Reading 'Gestalt Therapy': an exploration of the theory's first exposé

The group of Gestalt Practitioners who will assemble one Monday a month to read, perhaps at times to inch their way, through Gestalt's seminal book, might as well don an explorer's hat and bring along a machete. Some of us remember our first reading, one should say, our first tentative approach, and the discovery of some gems of poetry among thickets of dense paragraphs. We had been told it had been written deliberately to make the introjecting of it difficult, and indeed it was so.

For some of the brave readers, this will be their first stab at it. Others will bring their battered and broken copy, full of page markers, post-its and annotations, and will look forward to an easier crossing, or perhaps some new 'aha' moments.

In any case, as we assemble, we will also have among us the presence of our late senior colleague, friend and teacher, Seán Gaffney, who led some of us last year through a reading of Perls' manuscript, 'Psychopathology of Awareness'. We remember how he offered some historical and philosophical reflections (the context of the text!), how he made space for participants to voice whatever responses they had to the text, what the text meant "for them at this time", and how one voice built on another to get to a collective sense of the text. As it was then, this is intended to be a reading by the group, and meaning will emerge from the group, from the contact of each participant with their colleagues. Group reading as a Gestalt experiment!

Finally, this is a monthly event initially reserved for Associates of GCB. If you are a Gestalt practitioner and wonder how to become an Associate, email us at info@gestaltbelfast.org.