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Gestalt Counselling in Action


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Table of Contents

Introduction to Gestalt
Fundamentals of the Gestalt Approach to Counselling
The Cycle of Experience and its Application to the Counselling Process
Interruptions in the Cycle
Sensation and the Necessary Preconditions for Counselling
Awareness and the Initial Phases of the Counselling Process
Mobilisation and the post-preliminary phases of the counselling process
Action and the middle phases of the counselling process
Final contact and the later phases of the counselling process
Satisfaction and the penultimate phases of the counselling process
Withdrawal and the final phases of the counselling process
Responsibility and freedom in counselling
Concluding reflections on gestalt′s future frontiers and integrations

About the Author

Petruska Clarkson was a professor and fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Fellow of the British Psychological Society. A Consultant Psychologist, Psychotherapist Supervisor and Management Consultant, she worked and taught at universities and private institutions internationally. Petruska sadly passed away in 2006.

Simon Cavicchia is a primary tutor on the MSc in Gestalt Psychotherapy at the Metanoia Institute in London.   He is also Joint Programme Leader of the MSc in Coaching Psychology/MA in Psychological Coaching, also at Metanoia.  He divides his time between teaching, working as a psychotherapist and supervisor and as an executive coach and consultant to leadership teams in public and private sector organisations.  In all of these contexts, Simon stands firm in his love of Gestalt and what it can offer in terms of growth, learning and creativity.


This popular and well written book which is now in its 4th edition,  provides an accessible and thorough introduction to the Gestalt approach. At the time she wrote this book, Petruska Clarkson brought an extensive experience both as a practitioner and trainer/supervisor to outline the theoretical and philosophical basis of Gestalt therapy. She provides an interesting framework using the cycle of awareness to explore ‘healthy’ and ‘dysfunctional’ functioning of the individual in relation to our environment. The book also outlines the developmental stages of the therapy process and provides a nice balance of theory and practice. I would recommend this as essential reading to anyone with an interest in Gestalt therapy.
*Danny Porter*

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