Weekend Training Program

2018-2019 Learning Goals

October 6-7, 2018 Weekend #1

Group A The Paradoxical Theory of Change and the Awareness Process

  1. Describe the paradoxical theory of change
  2. Discuss what it means that the gestalt therapist is not a “change agent”
  3. Explain the relationship between awareness and change in gestalt therapy theory
  4. Discuss the notion that the moment of awareness is itself a curative moment
  5. Discuss the impact of the paradoxical theory of change on the therapeutic relationship
  6. Begin to identify the application of the paradoxical theory of change in the clinical demonstrations provided
  7. Explain how we reconcile the paradoxical theory of change with active interventions

Group B Phenomenology

  1. Describe “perspectivalism” and its relationship to phenomenology
  2. List 3 principles of the phenomenological method
  3. Briefly describe how phenomenological theory applies to gestalt therapy
  4. Explain why gestalt therapy is an “experience-near” psychotherapeutic orientation
  5. Describe how the gestalt notion of “here & now” relates to phenomenology 
  6. Practice the application of the phenomenological method during an exercise in small groups
  7. During clinical demonstrations identify the use of the phenomenological method

November 3-4, 2018 Weekend #2

Group A Dialogical Process

  1. Describe Buber’s I-it and I-Thou modes of relating
  2. Discuss Buber’s concept of Confirmation
  3. Define Inclusion
  4. Define Presence
  5. Identify the role of dialogue in the therapeutic relationship
  6. Define Commitment to Dialogue
  7. Describe gestalt therapy’s position on personal disclosure

Group B Field Theory

  1. Describe what field theory is and why it matters
  2. Differentiate “field” as a phenomenal field perspective from field as a thing (situation)
  3. Explain how a field theory perspective differs from a Newtonian perspective
  4. Describe a person from a field perspective
  5. Explain perspectivalism
  6. Discuss co-creation and how it relates to field theory
  7. Discuss the field conditions of a therapeutic situation

December 1-2, 2018 Weekend #3

Group A Shame

  1. Distinguish shame, guilt, anxiety, embarrassment
  2. Discuss shame experience and the shame of shame
  3. List 4 shame defenses
  4. Explain shame triggers
  5. Discuss therapist shame and shame triggers
  6. Begin to discuss how to identify and work with shame
  7. Explain the benefit of a dialogic therapy in treating patients with shame

Group B Relational Approaches to Trauma

  1. Describe the relationship between traumatic experience, helplessness and shame
  2. Explain fixed patterns of organismic self-regulation in relation to traumatic experience
  3. List three characteristics of a traumatized state of mind
  4. Describe how attending to presence can remediate the time confusion of traumatic experience
  5. Describe how a relational approach supports working within the “window of affective tolerance”
  6. Explain how a relational approach supports a sense of safety, or sanctuary
  7. Explain how a relational approach supports work wth dissociative phenomena

January 12-13, 2019 Weekend #4

Group A Foundational Concepts of Gestalt Therapy

  1. Describe the dual functions of boundaries
  2. Compare and contrast organismic self-regulation with neurotic self-regulation
  3. Define the Gestalt meaning of something that it “out of awareness” and explain why distinguishing this from a more traditional understanding “unconscious” material is useful
  4. Explain what is a “safe emergency” in Gestalt Therapy?
  5. Define the gestalt terms “figure” and “ground”, and identify examples of each clinically
  6. Explain how fixed gestalts lead to diminished awareness – and how this can be addressed in therapy
  7. Explain what is meant by the sentence “The only goal of Gestalt Therapy is awareness” and describe how increased awareness can support change

Group B Trauma and the Paradoxical Theory of Change, A Deeper Look

  1. Describe the “window of tolerance” and how it is relevant to the paradoxical theory of change and the awareness process in the treatment of trauma
  2. Describe how the dialogic elements of inclusion, presence, and confirmation relate to the practice of the paradoxical theory of change in the treatment of trauma
  3. Explain how we can reconcile the use of creative techniques with a dialogic approach to the treatment of trauma
  4. Discuss how a field perspective informs the application of the paradoxical theory of change
  5. Discuss how the dialogic view of the patient as already fully themselves and always changing serves to dignify the patient and to create conditions for healing and growth
  6. Begin to formulate a relational definition of trauma
  7. Describe the characteristics of a traumatized state of mind, and how this conceptualization can help patients to build resilience

March 2-3, 2019 Weekend #5

Group A Interventions as Experiments

  1. Describe when experiments are effective as a part of the therapeutic process.
  2. Describe how experiments are effective as part of the therapeutic process.
  3. Explain the idea that “dialogue itself is an experiment”
  4. Discuss whether there is a conflict between working relationally with experiments and the paradoxical theory of change
  5. Discuss why an attitude of uncertainty would be important when working relationally with experiments
  6. Describe the difference between “using a technique” and working relationally

Group B Understanding Character Styles (Enduring Relational Themes)

  1. Recognize the influence of my own enduring relational themes on the emergence of experience in clinical work
  2. Apply the dialogic method to working with enduring relational themes
  3. Identify 2 examples of creative adjustments that occur in therapeutic successes
  4. Identify 2 creative adjustments that occur in therapeutic impasses
  5. Describe “splitting”, how it functions, and how to work with it clinically
  6. Describe how working directly with somatic sensation can be a support
  7. Describe how making ground and context more explicit can be a support and diminish shame

May 4-5, 2019 Weekend #6

Group A Relationality

  1. Describe how the Perls, Hefferline and Goodman Gestalt Therapy text, which is the basis for Stawman’s “First Wave,” espouses a relational perspective and yet fails to develop a fully relational perspective
  2. Discuss intersubjectivity, Stawman’s “Third Wave,” as both a given phenomenon and as an acquired capacity, and give examples of each
  3. Identify at least 3 examples of Stawman’s “Fourth Wave” of the embedded relational ground, with reference to biological, cultural and linguistic elements
  4. Discuss the interaction of the experiences of individuality and relationality.
  5. Explain how a phenomenological method applies in Gestalt therapy and its possible role in reducing shame
  6. Identify 4 implications of field theory for the practice of relational Gestalt therapy
  7. Define subtext and metatheory and discuss how they might contribute to iatrogenic shame

Group B Healing Through Meeting

  1. Distinguish Buber’s concepts of being and seeming
  2. Demonstrate understanding of Buber’s idea of human wholeness as an aspect of inclusion
  3. Demonstrate understanding of Buber’s idea of “helping to unfold” as the antithesis of “imposition” or “propaganda”
  4. Demonstrate understanding of the ethical aspect of Buber’s instruction to meet the client by dropping the mask of professional expertise
  5. Demonstrate understanding of the nature of interpretation in the therapeutic dialogue as a process of finding meaning
  6. Demonstrate understanding of how dialogic inclusion includes both relational/attitudinal aspects as well as semantic aspects
  7. Demonstrate how Gestalt therapy requires attention to both process and content aspects of experience