Relational Approaches in Gestalt Therapy
Edited by Lynne Jacobs, Richard Hycner
Foreword by Erving Polster
Gestalt Press – 2010 – 376 pages
Lynne Jacobs and Richard Hycner assemble an international group of Gestalt theorists and clinicians for an engaging and insightful investigation into the integration of relational approaches within Gestalt therapy.
The book is divided thematically into three sections. The first section speculates on the history and development of relationality in terms of Gestalt therapy. Chapters that discuss the patient-therapist relationship comprise the second section, and include explorations into uncertainty in interpretation and understanding, attunement and optimal responsiveness, working with shame, and negotiating individuality and "betweenness." The last section opens up to groups and organizations, applying relational approaches to Gestalt therapeutic encounters with more than one patient.
"An amazing book - in chapter after chapter the authors show how natural the development of radically relational work can be, when grounded in a field/relational Gestalt approach. If you're like me you'll find yourself coming back to these authorss and their ideas again and again for fresh stimulation and reflection." - Gordon Wheeler, President and CEO, Esalen Institute, USA
"This important new book, grounded in history, development, clinical practice, and current theoretical perspectives, is itself a 'community of essays,' each one in relationship to the other, providing us an integrated one-volume resource for the praxis of relationally-oriented Gestalt therapy - an essential reading for Gestalt therapists." - Dan Bloom, Editor-in-chief, Studies in Gestalt Therapy
Section I: Overview and Explorations.Introduction. Hycner, Preamble to the Relational Approach. Stawman, Relational Gestalt: Four Waves. Yontef, The Relational Attitude in Gestalt Theory and Practice. Section II: The Crucible of the Consulting Room. Introduction. Staemmler, The Willingness to be Uncertain: Preliminary Thoughts about Understanding and Interpretation in Gestalt Therapy. Lobb, The Therapeutic Relationship in Gestalt Therapy. Jacobs, Attunement and Optimal Responsiveness. McConville, Shame, Interiority, and the Heart-Space of Skateboarding: A Clinical Tale of ADHD. Swanson, The Scarf that Binds: A Clinical Case Navigating Between the Individualist Paradigm and the "Between" of a Relational Gestalt Approach. Section III: A Wider Embrace: Groups and Organizations.Introduction. Fairfield, Dialogue in Complex Systems: The Hermeneutical Attitude. O'Shea, Exploring the Field of the Therapist. Denham-Vaughn & Chidiac, Dialogue Goes to Work: Relational Organizational Gestalt. Matson, Surviving Group.
Rich Hycner, Ph.D., is the author of Between Person and Person: Toward an Dialogical Psychotherapy, and co-author (with Lynne Jacobs) of The Healing Relationship in Gestalt Therapy: A Self Psychology Approach. He has been profoundly influenced by Martin Buber's philosophy of dialogue and Erving and Miriam Polster's creative utilization of Gestalt therapy. He is especially interested in the relational dimensions of the therapeutic relationship as a nexus for healing.
Lynne Jacobs, Ph.D., is cofounder of the Pacific Gestalt Institute and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. She is particularly interested in relational processes in therapy. She co-authored (with Richard Hycner) The Healing Relationship in Gestalt Therapy: A Self Psychology Approach. She has written numerous articles and teaches internationally.