Application Assignment: Gestalt Therapy

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Defining the Core Constructs of Gestalt Therapy. In an experiment, the therapist prompts Helen to respond to her mother. Helen’s hidden emotions towards her mother (anger, pain, fear, or hurt) are internalized rather than expressed. When the therapist encourages Helen to communicate with her mother Sara and express her anger, Helen expresses feeling disconnected from her mother.

Helen speaks to her mother after sitting down, expressing her longing for approval and acceptance. She wants her mother to be pleased with what she has done. Later in the video, Helen talks about her relationship with her father. With a Gestalt therapy perspective, we can examine how Helen sees him and identify any defense mechanisms she uses to avoid forming a connection. Helen believes that his absence from their lives is unfair because she thinks he didn’t make any sacrifices for them.

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Helen holds the belief that her father’s continuous work prevented him from being actively involved in her and her siblings’ lives, especially when it came to their relationship with their mother. She believes that her brother’s current state of distress is a direct result of their father’s absence and she makes an effort to not display any anger towards him. However, deep inside, she is genuinely saddened by the fact that he was not present to shield her from their mother.

Helen is frustrated and struggling to communicate her anger towards her mother. She believes that her mother is redirecting her anger due to her father’s absence. While Helen is upset with her father for not being there, she acknowledges his demanding job as a doctor. However, she still feels that he should have been more involved in their lives when he was home. Ultimately, Helen’s anger seems to be primarily directed at her father but unintentionally projected onto her mother. It is possible that she thinks her mother should have insisted on his presence for the sake of the family.

Helen’s apparent anger towards her mother actually stems from her true upset with her father. She is bothered by the fact that he has a strong bond with her siblings and is involved in their lives, despite not being there for them previously. In Helen’s opinion, he does not deserve a positive relationship with everyone after neglecting them during their childhood.

Although Helen acknowledges that her mother was present for both her and her siblings, others perceive the mother as having issues. However, Helen believes that her mother should have made better choices to ensure their father’s presence in their lives.

While it may seem like she blames her mother for their past, she is actually upset with her father. The text implies that there is an unmet need in Hellene’s world.

Helen is investigating the link between her previous bond with her mother and her present life. She aims to attain contentment and harmony with her spouse, yet she realizes that her past is obstructing her advancement. The text suggests that Helen’s difficulties with her husband may originate from her connection with her father. Therefore, it can be inferred that Helen is undergoing a journey of comprehending and addressing the influence of past encounters on achieving resolution in her current situation.

What is Hellene “top dog” suggesting? According to Helen, she believes that when she feels sorry for herself and the therapist tries to manipulate her or turn her into a therapeutic goal, it demonstrates popularization. From my understanding, Helen is going through popularization when the doctor advises her to be angry at her internal mother rather than her current mother. Similarly, Helen experiences popularization when she realizes that she needs to stop making herself unhappy and acknowledges that she is harming herself by doing so.

Helen attributes her unhappiness to her husband and believes that her mother affects her well-being. Instead of taking responsibility for herself, Helen shifts the blame onto others. These beliefs have become ingrained in Helen, leading her to ignore her own contribution to her well-being and instead concentrate on assigning fault to others, including her husband and mother.

At first, Helen tried to blame her husband for her unhappiness in life. However, she eventually realized that the true cause was her internalization of her parents’ actions. She ignored the important role her father had as a doctor while her mother took care of their home. Over time, Helen understood that it wasn’t just her mother’s fault for her unhappy childhood. Instead of taking responsibility in her marriage, Helen placed blame on both her parents and spouse without realizing that it was actually her own emotions stemming from how she was raised.

I believe Helen is currently accepting and taking on more self-responsibility. She feels that she is growing and working towards her goals. Helen has internalized her past relationship with her mother and the doctor is using Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Therapy to encourage her to bring that past into the present. The goal is to change the decisions made during her younger years and help her find happiness in the present. There might be some internalization of a dysfunctional relationship with her husband due to her mother’s dysfunctional relationship with her father. This is the final stage of Gestalt therapy called integration, where opposing issues are identified and Helen becomes conscious of what truly causes her unhappiness.

In the experiment, Dr. Oakland is forging a therapeutic alliance with Blake by encouraging him to express his true feelings and speak honestly about any difficult emotions he has been holding inside. Dr. Oakland prompts Blake to use clay as a medium for expression and gives him an opportunity to talk about himself. Blake creates a clay whale and expresses feeling safe and comfortable in the water, just like the whale.

Dry Oakland employs clay as a therapeutic medium to assist Blake in releasing anger and expressing emotions. In the video, Blake acknowledges that he directs his anger towards his mother, but he recognizes that his actual frustration is aimed at his father who lacks involvement in their relationship. However, Blake hesitates to confront his dad due to concerns about harming their bond and further reducing quality time together. Regardless of this fear, Blake finds comfort in the company of his mother, which brings him joy. The inquiry remains: what Gestalt techniques does Dry Oakland implement during this experiment?

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