Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Therapist Personal and Professional Experience as Predictors of Gestalt Therapy Contact Resistances
by Kayyali, Yousef John, Psy.D., Adler School of Professional Psychology, 2018, 185; 10936230
Abstract (Summary)

Gestalt therapy postulates psychological illness and health are interwoven with how a person gets in touch or interrupts contact with self, others, the environment, and the spiritual field (Brownell, 2018; Corey, 2005; Perls, 1969, 1973, 1942/1993; Perls, Hefferline, & Goodman, 1951/1994; Perls, 1976; Polster & Polster, 1973; Prosnick & Woldt, 2014; Yontef, 1993, 1999). Preliminary research found support for psychological wellness and disturbance relative to Gestalt therapy contact styles between human organism and environment (Byrnes, 1975). The purpose of this study was to investigate four predictor variables of therapist age, professional experience, theoretical orientation, and preferred theoretical orientation as a client vis-à-vis seven criterion variables of Gestalt therapy contact resistances —or interruptions to contact. Essentially, this study hypothesized therapists with more experience (i.e., age, and professional practice) and Gestalt therapy exposure (i.e., practicing, and receiving Gestalt therapy as a client) would obtain lower scores on the seven Gestalt contact resistances: Confluence, Desensitization, Introjection, Projection, Retroflection, Deflection, and Egotism—as gauged by the Gestalt Inventory of Resistance Loadings (GIRL; Woldt & Prosnick, 2014a). Archival datasets comprising 291 mental health trainees, professionals, and affiliates were utilized. Age and Gestalt therapy theoretical orientation were most supported suggesting Gestalt therapy coupled with aging process attenuate Gestalt contact resistances. Professional experience and Gestalt therapy preference as a client produced partial support indicating these two variables also aid in the diminution of Gestalt contact resistances. In sum, 13 out of 28 hypotheses (i.e., 46%; four more neared significance) were statistically significant cementing credence for the utility of Gestalt therapy modi in helping both psychotherapists and clients alike transcend obstacles precluding growth, maturation, actualization, organismic self-regulation, authenticity, and wholeness .

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lampropoulos, Georgios
Commitee: Ji, Peter, Westermeyer, Jerry F.
School: Adler School of Professional Psychology
Department: Clinical Psychology - Chicago
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Therapy, Counseling Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Authenticity, Confluence, Contact, Contact resistance, Contact resistances, Deflection, Desensitization, Egotism, Gestalt, Gestalt inventory of resistance loadings (girl), Gestalt resistances, Gestalt therapy contact resistance, Gestalt therapy contact resistances, Gestalten, Gestaltist, Introjection, Proflection, Projection, Retroflection, Transfluence
Publication Number: 10936230
ISBN: 9780438576742
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