Francesetti: Gestalt Therapy, an Engine of Change.

This lecture was given by Gianni Francesetti in Madrid on 22nd Sept 2023 at the European Association of Gestalt Therapy conference.

In the video, Gianni Francesetti argues that field perspectives are becoming increasingly important in psychotherapy because the world is changing and psychopathology is changing along with it. He suggests that many of the clinical issues therapists face today, such as identity problems and overwhelming emotions, are symptoms of a larger societal problem. Traditional diagnostic categories may not be sufficient to understand these issues, and therapists need to be able to view their clients in the context of the field.

@ 10:30 On the topic of “Boring.

Francesetti begins by explaining that he has tried to make his speech less “boring”. He then says, “Boring is not so bad, maybe.”

He will mention this phenomenon of boredom — which I find noteworthy due to personal experiences as someone who often gets bored myself and working with clients who feel chronic boredom as a practitioner — later on in this lecture.

Field perspectives in Gestalt therapy: there is a growing interest in the field perspectives in the current psychotherapy universe. This has much to do with current clinical issues. Frank Staemmler (2006) writes about the concept of ‘field’.

What does “Field” mean? Is it different for each person, or is the feel a “common” dimension?

@13:15 The speaker mentions that different people use the term “Field” differently, and even the same author may use different meanings of the word field, that a definition needs to be made. I tend to think that perhaps this is precisely what the term is about. The field is an all-encompassing concept, and all meanings of the word field are valid and useful to psychotherapeutic work.

@13:59 Is the field different for each person or is it a common dimension in a given situation?

The field as organism-environment contact/unity, and the key historical influencers to the concept of field theory in Gestalt psychotherapy.

@ 35:20 What are the clinical issues we are facing today?

Case study

Psychopathology, just like life, is a fractal.

Gianni Francesetti, outlines two main ways of conceptualizing the field: the organism-environment field and the phenomenal field.

The organism-environment field is the idea that each organism has its own individual field. This field is made up of the organism and its environment, and it is constantly changing. The speaker argues that this concept of the field helps us to move away from the idea of the isolated organism.

The phenomenal field is a more recent concept that has emerged from the field of gestalt therapy. The phenomenal field is the pre-reflective and preverbal dimension of experience. It is the place where experience emerges, and it is common to all of us in a given situation. The speaker argues that the phenomenal field is a way of understanding the forces that are at play in a situation, and that these forces can have an impact on our experience.

References

Francesetti, G. (2023). Gestalt therapy. An engine of change. Lecture EAGT Conference on 22 Sept 2023. Madrid. retrieved from https://youtu.be/dSIGs2bbwGU?si=cQGEKwFSDBMZFTbo&t=506

Staemmler, F. (2006). A Babylonian Confusion?: On the Uses and Meanings of the Term ‘Field’. British Gestalt Journal15(2), 64.