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CHAPTER NINE: Treating eroticism issues

Gilles Delisle Karnac Books ePub

In order to treat issues around love and sexuality we must first allow a theme to emerge through specific types of impasse that will appear in various experiential fields. Then, meaning must be clinically constructed in order to finally resolve the issue or fully achieve the task at hand. These themes are likely to emerge just as much in fields 1 and 2 as in field 3. As with developmental issues, these impasses are treated and meaning is constructed through cycles of reproduction, recognition, and reparation.

It would, though, be wrong to believe that all impasses in the areas of love and sexuality result from the developmental issues that we have been looking at here. Many people come into therapy because something is not quite right in their romantic relationships but it does not necessarily follow that every romantic impasse is the result of a developmental problem in the area of eroticism. Unresolved issues of attachment and self-esteem are just as likely to undermine the romantic sphere. In other words, pre-Oedipal issues often appear in the romantic sphere and it is important to recognize them for what they are. What particularly characterizes a romantic impasse linked to an unresolved developmental erotic issue is above all a relationship between desire and the forbidden, and other similar bipolar dynamics such as:

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Chapter Four - 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

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CHAPTER FOUR

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

We can now proceed to address each theory with four fundamental problems, beginning with Perls et al. followed by Fairbairn. A discussion follows, in terms of complementary and/or compatible conceptual relations between the theories, as well as possibilities for their integration.

The basic unit of analysis: what is initially present, what is developed later, what constitutes personality?

Perls, Hefferline, and Goodman

Gestalt therapy defines itself as the science and the applied techniques related to figure-ground relationships in the organism-environment field (Perls, Hefferline & Goodman, 1951, p. 36). Gestalt therapy is rooted in certain neo-psychanalytic theories, as well as Buberian existentialism and the dynamic field psychology of Lewin (Bouchard, 1985; Clarckson and MacKewn, 1993; Stoehr, 1994). The two generally recognized canonical texts of Gestalt therapy take marked exception to Freud's individualist psychology, which sees the Self as derived from the action of drives and where the environment has at best a marginal role. For Perls et al. in fact, any research of a biological, psychological, or sociological nature must necessarily begin by positing an interaction between the organism and the environment.

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Chapter Two - Theorising and Knowledge in Psychology

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CHAPTER TWO

Theorising and knowledge in psychology

According to Rennie, Phillips, and Quartaro (1988) there is a growing consensus to the effect that psychology has overestimated methodologically correct research to the detriment of thinking and creativity. As a result, theorising is less respected and known than trivial, busy-work empirical research (Bakan, 1967; Brandt, 1982; Endler, 1984; Gergen, 1982; Secord, 1982). In the same vein, Granger (1994) questions the indiscriminate use of the experimental method in clinical and social psychology, calling instead for an increased use of the potentially richer methods of observation and modelling. It should be pointed out that theorising is in no way easier than research. “(Theorising) demands a considerable effort of concentration, examination, and re-examination. It is the antithesis of casual reflection, lazy reading, and undisciplined speculation” (Gottfredson, 1983). Feyerabend (1975, p. 520) suggests that we all need a good dose of methodological anarchy to help us find new ideas!

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Chapter Eight - Gestalt Psychotherapy: From Object Relations to Hermeneutic Dialogue

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CHAPTER EIGHT

Gestalt psychotherapy: from object relations to hermeneutic dialogue

In our revision of the Gestalt theory of human nature, we have attempted to fill in some of the gaps in the original version by incorporating several elements from the endopsychic structural approach of Fairbairn. As we have progressed, it has become clear that both schools see the healthy adult as free from the need for compensatory attachment to internal objects, his or her energy being entirely available for contacts and interactions with other individuals in the environment. This vision of the healthy adult can be considered to constitute the goal of deep psychotherapy, in that the individual with a personality disorder invests an inordinate amount of energy in the introjected microfields, thus limiting his capacity for creative adjustments in the external Field.

In order to arrive at a complete therapeutic system in Mahrer's sense of the term, we need to add a theory of psychotherapy that would be consistent with our theory of human nature. But in the context of our functional-deductive epistemological approach, it would be premature to attempt such a step. As clinical experience progressively validates or eliminates hypotheses, such a theory could develop; in the meantime we will propose a provisional foundation for a Gestalt theory of the psychotherapy of the introjected field—the Gestalt equivalent of object relations—in the context of the treatment of personality disorders. This foundation could serve as a preliminary connection between a revised theory of the Self and a Gestalt clinical practice that remains to be systematically developed. Our aim is not to produce a manual or a guide to clinical psychotherapy, but rather to sketch the boundaries within which, it seems to us, Gestalt psychotherapy should evolve.

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Introduction to the Case Studies

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INTRODUCTION TO THE CASE STUDIES

The following case studies were written by clinical psychologists with varying degrees of experience and mastery of the ORGT approach. Michel Dandenault, Ph.D. has been in private practice in Ottawa for twenty years, and recently completed the third level, the highest of the ORGT training program offered by the CIG. Guilhème Pérodeau, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at the Université du Québec in Outaouais. She also recently completed the third level of the ORGT program and began private practice a few years ago. Finally, Dorothy Scicluna, D.Psy., has been in private practice in Malta for several years. Unlike the other two, she did not complete the clinical training program offered by the CIG, but was introduced to ORGT during an introductory workshop that I gave in Malta in March of 2009. None of the three are native anglophones.

The authors were asked to begin with a general framework featuring a multiaxial diagnosis and a structural diagnosis, as well as a global summary of the psychotherapy conducted in terms of the theory presented here. Apart from these minimal requirements concerning the structure of the presentation, each author was encouraged to express their personal vision, using their own style. The resulting texts were sometimes concretely detailed, sometimes global and abstract. Sometimes the diagnosis was described in detail, while sometimes the author chose to more deeply explore symptom reproduction in psychotherapy.

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