Self-Help Advice Books Gestalt Therapy Verbatim Part 2

About the self-help book Gestalt Therapy Verbatim by Frederick Perls history and advice from the book.



Help-Yourself Advice: Since it is difficult for an individual to work through his own impasse by himself, Perls recommended working with a Gestalt psychotherapist rather than trying do-it-yourself therapy. Ideas from his book:

1. The heart of it all is the Gestalt Prayer (which once hung on the wall of many a hippie pad):

I do my thing, and you do your thing.

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations.

And you are not in this world to live up to mine.

You are you and I am I.

And if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.

If not, it can't be helped.

2. Live in the here and now. Get in touch with yourself.

3. Listen, understand, be open. Look at what you avoid. Get close to the impasse (something you feel you won't survive, a fantasy of a psychological catastrophe), get into it, go through it. See the obvious, which has been eluding you.

4. Let go of your parents. Throw them into a metaphorical garbage pail, and forgive them.

5. Take risks. You can win as well as lose.

6. Change your questions, which are "hooks," into statements. Use the word how, not why. Turn it to I, nouns to verbs.

7. When stuck in resentment, express it, pretending that the person at whom it is directed is there, saying, "--, I resent . . . " Then express the demands that lie behind the resentment as commands. And last, express what you appreciate about the person.

8. Talk for five minutes about your awareness of yourself and another person, emphasizing the how (ongoing process).

9. If you are stuck, confused, or bored, try shuttling from here to there (some other place you imagine in your mind) several times, each time noting changes, until you "feel right" in the present and literally "come to your senses."

10. Relive your dreams (everything in your dream is an aspect of you), writing them down with all the details. Then "be" each element, creating dialogues, remembering what appeared in the dream. Talk to the dreams themselves: "Dreams, you scare me," for example.

11. Try the exercise of transforming yourself: first into someone else, imitating voice, expression, and so on; then into a road, a car, a baby, the mother of the baby, the baby again, the mother again, the baby again, a two-year-old, you at your present age.

12. Use appropriate behavior for each situation. Some require aggression, others withdrawal, for example.

13. Remember that changes take place naturally, not through some "program" you set up. Go into what you are; accept it. Change will happen by itself.

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