`In this eminently sensible, practical and thought-provoking book, Jennifer Mackewn takes gestalt light years forward towards a synthesis and integration of psychological styles and away from what she describes as "Perlism". I agree with her: this is a book for therapists, not principally for gestaltists... In inviting the reader to "pick and choose" from the many and varied, always practical, hands-on approach chapters... Jennifer Mackewn hopes we will both enjoy her book and find it of use. This reader, commending the book to you all, has no doubt that both her hopes will be fulfilled' - Self & Society
Describing contemporary integrative Gestalt counselling and psychotherapy, this book addresses 30 key issues which will help both trainee and practising counsellors examine and improve crucial areas of their work.
The field theoretical and relational model which underpins the book suggests that therapy is a complex process which requires therapists to be intuitive and self-aware while engaging in a number of interrelated therapeutic tasks. The importance of meeting clients person-to-person in a meaningful relationship is highlighted. Jennifer Mackewn encourages counsellors to focus on areas that they may feel need special attention, and shows them how to blend their skills into a subtle and versatile art form. The book covers vital aspects of Gestalt counselling and psychotherapy, such as: appreciating the significance of beginnings; understanding the client's context; the dialogic relationship; contact and awareness; exploring life themes and support systems; and experimental and creative methods.
`A well-researched, clearly written book... Petruska Clarkson and JenniferMackewn did a splendid job organizing the theoretical material... Their judicious use of graphics enhances their discussions... The chapter on Perls' contributions to practice is nicely peppered by samples of his actual therapy work and this is true for other chapters. This, I imagine, is how Fritz would have liked it: to let his work speak for itself... Petruska Clarkson and Jennifer Mackewn have carefully crafted and produced a powerfully informative book. Its pages are crammed with up-to-date facts and issues relating to Perls... The work is lean, not one word is wasted. Congratulations!' - British Gestalt Journal
Fritz Perls was the co-founder of Gestalt Therapy, which is based on a holistic view of people and their relationship to the environment, and which remains one of the most influential approaches in counselling and psychotherapy today. This book provides a clear account of the diverse life of this popular but controversial psychotherapist and discusses his ideas simply and lucidly.
The book includes examples of Perls' work, drawn from transcripts and films of his demonstration sessions. A further feature is a full acknowledgement of the criticisms and appreciations which Perls' life and work have attracted and an honest evaluation of whether and to what extent they are justified.