Publisher: Crown House Pub Ltd
ISBN 10: 1899836543
ISBN 13: 978-1899836543
This remarkable exploration of the inner principles of Gestalt therapy originated over 20 years ago in the form of a completed book, written at Fritz Perls' request. Now fully updated by the author, it is joined by a collection of essays that present the Naranjo's reassessment of Gestalt therapy for the present day. In his fascinating study Naranjo has captured the flavour and distinctive character of the California-based school of Gestalt therapy, propagated by Perls in his last years as a teacher and exemplar of the approach he pioneered. Lively and readible, learned and insightful, this book will be indispensible both for professionals and the lay-reader, demonstrating why Fritz Perls was truly the father of the now-flourishing human potential movement.
Truly a book that lives and breathes Gestalt the way that Perls practiced it at Esalen in the late sixties. --Robert K. Hall, MD, Lomi School, Petaluma, California.
Naranjo skilfully weaves dreams, illustrations of patient work, and comment into meaningful reading for all students of Gestalt Therapy. --Chris Hatcher and Philip Himelstein, Editors, The Handbook of Gestalt Therapy
About the Author
Claudio Naranjo, MD served his psychiatric residency under Matte-Blanco at the University of Chile Clinic and underwent training analysis at the Chilean Psychoanalytic Institute. He conducted extensive psychopharmacological and personality research, and worked with Fritz Perls and Dr James Simkin in the early days of Gestalt therapy.
Dr Naranjo has authored many highly-esteemed therapy titles. He has been keynote speaker for the American and European Associations for Humanistic Psychology, and several national and international Gestalt Conferences.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The different schools of psychoanalysis and, even more so, behavior therapy, are based on the application of certain ideas and theories: that is, of assumptions as to the nature of lawfulness of psychological phenomena. Such assumptions, when brought to bear on the therapeutic situation, give rise to the characteristic procedures or techniques of the different approaches. The techniques represent the practical expression of the ideas that characterize a given system and may be regarded as a behavioral definition of that school of psychotherapy. But is it the techniques of a given tradition that account for the success claimed by the practitioners that employ them? If the effectiveness of psychotherapy were completely dependent upon the totality of its techniques, we would be entitled to expect that computers will some day take over the functions of the professional, and that do-it-yourself approaches laying out the procedural detail of the approach will be as effective as the interpersonal situation. This is a view that most psychiatrists today would reject out of a conviction that it is the personal relationship between doctor and patient that is critical in the healing process. What the nature of such a relationship is, though, is a subject on which much remains to be said, for the opinions of psychotherapists tend to differ on this matter just as they do in their theoretical conceptions. The now-classic studies of Fiedler on the nature of the therapeutic relationship have been important in showing that experts of different schools resemble each other more than they resemble the less skilled professionals in their own school, both in their conception of the ideal therapeutic relationship and in their behavior during sessions with their patients. When it comes to the issue of defining the nature of such successful behavior, or of defining the ideal held by the more experienced therapists, we may feel dissatisfied with Fiedler's information, however, for the only clear-cut trait demonstrated by him in such behavior is that of 'understanding' the patient. Whereas professionals of different schools differed from each other with regard to supportiveness or punitiveness, participation or non- participation (non-directive), the assumed superior status or an equalitarian collaborative role of the therapist, all the more successful representatives of these approaches were seen as listening to and understanding their patients rather than interrupting their thoughts or being unable to understand by reason of the therapist's personal needs. The experimental finding of a convergence of psychotherapeutic systems at the higher levels of understanding confirms, I think, the belief held by many of us on the basis of experience, and constitutes an echo of the growing recognition in our day of a similar convergence 'at the top' among the ways of different religions. If the crux of such convergence and the 'personal element' under discussion is not to be found in the intellectual formulations or in the explicit techniques defining the various approaches, we may ask whether it can be found among a list of 'behavioral traits' at all, but rather, in an attitude, a state, a characteristic 'state of mind' which is to such traits as a Gestalt is to the component elements.