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ALL PRESENTATIONS ARE WITHOUT CHARGE.
If there is one thing Buddhism and western psychotherapy can agree upon, it is this: trauma does not just happen to a few unlucky people, it happens to everyone. Trauma is the bedrock of our psychology. Death and illness eventually impact us all, but even the everyday sufferings of loneliness and fear are traumatic. Psychoanalysis and other approaches to psychotherapy have described the developmental, or relational, trauma of the mal-attunement of early life. Buddhism has emphasized the inherent precariousness of impermanence. But both disciplines concur that trauma, of one kind or another, is something that everyone must face sooner or later in life.
This evening’s presentation brings this perspective forward. Ranging from the contributions of analysts like D.W. Winnicott, Philip Bromberg and Robert Stolorow to the undercurrent of loss in the Buddha’s own biography—the death of his mother when he was a week old—this discussion holds that not only do the ‘Little T’ traumas of early life condition how we respond to the ‘Big T’ traumas all around us but that we can use the traumas of daily life to open our minds and hearts.
Mark Epstein, M.D. is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City and the author of a number of books about the interface of Buddhism and psychotherapy, including Thoughts without a Thinker, Going to Pieces without Falling Apart, Going on Being, Open to Desire, Psychotherapy without the Self and The Trauma of Everyday Life. His latest work: Advice Not Given: Notes of a Buddhist Psychiatrist, will be published in 2018 by Penguin Press. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University and is currently Clinical Assistant Professor in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at New York University.
Couples most often come into therapy when they are stuck in repetitive unsatisfying patterns of behavior. They are stuck in protector-driven reactivity designed to keep their vulnerable parts safe. It is our work as therapists to create a safe environment so they can step back from their reactivity and connect with their partner in new and self-regulated ways.
In this didactic and experiential workshop, we will explore methods of creating safety and helping the couple reach genuine effective connection.
Marla Silverman, Ph.D. is a psychologist with over 40 years’ experience working with individuals and couples, teaching, supervising and training therapists. She is faculty and former Director of Training at the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training in NYC. She has presented at many conferences in the U.S. and Israel. Her DVD set “Keeping It Real: A Therapists Guide to Working with Couples” is available on her website: marlasilverman.com. Her work is informed by Gestalt Therapy and Internal Family Systems.
Embodied relational intimacy is a wordless communication between intimates that is conveyed through eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice, and empathetic gestures that is at the very root of trust and affection between mates. Likewise, when playfully eroticized, this embodied quality of connection provides the essence of arousal between lovers.
This presentation will begin with a brief review of the neurobiological evidence in support of Gestalt practice with special emphasis on relationship and sexual issues. I will show the profound interplay between love and sex from early childhood programing to adult intimate relationships. We will then explore several methods for integrating a body-based Gestalt experiential focus with breath work and emotional-sensual-sexual healing in couples therapy. Finally, we end with several body-based exercises and experiments that can be utilized with couples during a session and at home.
Stella Resnick, PhD is a clinical psychologist and AASECT-certified sex therapist and clinical supervisor in private practice in Beverly Hills, CA specializing in couples and sex therapy. She co-leads an annual couples’ retreat with her husband at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA and also runs yearly training programs there in her Full-Spectrum Gestalt (FSG) approach integrating couples and sex therapy. Stella’s most recent book is The Heart of Desire: Keys to the Pleasures of Love (2012). She can be reached through her website at www.drstellaresnick.com.
One of the more unique aspects of gestalt therapy theory can be found in its ability to address, not only the psychological problems presented by those seeking our help, but also in the healing of those social and political maladies contributing to such. The basis for such uniqueness can be found in Paul Goodman’s anarchistic philosophical contributions to our theory. The discussion will center around the gestalt concepts of self-formation and organismic self-regulation and their therapeutic, social, and political implications. It will also include a series of guided imagery exercises focused on the possibilities available of integrating such concepts into one’s practice in providing our clients with the tools for both personal and social change. Given the growing political and emotional upheavals arising throughout the world, gestalt’s holistic orientation is needed now more than ever.
Jack Aylward, EdD is a psychologist currently practicing in Watchung, New Jersey. In addition to psychotherapy, Jack has led training and supervision groups in the US, Australia, and Europe. His first book: Gestalt Therapy and the American Experience was published by Ravenwood Press in 2012. He has recently completed his second book: The Anarchy of Gestalt Therapy: A Proposal for Radical Practice.
During traumatic events the dependable ground becomes disrupted, or in cases of severe trauma, destroyed and the foreground becomes preeminent. Regardless of circumstance feelings of confusion, disassociation, anxiety and fear abound as the relationship between foreground/background occupies a shifting field.
In most cases psychotherapists and trauma specialists tend to focus on the traumatic event itself without taking sufficient account of trauma as an event within the field.
Another way of working with trauma, particularly where the client cannot or has difficulty accessing the event is to focus on the sensory relationship of the traumatic environment. In this way clients can access color, texture, taste, smells, sounds of the event before, during and after the event itself.
In addition, clients who have a closer relationship to rebuilding the ground through their sensory experience can create a secure environment step by step as an integrated experience between themselves and the environment they are contacting.
This presentation will weave the shared experiences of low level traumatic events of participants into a didactic presentation and discussion of the topic.
Lee Zevy is a Fellow of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy and has twice served as President. She has studied the effects and healing of trauma since she began her psychotherapy practice in the 1970’s. This new work on the Environment of Trauma came out of her personal experience with a fire in her apartment just prior to and included her experience of 9/11. In her current life she writes, teaches, supervises and presents in many venues.
Somatic Experiencing (SE) has deep roots in Physiology, Hypnosis, Gestalt, and Focusing. SE was created as a modality for treating trauma but, once learned, proves to be very applicable to all clients. Gestalt focuses on the completion of organic contact cycles and unfinished emotional business. SE focuses on completion of cycles of arousal and incomplete animal responses. In addition to our role in facilitating contact, we must maximize our skills as arousal managers.
Topics that the workshop will attempt to address include:
The animal threat response cycle residing under the contact cycle.
- A deeper look at the felt sense through body sensation as the agent of integration.
- A basic understanding of the Autonomic Nervous System and its role in regulation and dysregulation.
- Preventing the primitive brain from hijacking the client’s experience.
- A Parasympathetic Tool Box for settling arousal.
- What the body learns the psyche will follow.
The topic is large and the time-frame is small so many practical handouts will be provided, so participants can take the basics presented and begin to play with them.
(The paper which Matthew wrote as a graduation requirement at the Gestalt Center was his first attempt to blend Somatic Experiencing and Gestalt and can be found by Googling “How the Physiology of Somatic Experiencing Can Give the Gestalt Therapist a Broader Understanding of What They Are Already Doing and Allow Them to Do It Better”)
Matthew Whaley LCSW is a Gestalt therapist in private practice in New York City and at the Jersey Shore. He trained at the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training and later joined the GCPT faculty (gestaltnyc.org). He is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and a teaching assistant for the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute (traumahealing.org). Matthew brings SE’s physiological approach to behavior to compliment and illuminate Gestalt theory and technique. He also has a deep interest in spirituality and became an ordained interfaith minister through One Spirit Learning Alliance and One Spirit Interfaith Seminary.
Mark Fairfield will offer a presentation on a demonstration project —an initiative hosted by The Relational Center in Los Angeles — that combines a public health prevention model, a community organizing tradition, and social capital metrics in a culture-building strategy which has been adopted by several contemporary social movements. The discussion will trace significant lines of influence back to Gestalt theory and values and the political and social critique underlying them. The presentation will also explore opportunities for mental health professionals to exert more influence within the health care system and its various institutions.
Mark Fairfield is the Founder and Executive Director of The Relational Center, a grassroots nonprofit in Los Angeles. Mark is a longtime community organizer, organizational consultant, Gestalt trainer, author and teacher. After completing his graduate studies at Columbia University in the 90s, he took various leadership positions in the AIDS movement for over a decade. In addition to overseeing The Relational Center, Mark consults with other non-profit boards and management teams, offering strategic planning facilitation, leadership development and support for culture shift.
Since the election of 2016 and the rise of Donald Trump, the larger field has been colored with hateful rhetoric. In light of this emergence, how does hate impact the socio-cultural-relational field? Hate is an emotion that can be expressed in a healthy or unhealthy way. It can also be the basis of a belief system that creates division and maintains generations of ignorance, violence, and oppression. Throughout the world, hate has permeated the human race. Is hate inherent in the human species? What is our role as therapists in light of hateful feelings? How do we handle our own hateful feelings or those of our clients? These questions and other important ideas about hate as a social-psychological phenomenon will be explored in this talk.
Andy Lapides, MSW, LCSW, BCD, is a gestalt-trained psychotherapist in private practice in Morristown, New Jersey. Andy trained at the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy & Training from 2005 to 2008. He went on to train in modern psychoanalysis at The Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis in Livingston, New Jersey, from 2009 to 2012 and The Center for Group Studies from 2012 to 2014.
The impact from meeting with people from many walks of life and ages – and the frustration over static diagnostic models not compatible with a Gestalt perspective – fueled me to develop a dynamic diagnostic navigation model that supports dialogue and mutual influence. FAMA (Scandinavian short for Field Analysis with Awareness) is based on two major influences:
Allowing the preciousness of the present moment as well as awareness of the constant organising and reorganising of the field in chaotic, polarised, flexible or integrating ways. The flowchart suggests a willingness to alternate between symmetric and asymmetric responsibility as part of the role. Thus interaction and interventions may be designed to respond to the relevant need in the field, be it short or long-term processes.
The flowchart is an expression of my life and work experiences and found its shape about 10 years ago. The aim is to fill 3 needs: To be a guiding map in the gestalt training, to enable a dialogue outside the gestalt environment, to acknowledge a growing number of a “new type of clients” needing more support and a firm structure held in the relation.
The visual easy to grasp format and the dynamism of the flowchart will be introduced. How to navigate in the 4 field is illustrated by exercises with focus on the most important of the 12 gates: awareness of the role, the body, the activation level of the nervous system and attachment styles.
Perls, Hefferline, Goodman published Gestalt therapy (1951).Half a century later neuroscience confirms our focus on figure / ground formation and awareness! We are invited to work with awareness of the complex brain & nervous system responses fueling the organismic self-regulation. Thus we can approach unfinished, fixed gestalt, frozen in body & mind, in a way the founders only could dream of.
As I learned to tune into and gently cooperate with our nervous system and its deep influence on our capacity to perceive, stay aware of and participate in the present moment, my gestalt practice and life has found new depths with an increased understanding of how survival patterns, developmental issues and traumas can keep us stuck in past – or expand from chaos to spirituality. Thus adding the nervous system as a gate in the chart reminds us of our innate capacity to return to balance and embrace more facets of life.
Certified Gestalt therapist and supervisor – Certified Somatic Experiencing ® -Practitioner
Certified Somatic Attachment Trainer Diane Poole Heller-Certified Mindfulness instructor – B.A Social Science.
40 years in the field of psychotherapy, supervision and training include 25 years at the faculty of Gestalt Academy of Scandinavia, developing Existential Leadership training.
Moreover addressing collective wounds by 12 years of supervising at Red Cross Centre for Rehabilitation of traumatized refugees, initiating: “Children with scars without wounds“-an ongoing project for offspring’s of the Resistance movement from WW II and survivors of Holocaust as well as conducting Peace Workshops for the public. Deeply influenced by long-term spiritual practice within the Diamond Approach and Buddhistic teaching. Jewish roots and Buddhistic wings!
Judith Beermann Zeligson Somatic Experiencing®-practitioner, Gestalt psychotherapist & supervisor, Mindfulness & meditation instructor, family therapist, B.A. Social Science.
Her 40 years of running a private practice also includes 25 years at the faculty of Gestalt Academy of Scandinavia, developing Leadership Training programs as well as addressing Collective Wounds by supervising 12 years at Red Ross Centre for Rehabilitation of traumatised refugees, conducting Peace Workshops and initiating and running “Children with scars without wounds” – a project for offspring’s of Holocaust survivors and the Resistance movement from WW II.
Judith has a unique capacity to discover the innate resources of the individual and reach the core where we dare to see our own patterns. With a sense of humour and clarity of mind and speech, she integrates theory and practice. Participants are invited to explore what shapes their present life – and experience that transformation is possible as one dares to be with what is – and opens to receive a new experience.
She has assisted Diane Poole Heller in several Dare trainings in Denmark as well as being the coordinator when her 2-year attachment training SATE (somatic attachment therapy) was introduced in Denmark. She is now certified to teach the DARE / SATE training.
This presentation is intended as an introduction to the diagnosis and treatment of what are commonly called Schizoid Personality Disorders. From a Gestalt therapy point of view, “Schizoid Personality Disorder” can be reconceptualized as a series of creative adjustments to an early traumatic childhood situation that created the deep-seated belief that true intimacy with other people is inherently unsafe.
Individuals who have made Schizoid adaptations can be difficult to recognize because they believe that it is dangerous to show other people their true Self. They fear that doing so will allow others to enslave them, appropriate what is theirs, or use them as tools. They use distancing defenses, fantasy, and dissociation to deal with their interpersonal fears and their porous interpersonal boundaries.
Because these clients rarely cause other people difficulties, their suffering often goes unnoticed and unaddressed. Because their basic defense pattern involves hiding whatever is truly meaningful to them, most therapists are ill-prepared to recognize that their client has Schizoid issues and needs a modification of their usual therapeutic approach.
In this presentation I will use my concept of the Interpersonal Gestalt to help participants understand what is figural for these clients during interpersonal relationship and how to recognize this in session. There will be experiential exercises that allow us to experiment with “Thinking Schizoid.” We will also look at subtle ways that Gestalt therapists can modify their usual way of working so as to be more effective with clients who have profound Schizoid issues.
Elinor Greenberg, PhD, is a psychologist and Gestalt therapy trainer who specializes in teaching the diagnosis and treatment of Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid adaptations. She is on the faculty of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy and the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training. Elinor is an Associate Editor of Gestalt Review. She is a former faculty member of The Masterson Institute, a post-graduate training institute for Personality Disorders. Dr. Greenberg writes an online blog for Psychology Today called “Understanding Narcissism” and is the author of the book: Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations: The Search for Love, Admiration, and Safety.
Our present experience is embedded in differing contexts, or embodied fields. We emerge and are drawn to creatively adjust our self in this relationship between our body as figure in the ground of the presence of others and the physical world. In this workshop, we will discuss and explore the relationship between our own sense of selves and the multiple dances we are engaged in, from in utero, to parents, families, culture and the actual land when stand upon.
My intention is to help us attend to our body/self in relation, sometimes pre-personal and often inarticulate. We will attempt to develop a somatic intelligence to describe this inter-relatedness between our self and other.
Please note the change in venue:
The LGBTQ Center
208 West 13th St. Room 302
Michael Clemmens, PhD is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Pittsburgh, PA working with individuals and couples. He is a faculty member at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He travels nationally and internationally teaching and offering experiential learning opportunities. He is the author of Getting Beyond Sobriety: Clinical Approaches to Long Term Recovery published by Gestalt Press and the article “Culture and Body”, “Gestalt therapy as an Embodied Relation Dialogue” and the editor of the soon to be published book Embodied Relational Gestalt, to be published by Gestalt Press.
Since its origins, Awareness has been intended as a knowledge of the field, more than of a single person. With the concept of AER, I’ve developed tools, which are clearly field oriented, for the Gestalt therapist to concentrate of this crucial competence. Participants will have the opportunity to experience these tools and dialogue at the end.
Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb, Director of the Istituto di Gestalt HCC Italy (Siracusa, Palermo, Milan), with English spoken programs for Gestalt therapists. Full Member of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy (NYIGT), Past-President of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT) and of other Psychotherapy and GT Associations (SIPG; FIAP; FISIG). She is Editor in chief of the Journal Quaderni di Gestalt, and of the International Gestalt Therapy Book Series. Her most recent book The Now-for-Next in Psychotherapy. Gestalt Therapy Recounted in Post Modern Society (2013) is available in English and other 6 languages. More on www.gestaltitaly.com
Speakers: Susan Gregory And Adam Weitz
Gestalt therapy emerged in a socio-political field which, in many ways, reflects the one we are living in now.
Our society is hitting mark after mark on its apparent path toward authoritarianism. History has shown us that democracy is not a given for any society. We need only to study the past to see that this is true. We need to name present trends rather than shy away from them.
A decades long series of changes has culminated in figures forming of charismatic madmen, including Donald Trump, who, with associates, denigrate science, and try to reshape governments to undermine justice systems, educational institutions, immigration systems, journalism and media, and facts. As an institute, we need to pay attention to these developing phenomena.
Racism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny and anti-Semitism are shamelessly being expressed. For those of us who seek to diminish those things, it is very scary these days.
Our wishes for this afternoon are
-to make space for institute members and friends to be together with what is in these difficult times;
-to support one another in being with what is and not becoming frozen;
-to look at the ways Gestalt therapy, given its history, may be either unsuited or particularly suited to meet the challenges of the present moment;
-to examine the ways we as a society, and as individuals within it, are primed and vulnerable to becoming subjects rather than remaining citizens.
How do we strengthen ourselves?
Please come and participate in the conversation, October 28th 2-5pm.
@ The North Star Fund
520 8th Avenue, Suite 1800
NOTE: We will be starting precisely at 2.
Speaker: Perry Klepner
Speaker: James Battaglia
The movie, Three Approaches to Psychotherapy (TAP), widely known as The Gloria Films, was shot in 1964 and released in 1965. In each of the three sections of the movie, Gloria Szymanski, age 30, encounters one of the three eminent psychotherapy theorists of the day: Albert Ellis, Carl Rogers and Fritz Perls. TAP was conceived as an educational tool and for over five decades has been the first (and sometimes only) introduction to gestalt therapy (GT) for generations of college students.
During his encounter with Szymanski, Perls demonstrates an approach that is very different from the gestalt therapy practiced today. Over the years, Perls’s interaction with Szymanski has been met with mixed reviews.
During this presentation, attendees will view the Perls and Szymanski encounter in Three Approaches to Psychotherapy and have the opportunity to participate in a discussion and share their responses. Questions which may be considered during the discussion include: Did Perls’s work in the film accurately reflect GT as it was practiced in the mid-1960s? Are GT’s strengths amply demonstrated? Are there aspects of Perls’s interaction with Szymanski that he might have handled differently? What perceptions of GT might the film support? How has GT evolved since the film was made? What does the future hold for The Gloria Films?
The presentation will include an experiential exercise.
Speaker: Rebekah Windmiller
Speaker: Sylvia Crocker
Presenter: Peter Cole
Date: Sunday, April, 28th 2019
Time: 4:00 – 7:00pm
Place: The Northstar Fund
520 8th Ave, Suite 1800
New York, NY
Peter Cole will present methodological and theoretical contributions he has been developing in his practice of gestalt therapy in an interactive group format. There will be lecture, demonstration work, and time for all attendees to discuss and process our experience together. Topics will include:
- Relational Development in gestalt group therapy
- The Self Activating Dimension & the Intimately Connected Dimensions of Relational Development
- Working with Rupture and Repair in the gestalt group
- Working with the “Affective Current” and “Affective Processing” in gestalt group therapy.
- Embracing diversity and “all the voices of the field”
- “The Shadow of the Leader” a model of working with “shadow” or “background” aspects gestalt group leadership that can be difficult to bring into dialogue and awareness.
- Working with the group-as-a-whole and various group roles (Emotional Leader, Scapegoat Leader and Defiant Leader) in gestalt groups
Peter Cole, LCSW is a long-time Gestalt Therapy trainer in Berkeley California. Along with his wife Daisy Reese, he leads the Sierra Institute for Contemporary Gestalt Therapy. He is a certified gestalt therapist with the Pacific Gestalt Institute and a certified group therapist with American Group Psychotherapy Assoc. He serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry with the University of California Davis School of Medicine. He serves on the Editorial Board of Gestalt Review, and is Guest Editing an upcoming edition of Gestalt Review with a variety of articles on Group Therapy. Appearing in that issue of Gestalt Review will be an article, co-written with NYIGT members Bud Feder, Jack Aylward and Charlie Bowman titled “Four Reflections on a Gestalt Peer Consultation Group”, which may well be the last work Bud Feder wrote for publication. Peter has served on the board of AAGT in various roles including treasurer over the years.
Peter is the author, with his wife, Daisy Reese of New Directions in Gestalt Group Therapy: Relational Ground, Authentic Self, (NY: Routledge, 2018).