Object Relations in Gestalt Therapy

Author(s) : Gilles Delisle

Object Relations in Gestalt Therapy

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : January 2013
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 288
  • Category :
    Gestalt Therapy
  • Catalogue No : 32095
  • ISBN 13 : 9781780490359
  • ISBN 10 : 1780490356

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The author proposes a revision of Perls, Hefferline and Goodman's Theory of the Self in a way that brings it closer to contemporary issues in in the area of personality disorders. Understanding splitting and projective identification that chronically lead to experiential impasses is an essential feature of the psychotherapy of the more severe personality disorders. In order to do so within the Gestalt framework, the author integrates certain developmental concepts from object relations theory, especially those put forth by W.R.D. Fairbairn (1954).

This revised developmental perspective leads to an Object Relational Gestalt Therapy (ORGT), in which the here-and-now therapeutic relationship is related to the there-and-then of the developmental past, as well as to the there-and-now of the client's current life situation.

This text contains the integral version of the author's doctoral thesis. The thesis as such is followed by chapters on ORGT as Evidence Based Practice, and on the neurodynamics of ORGT. Finally, three cases analyses illustrate the theory in clinical context.

Reviews and Endorsements

'Inspired by the need to respond more efficiently to the problems faced daily at the clinic, the author has revised the theory of the Self developed by Perls, Hefferline, and Goodman, but has preserved, in its entirety, the holistic perspective adopted by Gestalt therapy. He has woven together epistemological and methodological considerations about Gestalt therapy, resulting in both the revision of its own concepts and their integration with many elements of the theory of Object Relations presented by Fairbairn. The author also makes many salient observations on how research in neuroscience has given support to clinical practice. Without ignoring or diminishing the importance of the human discovery he invites the Gestalt therapist to enrich himself with the DSM considerations, enabling a higher degree of comprehension related to etiology, phenomenology, epidemiology and to the specific treatment for personality disorders.’
- Professor Virginia Martins Costa, psychologist; Clinical Supervisor and Administrative Director of the Institute for Research and Training in Gestalt Therapy, Brazil

‘Gilles Delisle’s unique contribution to understanding personality pathology has been widely respected within the global Gestalt community for more than two decades. This engaging, scholarly text builds on his earlier works to articulate the core epistemological and methodological principles guiding his integration of Gestalt and object relations, and to illuminate theoretically and professionally his dynamic, relational approach to working with pathology. The core arguments are robustly and rigorously articulated to produce a rich, stimulating account of the ways in which the combination of Gestalt and object relations can work synergistically to enhance practice and effectiveness. The theory holds up to scrutiny in the light of contemporary neuroscience and in-depth case studies illuminate theory in action over time. This text is a delightful read, and accessible not only to Gestalt and Object Relations practitioners but also to those with little knowledge or experience of either. Indeed, it is highly recommended for all counsellors and psychotherapists looking for fresh, yet profound ways of working with challenging issues and processes.’
- Belinda Harris, PhD, UKCP Psychotherapist and Associate Professor, Nottingham University

About the Author(s)

Gilles Delisle, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychology at the University of Sherbrooke. He is director of clinical training at CIG in Montreal, and a guest trainer at several institutes abroad. He is the director of Neurogestalt, a specialist group in the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society. In 2010, he was appointed President of the State Advisory Council on Psychotherapy and was awarded the Noel-Mailloux Prize by the Quebec College of Psychologists in recognition of lifetime achievement in clinical psychology.

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