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Gestalt Therapy for Dream Work and Boundary Disturbances and Ego Defense Mechanisms

Dream Work
1. Both psychoanalysis and Gestalt therapy consider that dream exploration can be used as an effective therapeutic technique. However, the two schools propose very different approaches to dream work. Which approach would you favour and why?

Boundary Disturbances and Ego Defense Mechanisms
2. Gestalt therapy identifies a number of problematic patterns of interpersonal relationships called Interruptions/Resistances to Contact, or Boundary Disturbances. Some of these maladaptive interpersonal patterns are similar, though not identical, to some of the ego defense mechanisms identified in psychoanalysis. Based on your understanding of these psychoanalytical and Gestalt concepts, which of the two sets of constructs do you find more useful for conceptualizing and addressing potential clients' concerns?


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Hi, thanks for using BrainMass, You should have enough to customize your answers regarding Gestalt Therapy etc. Take care and we hope to see you soon.

Dr. J

Question 1

A main tenet of psychoanalysis is that most psychological problems individuals experience started earlier in childhood with the struggles between the id, ego and the superego and sexual and aggressive inclinations (Corsini and Wedding 2011). The goal in psychoanalysis is to make the unconscious conscious via free association and the therapist's interpretations, and so is more focused around the past. As well, in order to experience consciousness; the client must go back to the source of his/her past conflicts and issues. As such, psychoanalysis is also more about revisiting, recalling, regressing and reliving experiences - which is in essence, bringing them to a "closer surface" and "reach" - in essence, the here-and-now.

Two main Tenets of Gestalt Therapy are the Existential & Phenomenological - which is grounded in the client's "here and now" - in which the initial goal is for the client is to become aware of what they are experiencing and what they are doing now (Perls, 1969a). This according to Gestalt therapy can promote the direct experience rather than abstracted simple and mere talk of our circumstances. It also enhances clients' awareness by emphasis on the differences, opposites, and really being in the "here and now" (in the present). That said however, I believe that even though Gestalt theory is more focused around emotions that are pertaining to the here and now; it can still be utilized to help with clarification of and interpretation of past emotions and thoughts, where clients are encouraged to think and remember the first time they felt a certain way so the therapist and the client can help sort out beliefs, perceptions, their origins and their causes (Perls, 1969a).

Although Gestalt (would and could be used in this case to examine and unravel the past) this is not necessarily psychoanalytical; instead the therapist could use Gestalt to help his/her client focus a past memory or experience, into the present for further understand. From this viewpoint, in terms of favoring ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses Gestalt Therapy in 1354 words with three APA references and in-text citations. Gestalt therapy for dream work and boundary disturbances are examined.