Fritz Perls's Use of Gestalt Therapy: a Review

2428 Words Apr 30th, 2013 10 Pages
Gestalt is a fascinating approach to therapy with many unique techniques, interventions and goals that set it apart from other approaches. "Self-acceptance, knowledge of the environment, responsibility for choices, and the ability to make contact...are important awareness processes and goals, all of which are based on a here-and-now experiencing that is always changing" (Corey, 2009, p. 200).
Fritz Perls demonstrates his Gestalt therapy style in Three Approaches to Psychotherapy: A Film Series (1975). Though this film has made a significant impact in the field of psychological education, many simply remember Fritz Perls as a brash and cocky showman. This is unfortunate as he has left very meaningful contributions to the field of
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At yet another point, as he points out to Gloria, many of his statements have a neutral charge but are given a negative charge through Gloria's transferential perception. For example, Perls asks Gloria what her foot was doing and Gloria perceives it as a negative judgment on Perls's part and a demand that she explain why she is wiggling her foot. As perls explains to Gloria "That is the Fritz of your imagination" (1975). This interaction between the therapist and client led to a significant intervention. When Perls asks Gloria what her foot is doing she laughs quite a bit and says that she's afraid that he's going to notice everything that she does. Perls intervenes by pointing out that Gloria is laughing (which is incongruent with what she is saying and feeling). These and many other behaviors lead Perls to confront Gloria by calling her a phony. It is at this point that Gloria expresses her feelings in a genuine way. She expresses verbally that she is angry and she behaves as though she is angry. This is the first time during the session that her affect is congruent with her mood. This is a perfect example of what Corey meant when he wrote "[Perls] was a master at intentionally frustrating clients to enhance their awareness (2009, p. 200). This was Perls's way of reaching for feelings. He is almost pushing Gloria into contact with her real feelings. He provokes her anger in the here-and-now and as a result she has an opportunity to
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