Gestalt Therapy: Roots and Branches - Collected Papers

Author(s) : Peter Philippson

Gestalt Therapy: Roots and Branches - Collected Papers

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : 2012
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 288
  • Category :
    Gestalt Therapy
  • Catalogue No : 32750
  • ISBN 13 : 9781780490724
  • ISBN 10 : 1780490720

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There has been a renewed interest in the last ten years in the underpinnings – theoretical, philosophical, and historical – of the Gestalt approach. Often in the past, these have been lost in oversimplified versions of the therapy. The author's aim in his writings has been to provide a full and coherent account of Gestalt theory, and to emphasise our links to our therapeutic and philosophical heritage, particularly psychoanalysis and existentialism. His theme is a field-relational theory of self as the centrepiece of the approach, and how this has been placed within a structure that is still recognisably psychoanalytic. In this approach, self is understood as meaningful only in relation to what is taken as other, and how that other is contacted.

The formation of a relatively coherent self-concept is a task, not a given, and can be problematic as well as helpful (when it no longer supports the person’s life-situation). Thus therapy is not an attunement to a self inherent in the client, but an exploration of contacting and awareness; and the therapist’s stance can never truly be seen as neutral. Many of these ideas have found their way in some form into other therapeutic approaches (Intersubjectivity Theory, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy), and the actual relationship between therapist and client is acknowledged as highly significant. However, this has usually happened without the underpinning of a systematic field-relational approach to psychotherapy, and Gestalt Therapy, which has one, has for historical reasons not been in a position to engage with these developments. Fortunately this is now changing, and it is hoped that this work will help that development

Reviews and Endorsements

'Peter Philippson is known around the globe as a profoundly innovative, stimulating, and original thinker within the Gestalt community. With this collection of previously published articles, readers finally get a chance to appreciate the range and depth of his work. In particular, the unique way he has constantly critiqued developments with reference to the roots of Gestalt Therapy. Philippson believes that the lineage of Gestalt therapy is insufficiently known, recognised, appreciated, or delighted in. With this stunning collection of papers he certainly redresses this balance. If you thought the past was past and the history of the discipline was irrelevant, Philippson will change your mind forever.'
- Dr Sally Denham-Vaughan, joint lead on the Organisational Change and Facilitation: A Gestalt Approach programme at Metanoia Institute, London, and Consultant Psychologist/Clinical Lead for Primary Care Mental Health and IAPT services in the NHS in Worcestershire, UK

'Here is Peter Philippson. His personality is woven into the fabric of this book. These essays written over the decades capture his wit, playfulness, keen thinking, and analytic intellect. In this book, the reader will find the breadth of his interests and depth of his knowledge of Gestalt therapy and psychotherapy. Most of all, the reader will discover both how and why Peter is one of today's leading Gestalt therapy theorists - and gain new perspectives on Gestalt therapy nearly from each chapter.'
- Dan Bloom, psychotherapist, Fellow and past-president, New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy, past-president, Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy

About the Author(s)

Peter Philippson is a Gestalt psychotherapist and trainer, Member of the Gestalt Psychotherapy and Training Institute UK, a founder member of Manchester Gestalt Centre, Full Member of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy, Senior Trainer for GITA (Slovenia) and trainer for training programmes internationally. He is Past President of the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy.

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