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 However, he argues that this character trait can become outdated and inflexible over time.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While acknowledging the importance of theory in psychotherapy, Resnick cautions against outdated and inflexible theoretical frameworks.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.

Book Review : Wilhelm Reich’s Character Analysis

Character Analysis was written by Wilhelm Reich in 1933.  Reich was a psychoanalyst and physician whose work today is of relevant significance in Psychotherapy. Reich had, already in the early days, discovered problems therapists face with some patients in the therapeutic work. This problems come in the form of resistance to the analysis itself, and these manifest as major hinderances to the treatment. I believe that it is because of these resistances (and the fact that many therapists today have not paid attention to the existence of these resistances), that some patients become rendered “un-therapieable” / or untreatable. In today’s world the danger in considering patients not treatable by psychotherapy not only does injustice to the profession, but also to the patient, who ultimately become dependent on psycho pharmaceuticals as their only sources of help. These drugs often come with side effects and do not help the patient return to full functionality.

Reich’s influence today can be seen in the work of Otto Kernberg, who explains to us about Transference Analysis.

Chapters in this book & pictorial notes:

ON THE TECHNIQUE OF INTERPRETATION AND OF RESISTANCE ANALYSIS 

1. Same typical errors in the technique of interpretation and their consequences

2. Systematic interpretation and resistance analysis

3. Consistency in resistance analysis

ON THE TECHNIQUE OF CHARACTER ANALYSIS

Character armoring and character resistance

a) The inability to follow the basic rule

b) Where do the character resistances come from?

c) On the technique of analyzing the character resistance

d) The technique of dealing with individual situations as derived from the structure of the character resistance

e) The breaking down of the narcissistic defense apparatus

f) On the optimal conditions for the analytic reduction to the infantile situation from the contemporary situation

g) Character analysis in the case of abundantly flowing material

3 A case of passive-feminine character

a) Anamnesis

b) The development and analysis of the character-resistance

c) Linking the analysis of the contemporary material to the infantile

 INDICATIONS AND DANGERS OF CHARACTER ANALYSIS ON THE HANDLING OF THE TRANSFERENCE

1 The distillation of the genital-object libido 127

2 Secondary narcissism, negative transference, and insight into illness

3 On the handling of the abstinence rule

4 On the question of the “dissolution” of the positive transference

5 A fe,v remarks about counter-transference

THEORY OF CHARACTER FORMATION CHARACTEROLOGICAL RESOLUTION OF THE INFANTILE SEXUAL CONFLICT

1 Content and form of psychic reactions

2 The function of character formation

3 Conditions of character differentiation

THE GENITAL CHARACTER AND THE NEUROTIC CHARACTER (THE SEX-ECONOMIC FUNCTION OF THE CHARACTER ARMOR)

1 Character and sexual stasis

2 The libido-economic difference between the genital character and the neurotic character

a) Structure of the id

b) Structure of the superego

c) Structure of the ego

3 Sublimation, reaction formation, and neurotic reaction basis

CHILDHOOD PHOBIA AND CHARACTER FORMATION

1 An “aristocratic” character

2 Overcoming of childhood phobia by the formation of character attitudes

SOME CIRCUMSCRIBED CHARACTER FORMS

1 The hysterical character

2 The compulsive character

3 The phallic-narcissistic character

THE MASOCHISTIC CHARACTER

1 Summary of views

2 The armoring of the masochistic character

3 Inhibited exhibitionism and the passion for self-deprecation

4 Unpleasurable perception of the increase of sexual excitation: the specific basis of the masochistic character

5 Observations on the therapy of masochism

SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE BASIC CONFLICT BETWEEN NEED AND OUTER WORLD

FROM PSYCHOANALYSIS TO ORGONE BIOPHYSICS

PSYCHIC CONTACT AND VEGETATIVE CURRENT

1 More about the conflict between instinct and outer World

2 Same technical presuppositions

3 The change of function of the impulse

4 The intellect as defense function

5 The interlacing of the instinctual defenses

6 Contactlessness

7 Substitute contact

8 The psychic representation of the organic

a) The idea of “bursting”

b) On the idea of death

q Pleasure, anxiety, anger, and muscular armor

1 o The two great leaps in evolution

TIIE EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE OF THE LIVING

1 ‘”The function of en1otion in orgone therapy

2 Plasn1atir expressive n1ovement and en1otional expression

3 The segmental arrangement of the armor

4 The emotional expression of the orgasm reflex and sexual superimposition

THE SCHIZOPHRENIC SPLIT

1 The ”devil” in the schizophrenic process

2 The “forces”

3 The remote schizophrenic expression in the eyes

4 The breakthrough of the depersonalizationand first understanding of the schizophrenicsplit

5 The interdependence of consciousness andself-perception

6 The rational function of the “devilish evil”

7 Anorgonotic regions in the catatonic state

8 The function of self-damage in schizophrenia

9 Crisis and recovery

THE EMOTIONAL PLAGUE

References:

Reich, W. (1980/1933). Character analysis. Macmillan.