On the last track, we discussed three techniques for implementing fantasy situations to increase a client's awareness. The three techniques were, the introductory scene, the Stump-Cabin-Stream technique, and the positive withdrawal.
On this track, we will discuss two Gestalt orienting points of implementing Dialogues. These two orienting points are the client plays both parts, and using two chairs. We will also discuss the Puppeteer Technique.
As you are well aware, the use of dialogues is one of the most readily identifiable methods that differentiate Gestalt therapy from other approaches. This method makes use of the tools of Identification and Projection, previously discussed. The client is asked to identify with and project into a part of him or herself, another person, or something in the environment, and to "become" it.
Then, a dialogue is held between the client and whatever it is that the client is acting out. I find that when introducing dialogues to a client for the first time, it is important to remember that approaching a dialogue is usually a unique experience for the client. In my experience, there are two orienting points to consider that can help make the implementation of dialogues easier for the client.
Two Orienting Points of Implementing Dialogues
Point #1 - Have the Client Enact both Parts
For some clients, however, an intermediate step may be necessary before the client is ready to fully enact both roles. With Daniel, who we discussed on Track 7, I used the Write a Scene technique as an intermediate step. Daniel had recently been offered a job that paid well, but would require an extensive training period and long hours.
I stated, "Suppose the side of you that is for taking the job, and the side of you that is against taking the job were talking to each other. What would they be saying? Suppose you try writing a script about how the dialogue would go." As you can see, this writing a script technique is one step short of enactment. I felt that this technique would be more appropriate for Daniel’s first experience with dialogue work.
Point #2 - Two Chairs
Three-Part Puppeteer Technique
I have found that these object to object dialogues help a client project two personal aspects which tend towards opposites. This can help the client heighten awareness of both sides. One example of this type of dialogue, which I implemented with Daniel, is the Puppeteer Technique.
Here are the three parts of the Puppeteer Technique.
Think of your Daniel. Would implementing the Puppeteer Technique with him or her be useful in your next session? Would discovering whether he or she identifies more with the controlling puppeteer or the controlled puppet help increase your client’s awareness of his or her feelings?
On this track, we have discussed two orienting points of implementing Dialogues in Gestalt therapy. These two orienting points are the client plays both parts, and using two chairs. We also discussed the Puppeteer Technique.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION 9
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