differences do you experience as you switch from side to side?  What side feels more familiar to you?  Do you notice any difference in your feelings towards either side as you continue your dialogue?

 
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