Transitioning. This is an important interview.

This is a necessary, informative interview for all involved; candidates who are seeking gender reassignment surgery, their family members, and their therapists. Deal with the underlying psychopathology first. Take no irreversible medical measures till the mental health issue is resolved.

Bob Resnick – Gestalt Therapy And Homeostasis: Evolution – With Movement, Discrimination And Grace

This is the keynote speech by Bob resnick in 2019.

Gestalt Therapy And Homeorhesis: Evolution – With Movement, Discrimination And Grace – Bob Resnick – Keynote Speech – EAGT Conference 19-22 September 2019, Budapest

░ Gestalt Therapy and Homeostasis: Evolution – With Movement, Discrimination and Grace

Bob Resnick’s lecture at the Gestalt Therapy Conference 2019 Budapest focused on Gestalt Therapy and Homeostasis: Evolution – With Movement, Discrimination and Grace.

The lecture delves into various aspects of gestalt therapy including character, homeostasis, theory, client’s experience, dialogue, and homeorhesis.

Introduction

Bob Resnick commences the lecture by acknowledging the global climate strike and the work Malcolm Parlett is doing on raising awareness about global issues. He then celebrates three significant events:

  • The 50th anniversary of his first Gestalt workshop in Europe with Fritz Perls and Laura Perls
  • A humorous anecdote from his European trip where he faced issues crossing the border due to his new car being mistaken for a stolen vehicle
  • Being awarded the APA prize for the influence of psychotherapy internationally focused on therapy

Character and Homeostasis

The core theme of Resnick’s lecture revolves around character and homeostasis. He defines character as a fixed way of behaving that was originally a healthy adaptation in a specific situation. However, he argues that this character trait can become outdated and inflexible over time.

Resnick utilizes the metaphor of a fur coat to illustrate this concept. A fur coat provides warmth and serves a purpose in Siberia during winter. However, wearing the same fur coat in Karachi during the summer would be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Similarly, character, much like the fur coat, can be detrimental if used in an inappropriate context.

The Significance of Theory in Psychotherapy

While acknowledging the importance of theory in psychotherapy, Resnick cautions against outdated and inflexible theoretical frameworks. He emphasizes the need for theory to be adaptable and responsive to new information, comparing it to a living organism that requires adaptation to survive.

Client’s Experience in Gestalt Therapy

Resnick highlights the importance of the client’s experience in Gestalt therapy. He emphasizes that therapists should strive to understand the client’s world from the client’s perspective rather than imposing their own interpretations. He credits Fritz Perls for being one of the first therapists to advocate for this client-centered approach.

Dialogue in Gestalt Therapy

Resnick underscores the significance of dialogue in Gestalt therapy. He views therapy as a collaborative process between the therapist and the client, where open communication is vital.

Homeorhesis

Bob Resnick concludes the lecture by exploring the concept of homeorhesis. Homeorhesis is similar to homeostasis, but it emphasizes the importance of change and movement. Resnick argues that therapy should empower individuals to achieve balance in their lives while also remaining receptive to change and growth.

░ In Conclusion

Bob Resnick’s lecture offers valuable insights into Gestalt therapy, emphasizing the significance of character, theory, client experience, dialogue, and homeorhesis. By understanding these concepts, therapists can create a more effective and meaningful therapeutic experience for their clients.

Note: This article is a summarized version of the key points covered in Bob Resnick’s lecture. The original lecture likely included more details, examples, and in-depth discussions.

How Psychotherapy Works

How does psychotherapy work? What is the difference between psychotherapy, psychiatry and CBT?

Here is useful information for those interested in engaging a psychotherapist.

Transcript of this video:

Psychiatry, CBT and Psychotherapy

When one is in a bad place in one’s head the modern world offers three main sources of help: Psychiatric meditation, CBT and psychotherapy. Each one of these advantages and drawbacks. Medication can be exemplary in a crisis that points when the mind is so under siege from fear, anxiety or despair that thinking things through cannot be an option. Correctly administered without requiring any conscious cooperation from us, pills play around with our brain chemistry in a way that helps us get through to the next day and the one after we may get very sleepy, a bit nauseous or rather foggy in the process, but at least we’re still around, more or less. Then there is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Normally administered by psychologists and psychiatrists in six to ten hour-long sessions which teaches techniques for arguing rationally with and with any luck at points controlling the ghoulish certainties thrown up by our internal persecutors: paranoia, low self-esteem, shame and panic.

Lastly, there is psychotherapy, which from a distance looks like it has only drawbacks. Psychotherapy has a very hard time showing its efficacy and scientific trials and it has to plead that its results too singular neatly to fit the models offered by statisticians. Also, it takes up a large amount of time demanding perhaps two sessions a week for a couple of years and it’s therefore by far the most expensive option on the menu. 

Finally, psychotherapy requires active engagement from its patients and sustained emotional effort. One can’t simply allow chemistry to do the work and yet psychotherapy is a hugely effective choice which properly alleviates pain not by magic or chance, but for three solidly founded reasons.

Our unconscious feelings become conscious with psychotherapy

A founding idea of psychotherapy is that we get mentally unwell have a breakdown or develop phobias because we are not sufficiently aware of the difficulties we’ve been through.  Somewhere in the past we’ve endured certain situations that were so troubling or sad, they outstripped our rational faculties and had to be pushed out of day-to-day awareness. For example, we can’t remember the real dynamics of our relationship with a parent. We can’t see what we do every time someone tries to get close to us.  Nor trace the origins of our self-sabotage or panic around sex. Victims of our unconscious, we cannot grasp what we long for or a terrified by. In such cases, we cannot be healed simply through rational discussion, as proponents of CBT implicitly proposed, because we can’t fathom what is powering our distress in the first place. 

Psychotherapy is a tool for correcting our self-ignorance in the most profound ways. It provides us with a space in which we can in safety say whatever comes into our heads. The therapist won’t be disgusted or surprised or bored. They’ve seen everything already. In their company we can feel acceptable and our secrets sympathetically unpacked as a result crucial ideas and feelings bubble up from the unconscious and are healed through exposure interpretation and contextualization we cry about incidents we didn’t even know before the session.  The ghosts of the past are seen in daylight and a laid to rest.

The importance of working with one’s transference relationships in psychotherapy

There’s a second reason why psychotherapy can work so well. Transference. Transference is a technical term that describes the way once therapy develops a patient will start to behave towards the therapist in ways that echo aspects of their most important and most traumatic past relationships. A patient with a punitive parent might for example develop a strong feeling that the therapist must find them revolting or boring a patient who needed to keep a depressed parent cheerful when they were small might feel compelled to put up a jokey facade whenever dangerously sad topics come into view. We transfer like this outside therapy all the time but there what we’re doing doesn’t get noticed or properly dealt with. Psychotherapy is a controlled experiment that can teach us to observe what we’re up to, to understand where our impulses come from and then adjust our behavior in less unfortunate directions . A therapist might gently ask a patient why they’re so convinced they must be disgusting or they might lead them to see how they use of jokey sarcasm is covering up underlying sadness and terror. The patient thereby starts to spot the distortions in their expectations set up by their history and develops less self-defeating ways of interacting with people in their lives going forward

Psychotherapy provides “the first good relationship”.

The third reason why psychotherapy works it is the first good relationship. We are many of us critically damaged by the legacy of past bad relationships. When we were defenseless and small we didn’t have the luxury of experiencing people who were reliable who listened to us who set the right boundaries and helped us to feel legitimate and worthy. However when things go well the therapist is experienced as the first truly supportive and reliable person we’ve yet encountered. They become the “good parent ” we so needed and maybe never had. In their company we can regress the stages of development that went wrong and relive them with a better ending now we can express need we can be properly angry and entirely devastated and they will take it, thereby making good years of pain. 

One good relationship becomes the model for relationships outside the therapy room. Some moderate, intelligent voice becomes part of our own in a dialogue.

We are cured through continuous repeated exposure to sanity and kindness.

Psychotherapy won’t work for everyone. What has to be in the right place in one’s mind? 

One has to stumble on a good therapist and be in a position to give the process due time and care. But all that said with a fair wind psychotherapy also has the chance to be the best thing we ever get around to doing.