Gestalt Therapy with Children and a Comparative Therapy

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Introduction Gestalt therapy, which was founded by Fritz and Laura Perls in the 1940s, teaches the therapists and their clients the phenomenological awareness method, where feeling, perceiving and acting are differentiated from interpreting and rearranging the pre-existing attitudes. Gestalt therapists and clients’ dialogue, thus communicating their phenomenological perspectives, and their differences in perceptions form the basis and focus of experimentation and continued dialogue. The desired outcome of the therapy process is for the client to become aware of their actions, how they are acting, and the ways they can change their actions and learn to accept and appreciate themselves. Here, the emphasis is mainly on the process rather…show more content…
Different schools of thought within the humanistic tradition have built on and also separated from the previous theories and conceptualization of child development (Oaklander, 2014). Worth noting is the transactional analysis theoretical understanding of the development of a child (Tudor, 1998), which views a child’s development in terms of ego states, script formation among other concepts like protection and therapeutic potency and permission that are of practical use in working with the children. Oaklander (2007) recognizes the need for children to make good use of the contact functions labelled as looking, listening, smelling, tasting, expressing feelings, thoughts, ideas, curiosity, touching, moving, among others. These contact functions are the same modalities that make up one’s self, as the children who get emotionally disturbed tend to isolate themselves in some way, restricting the body, anaesthetizing their senses, closing down their minds and blocking their emotions (Oaklander, 2007). When this happens, a child’s healthful development is adversely affected, and their problems get further exacerbated. Their self gets inhibited, and they cannot make good contact. The Gestalt developmental theory offers a structural basis for psychotherapy with children through provision of guidance for the physiotherapy with the therapists to understanding the child’ experience, how a

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