lifeworksgestaltlogobase

About Me

My photo

I teach and practice Gestalt therapy, Career decision coaching, and Family Constellations work. As well as Australia, I teach workshops and training in China, Japan, Korea, the USA & Mexico. I am author of Understanding The Woman In Your Life, a book of advice for men about relationships with women. In my work as director of Lifeworks I provide therapy,  training and supervision. I am a Phd candidate, studying the interpersonal dynamics of power, and am currently director of an MA in Spiritual Psychology for Ryokan College, an accredited online institution based in LA.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Case #178 - An exquisite moment of shyness and connection

Alexis spoke of being shy. She said 'I am often in my world, others in theirs'.
As we conversed about this, she described how even her husband talked about her not letting him in.
I asked about her daughter, who was 20 months old. Alexis said her daughter was very similar to her, very shy.
I shared with her that I also had an inner world that, despite my apparent outgoingness, others rarely had access to.
I then asked about her daughter again…Alexis said that there were two things which worked in terms of connecting with her daughter: firstly getting the right distance - not overwhelming her; and secondly, proximity - being close enough as she needed comfort.
These two paramaters gave me the keys to Alexis.
I invited her to stand up with me, and find the right place spatially in relation to me - expressing the right mix of distance and proximity - I used her exact language, that she had talked about in terms of her daughter's needs.
She moved around in order to find  find the right place in terms of distance from me, and then she came and stood slightly behind me, so I couldnt quite see her, but at the same time very close to me, just touching.  
I felt a wave of emotion, as did she. I felt deeply touched, at this interaction, wordless though it was. I shared that with her. After some time she then moved around in front of me, and reached out her hands. We stood there, holding hands, for a long time. The moment was exquisite, and profoundly moving.
This is the potential of Gestalt therapy, to move with the wave of awareness, with a minimum of words, and a maximum of grace. To explore the edge of contact - what we call 'good contact'. To find the balance between respectful space, and yearned-for closeness. This can lead to such encounters which we term the I-thou.  
Such experiences are transformative. Not in some intellectual way, of purely 'insight', or 'understanding', or advice or explanation. This is experiential learning at its best - to actually participate in the Gestalt experiment, as we call it, the 'safe emergency', which is intense enough to be real, to take people to their edge, but not so much as to overwhelm.
Alexis has had a life time issue with her shyness. Now her daughter is also shy. But in her daughter's vulnerability and simplicity, its apparent to Alexis what is needed. This provides the keys for what Alexis needs. An experience of this kind of contact is nourishing and healing, and in adult life, rare. Gestalt offers the opportunity to provide the space for such moments. We can't engineer them, just be present, be with the client, and set up an experiment with the right ingredients.  

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Case #177 - An exquisite moment of shyness and connection

Alexis spoke of being shy. She said 'I am often in my world, others in theirs'.
As we conversed about this, she described how even her husband talked about her not letting him in.
I asked about her daughter, who was 20 months old. Alexis said her daughter was very similar to her, very shy.
I shared with her that I also had an inner world that, despite my apparent outgoingness, others rarely had access to.
I then asked about her daughter again…Alexis said that there were two things which worked in terms of connecting with her daughter: firstly getting the right distance - not overwhelming her; and secondly, proximity - being close enough as she needed comfort.
These two paramaters gave me the keys to Alexis.
I invited her to stand up with me, and find the right place spatially in relation to me - expressing the right mix of distance and proximity - I used her exact language, that she had talked about in terms of her daughter's needs.
She moved around in order to find  find the right place in terms of distance from me, and then she came and stood slightly behind me, so I couldnt quite see her, but at the same time very close to me, just touching.  
I felt a wave of emotion, as did she. I felt deeply touched, at this interaction, wordless though it was. I shared that with her. After some time she then moved around in front of me, and reached out her hands. We stood there, holding hands, for a long time. The moment was exquisite, and profoundly moving.
This is the potential of Gestalt therapy, to move with the wave of awareness, with a minimum of words, and a maximum of grace. To explore the edge of contact - what we call 'good contact'. To find the balance between respectful space, and yearned-for closeness. This can lead to such encounters which we term the I-thou.  
Such experiences are transformative. Not in some intellectual way, of purely 'insight', or 'understanding', or advice or explanation. This is experiential learning at its best - to actually participate in the Gestalt experiment, as we call it, the 'safe emergency', which is intense enough to be real, to take people to their edge, but not so much as to overwhelm.
Alexis has had a life time issue with her shyness. Now her daughter is also shy. But in her daughter's vulnerability and simplicity, its apparent to Alexis what is needed. This provides the keys for what Alexis needs. An experience of this kind of contact is nourishing and healing, and in adult life, rare. Gestalt offers the opportunity to provide the space for such moments. We can't engineer them, just be present, be with the client, and set up an experiment with the right ingredients.  

Friday, April 1, 2016

Case #176 - Acknowledging stopping, and meeting longing

Liila talked about a previous relationship she had 12 years ago.  
But before she continued sharing, she turned to the group and asked people to not take any photos of her.
I commented that she was taking care of herself.
I asked her what kind of care she might want from me in the process - this is bringing her directly into relationship with me.
I asked her feelings - they were in her chest.  
As she stayed with her feelings, Liila talked about two forces - which she demonstrated with her fists - attraction and stopping. The first were pushing into each other.
I invited her as an experiment to have a conversation between the firsts.  
They continued to be locked - both in the conversation between them, and in her physically pushing them together.  
This is what we refer to as the 'impasse' in Gestalt.
So I asked her to intensify the pressure - push the fists harder into each other. In Gestalt we often exaggerate experiences, to highlight awareness.
She became tired. Then the 'stopping' arm just let go, and the 'attraction' arm moved up, open, in a reaching out position.
The 'stopping' fist said 'I am tired, I am just letting go now'.  
The other fist - now an open hand, remained open, and she held that position for some time.  
I asked what happened with the stopping force - she said, 'I have let go'.
But I pointed out the stopping force also had something valid to say, and I asked her to give that a voice. I suggested that this stopping fist was a self protective force, stopping her from reaching out and getting hurt again, being too vulnerable.  
I pointed out that remaining - as she was doing - in an open/longing/reaching-out position too long would also tire out her arm.  
So I reached my arm out, to hold that hand which was open.  
I said - 'this is the connection you are reaching out for. If you dont get met soon enough, your self protectiveness is useful. But if it stops you reaching out altogether, then you miss out on bringing your longing into relationship.'
We stayed there for some time - a place of deep connection.
This brought her many awarenesses...
I brought myself into relationship with her at the point when she took a step into her vulnerability. Rather than just 'facilitate' her, I included myself, and closed the gap. This is an example of utilising the internal dynamics a personal have, for the purpose of brining them more deeply into the experience of relationship.  

© Lifeworks 2012

Contact: admin@learngestalt.com

Who is this blog for?

These case examples are for therapists, students and those working in the helping professions. The purpose is to show how the Gestalt approach works in practice, linking theory with clinical challenges.

Because this is aimed at a professional audience, the blog is available by subscription. Please enter your email address to receive free blog updates every time a new entry is added.

Gestalt therapy sessions

For personal therapy with me: www.qualityonlinetherapy.com

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

© Lifeworks 2012

Contact: admin@learngestalt.com

Languages:

HOME

Informed Consent & Rates

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING

Gestalt Therapy Defined

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

PAYMENTS

OTHER STUFF

Links

Book:Advice for Men about Women

BLOGS

• English

Bahasa

Čeština

Deutsch

Español

Français

Greek ελληνικά

Hindi हिंदी

Magyar

Melayu

Italiano

Korean한국의

Polski

Português

Română

Russian Русский

Serbian српски

Chinese 中文

Japanese 日本語

Arabic العربية

English Bahasa České Deutsch Español Filipino Français ελληνικά हिंदी Magyar Melayu Italiano 한국의 Polski Português Română Русский српски 中文 日本語 العربية

If you are interested in following my travels/adventures in the course of my teaching work around the world, feel free to follow my Facebook Page!

vinaysmile

I publish this blog twice a week. It is translated into multiple languages. You are welcome to subscribe

logosm1

Interested in Gestalt Therapy training?

Contact Us

Links

Career Decision Coaching

Here

and here

Lifeworks

Gestalt training and much more

http://www.depth.net.au

For Men

Here is a dedicated site for my book Understanding the Woman in Your Life

http://www.manlovesawoman.com

The Unvirtues

A site dedicated to this novel approach to the dynamics of self interest in relationship

http://www.unvirtues.com

Learn Gestalt

A site with Gestalt training professional development videos, available for CE points

http://www.learngestalt.com

We help people live more authentically

Want more? See the Archives column here

Gestalt therapy demonstration sessions

Touching pain and anger: https://youtu.be/3r-lsBhfzqY (40m)

Permission to feel: https://youtu.be/2rSNpLBAqj0 (54m)

Marriage after 50: https://youtu.be/JRb1mhmtIVQ (1h 17m)

Serafina - Angel wings: https://youtu.be/iY_FeviFRGQ (45m)

Barb Wire Tattoo: https://youtu.be/WlA9Xfgv6NM (37m)

A natural empath; vibrating with joy: https://youtu.be/tZCHRUrjJ7Y (39m)

Dealing with a metal spider: https://youtu.be/3Z9905IhYBA (51m)

Interactive group: https://youtu.be/G0DVb81X2tY (1h 57m)