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On this track, we will review four guidelines for implementing Gestalt therapy with clients. These four guidelines are timing in applying Gestalt approaches, gradations in approaches, in and out of counseling, and individual differences among clients.
Four Guidelines for Implementing Gestalt Therapy
Guideline #1 -Timing
During our weekly session, Allan stated, "I don’t know what went wrong. I was in my session with Betty, and she was mentioning her new boyfriend, and I just got really in sync with the discrepancies between her verbal and nonverbal communications. So, I brought them up, just like we learned how to do. All of a sudden, she's hostile and defensive… she just shut down on me!" Track 6 will outline four ways in which a therapist can respond to a client's nonverbal behavior using Gestalt therapy.
I stated to Allan, "Well, your perceptions of her behaviors certainly seem accurate. But there seem to be two factors that contributed to Betty's being defensive.
Guideline #2 - Gradations in Approaches
Guideline #3 - In and Out of Counseling
As a learning experiment in the session, we role-played Kevin shouting "Shut up!" to each person who criticized him. We then channeled this experiment into discussing appropriate and constructive assertive responses. However, I am sure you can imagine the counterproductive nature if this exercise if Kevin were to misinterpret the activity, and began shouting "Shut up!" at his family every time they criticized him.
Do you have a client who needs to be reminded of the difference between appropriate behavior in and appropriate behavior out of counseling?
Guideline #4 - Individual Differences Among Clients
Do you agree? While a young child might be highly responsive to imagining "being" another person to understand his or her feelings, the same young child might have difficulty accepting the responsibility for how he or she makes himself or herself feel happy, frustrated, or jealous. As you have experienced, adult clients also differ in the degree of responsibility they can accept for their own feelings.
On this track, we have discussed four guidelines for implementing Gestalt therapy with clients. These four guidelines are timing in applying Gestalt approaches, gradations in approaches, differentiating behavior in and out of counseling, and individual differences among clients.
On the next track we will discuss three important considerations in approaches for enhancing a client's present awareness. These three considerations are, awareness helps in focusing on the "now", awareness of self, and awareness of surroundings.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION
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