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© Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung1 Gestalt & Strategic Theories Meeting 7 © Cheung, M., & Leung, P. (2008). Multicultural practice and evaluation: A case.

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Presentation on theme: "© Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung1 Gestalt & Strategic Theories Meeting 7 © Cheung, M., & Leung, P. (2008). Multicultural practice and evaluation: A case."— Presentation transcript:

1 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung1 Gestalt & Strategic Theories Meeting 7 © Cheung, M., & Leung, P. (2008). Multicultural practice and evaluation: A case approach to evidence-based practice. Denver, CO: Love. Instructors who adopt this book may use this PowerPoint to teach your course without prior permission. Please address questions and comments to

2 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 2 Your Inner Strength Get a piece of paper and position your pen. When the light is dimmed, concentrate on your inner strength or some quality about you that makes you happy or feel proud. As you are thinking, draw circles continuously on the paper without stopping until time is up.

3 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 3 The NOW feeling Interview your classmate and ask: Look at your drawing What do you see now? What feeling do you have now?

4 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung4 Gestalt As a clinical skill, this approach uses tools and techniques to catch clients’ attention, heighten their anxiety, focus on their direct experience, and encourage them to think about their issues and solutions.

5 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 5 Gestalt-Oriented Family Therapy Gestalt = the organized or unified whole of an individual Key: direct knowledge of the SELF is the key to good mental health

6 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 6 Gestalt Focus Wholeness:  Tell me how you feel about yourself in relation to your family. Perception  Who in your family knows about this issue? How much does he or she know? Here and Now  What are you experiencing now?

7 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 7 Gestalt Goals Help individuals within a family structure to develop better boundaries between themselves and other family members Help individuals become more self-aware in order to complete unfinished business and change old, familiar patterns

8 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 8 Gestalt Goals Balance the individual intrapsychic problems with better interpersonal relationships that show up in family interactions Help the family to shift its focus between individual and family issues  Individual: intrapersonal and boundary issues  Family: interpersonal and transactional issues

9 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 9 Gestalt 5 Layers of Self:  Phony  Phobic  Impasse  Implosive  Explosive

10 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 10 Gestalt 5 Layers of Self:  Phony (react to others in stereotypical ways)  Phobic (avoid pain associated with self)  Impasse (get stuck in own maturation)  Implosive (experience our deadness and not deny it)  Explosive (let go of all pretenses and release energy to enjoy life)

11 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 11 Theoretical Constructs of Gestalt Theory of Cause Theory of Change

12 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 12 Theory of Cause  Human beings have a natural desire to cooperate and please others  When the emotion is unexpressed, the causes of these blocked experiences are often forgotten but are present in the here-and-now behavior of the person Therefore,  The goal is to bring these experiences back to life NOW to see what was causing the problem and complete it in the present

13 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 13 Theory of Change 4 stages of the Gestalt Experience Cycle Sensations and Perceptions Awareness Contact Ability to Let Go (Withdrawal)

14 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 14 Theory of Change Stage 1: Sensations & Perceptions Learned in childhood Should’s + stimuli = sensitive to stimuli (Sensation)

15 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 15 Theory of Change Stage 2: Awareness Pay attention to a sensation (e.g., pain) + Develop appropriate way to act out the conflict

16 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 16 Theory of Change Stage 3: Contact Learn new ways to make genuine contact with family members + Aware that we resisted contact through  Projection  Introjection  Retroflection  Confluence  Deflection

17 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 17 Aware that we resisted contact through: Projection  Making contact with disowned parts of the self rather than other people Introjection  Incorporating aspect of the other into self Retroflection  Turning against oneself Confluence  The boundaries of self and other are confused Deflection  A wall is erected to avoid conflict

18 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 18 Theory of Change Stage 4: Ability to Let Go An inability to withdraw and let go of an experience usually results in unfinished business in relationship

19 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 19 Main Therapeutic Techniques (C&L, pp. 219–228) Exaggeration & body language work Rehearsal with empty chair I have a secret Dialogue exercise Dream work “I’ll take responsibility for it” Staying with the feeling Reversal technique Making the rounds Playing the projection

20 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 20 Empty Chairs Introduce the chair & purpose Look at the chair (use direct conversations) Create a dialogue Alternatives (if not comfortable):  Role play  Role reversal Practice with a classmate

21 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 21 The Case Approach: Practice with Joe and Mary’s Family (Gestalt) Read Issue: Privacy and Boundary Setting (pp. 215–216) Discuss: What did you learn in this role play? What techniques would a social worker feel comfortable to use? How do you modify this technique in your practice?

22 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 22 Limitations of Gestalt It assumes that individuals have personal control over environmental influences. It assumes all clients are well functioning to understand the importance of wholeness It does not help the individuals to share if they feel that the therapist is making provocative comments.

23 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 23 Memory Recall In pairs, Try to remember and identify major components in the picture

24 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 24 Memorize this (in your mind only)

25 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 25 Memory Recall In pairs, Try to remember and identify major components in the picture Draw it out (in one minute’s time) Discuss what strategies you used in the memorization or recall process

26 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 26 Strategies You Used Contents Order Number Words Characters Positions Gesture Uniqueness Similarities Meanings Symbols Interactions Relationships Structure Unexpected Personalities

27 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 27 How much did you get it?

28 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 28 STRATEGIC APPROACH The attempt to determine cause and effect A symptom is a strategy for controlling a relationship (because of desire to love and control)  “You started it.” (I’m only reacting to what you did.)  “No, you started it first.” (because of what you said or did.)

29 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 29 Paradoxical Interventions Ask the family members to do things that are in apparent opposition to the goals of therapy and express their feelings after observing the opposite in action.

30 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 30 Pretend Technique To desensitize a person with repeated acts of a behavior and to train something they wouldn't ordinarily do unless it is framed as play or pretend.

31 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 31 Ordeal Therapy If one makes it more difficult for a person to have a symptom than to give it up, the person will give up the symptom.

32 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 32 Positive Connotation Reframe the symptom as a means to preserve the family's homeostasis.

33 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 33 Rituals Engage the whole family in a series of actions which run counter to, or exaggerate, rigid family rules and myths.

34 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 34 Finding the Differences Different perception of relationships  "Who is closer to their father, your daughter or your son?" Differences of degree  "On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad do you think the fighting was during this past week?"

35 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 35 More Differences… Now/then differences  "Did she start losing weight before or after her sister went off to college?" Hypothetical or future differences  “Think about three situations: If she had not been born, was born five years earlier, or was born just now), how would your marriage be different today?"

36 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 36 Circular Questioning An interviewing technique aimed at eliciting family members' opinions regarding differences A technique to solicit answers directly from the client

37 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 37 Practice with Strategic Approach Be sure to read case approach in textbook Practice the skills with a partner

38 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 38 Daily Affirmation Today I choose to do things for me that make me feel good about myself. Today is a perfect day to do something that I have been putting off.

39 © Love Publishing: Cheung & Leung 39 References Cheung, M., & Leung, P. (2008). Multicultural practice and evaluation: A case approach to evidence-based practice. Denver, CO: Love. Perls, F. (1973). The gestalt approach & eye witness to therapy. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books.


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