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   While many training workshop formats are possible, here are two examples of Gestalt training workshops which I give:


   Discovering Gestalt Theory in the Work (Link)

   A Dramatic Approach to Gestalt Group Work (Link)



   Conducting training workshops in Gestalt therapy with Gestalt trainees, therapists, and other mental health professionals is my primary interest at this point in my career. My workshops strike a balance between theoretical discussions and experiential work. With respect to content, my workshops interweave three essential elements: I want (1) to enable participants to gain a clear grasp of the theoretical principles of Gestalt therapy; (2) to couple training in the methods of Gestalt therapy with an understanding of how Gestalt methods come directly from Gestalt theory, and their application is guided by it; and (3) to help group members deepen their appreciation of the overarching attitude of care, humility, and respect for the client as a person and the client’s own experience. This training prepares the ground of understanding and skill which a therapist must bring to the work of Gestalt therapy.

   I teach by means of short and informal lectures, experiential processes, and open discussion of both theoretical ideas and the therapeutic work occurring in the group. I give short talks on elements of theory such as, for example, organismic self-regulation, the adaptive nature of those problematic behaviors/responses which bring people into therapy, the nature and possibility of contact, my six-function model of the self, the phenomenological method, the paradoxical principle of change, etc. These theoretical principles are demonstrated by actual Gestalt work with group members. In line with my concern for group process, after each piece of work in the group I ask for personal sharing about the impact of the work on the members. This is followed by a discussion of the nature of the work itself. Here various theoretical principles are highlighted, and attention is given to how the therapeutic interventions arose from my own process and my grounding in Gestalt theory. In this way, the trainees become increasingly clear about the unity of Gestalt theory and its methods, and the practicality of theoretical understanding. Through the use of therapeutic triads, the participants are given an opportunity to hone their skills through practice. Within the context of the technical discussion of any piece of work--occurring either in the larger group or in triads--I attempt to make clear how working within the framework of the paradoxical principle of change and the phenomenological method embodies the attitude of humility and respect for the client, and I indicate the signals by which the therapist can convey to the client his or her caring and his or her commitment to be fully present as a person to the client throughout the therapeutic process.

   My work as a trainer is further supported by my book A Well-Lived Life, which consists of ten essays in Gestalt therapy. The essays in the first part set forth in clear language the fundamental principles of Gestalt theory and their direct implication of Gestalt methods. In the second part three essays discuss the philosophical ground of Gestalt theory, examine the textual (in Perls, Hefferline, and Goodman) and experiential foundations of the Gestalt theory of the self, and delineate a dynamic Gestalt theory of human nature. The essays of the third part attempt to make explicit the values for individual, relational life, and spiritual life which I believe are implicit in the Gestalt approach. The single essay of the fourth part discusses the strengths of Gestalt therapy in terms of scientific and clinical criteria, and makes a forecast of developments in the field of psychotherapy in the 21st century.


CALL: 307-745-7839



Sylvia Fleming Crocker, Ph.D.
2115 Hancock Street
Laramie, Wyoming 82070 USA
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