This essential new book gives the reader an introduction to the fundamental concepts of gestalt therapy in a stimulating and accessible style. It supports the study and practice of gestalt therapy for clinicians of all backgrounds, reflecting a practice-based pedagogy that emphasises experiential learning.
The content in this book builds on the curriculum taught at the Norwegian Gestalt Institute University College (NGI). The material is divided into four main sections. In the first section, the theoretical basis for gestalt therapy is presented with references to gestalt psychology, field theory, phenomenology and existential philosophy. In the later parts central theoretical terms and practical models are discussed, such as the paradoxical theory of change, creative adjustment, self, contact, contact forms, awareness, polarities, and process models. Clinical examples illustrate the therapy form’s emphasis on the relational meeting between therapist and client.
Detailed description of gestalt therapy theory from the time of the gestalt psychologists to today, with abundant examples from clinical practice, distinguishes this book from other texts. It will be of great value to therapists, coaches and students of gestalt therapy.
"The task of a good textbook is to provide the student with the most important information to support them to find access to their field of interest. Gro Skottun and Åshild Krüger´s book does more than just that. In a pleasantly readable and comprehensive way they introduce the Gestalt therapy trainee to the fundamental concepts of this approach. And – what is even more valuable – they do a wonderful job in presenting the various topics in an understandable manner without simplifying them, but by stimulating the interest of their readers so that they want to learn more about this lively and efficient form of psychotherapy. On each page it becomes obvious that this book was written by two experienced trainers, who love what they teach and who know how to captivate their students."
Frank Staemmler, Psychologist and Gestalt therapist, Würzburg
"In this important text, Gro Skottun and Åshild Krüger explore Gestalt’s revolutionary core concepts and historical underpinnings as well as its practical applications. Gracefully interweaving case vignettes within each chapter, readers discover the how of Gestalt therapy as they assimilate information not only through thinking, but also through feeling. The book will have a wide and receptive audience: Gestalt training institutes, graduate classes for mental health, masters and doctoral students, and practitioners from a variety of modalities. I highly recommend it."
Ruella Frank, Founder and Director of the Center for Somatic Studies, New York
"I have great respect for this book, both for the huge amount of serious work that the authors have put in on it and for the didactic style that allows even non-specialists to understand what gestalt therapy is. This work is a testament to the true dialogical attitude that the Norwegian institute has always had, through their exchange with many international teachers (including myself). And I particularly appreciate that it begins with a description of gestalt theory as a main root of gestalt therapy, since this is for the most part neglected. I consider this book a very good tool for all gestalt therapy students."
Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb, Director Istituto di Gestalt HCC Italy
Table of Contents
Introduction Part 1: The Basis of Gestalt Therapy 01. Gestalt Psychology and Field Theory 02. Phenomenology and Existentialism 03. The Founders of Gestalt Therapy Part 2: Fundamental Terminology and Concepts 04. The Field in Practice 05. The Theory of Change 06. Creative Adjustment 07. The Theory of Self in Gestalt Therapy 08. Awareness 09. Contact and Contact Functions 10. Polarities 11. Experimenting Part 3: Contact Forms 12. Confluence 13. Introjection 14. Projection 15. Retroflection 16. Self-Monitoring 17. Deflection Part 4: Process Models 18. The Process of Contact 19. The Process of Experience 20. The Process of Change
About the Authors:
Gro Skottun, PhD, is one of the founders of the Norwegian Gestalt Institute University College (NGI) in 1986, where she today is pro-rector and associate professor and has for many years taught gestalt therapy internationally, mostly in Prague and Budapest. She is a cofounder of the NGI’s professional journal, Norsk Gestalttidsskrift, for which she is currently editor, and has published several articles on gestalt therapy.
Åshild Krüger, cand. Polit, MSc in gestalt psychotherapy was an Assistant Professor at the Lillehammer University College, and an Assistant Professor at the Norwegian Gestalt Institute University College (NGI). She is a co-founder of the institution’s professional journal, Norsk Gestalttidsskrift, and has published widely on gestalt therapy.