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Object Relations in Gestalt Therapy

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Table of Contents

Introduction -- Historical Considerations -- Fifty years of Gestalt therapy -- Theorising and knowledge in psychology -- Integration in psychotherapy: epistemological and methodological considerations -- A comparative analysis of the Perls, Hefferline, and Goodman theory of Self and Fairbairn's endopsychic structure in terms of Greenberg and Mitchell's (1983) four fundamental problems -- Propositions for an Object Relational Gestalt Therapy -- Epistemological and methodological preconditions for a Gestalt therapeutic system -- The linear-sequential vision of the Self in Perls, Hefferline, and Goodman: a critique -- The Self and object relations: a revision of Perls, Hefferline, and Goodman -- Gestalt psychotherapy: from object relations to hermeneutic dialogue -- Neuroscientific perspective of ORGT: neurodynamics of the Self in therapeutic dialogue -- ORGT and evidence-based practice -- Case Studies -- Introduction to the Case Studies -- Bob -- Brian -- Jade -- Appendix

About the Author

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.


'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

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