Gestalt therapy’s emphasis on process often deemphasizes narrative and story. As we grow older and need to come to terms with our life experience, losses and history, we become more preoccupied with our stories and their meaning. There is a tradition for a narrative approach to Gestalt therapy (E. Polster “Every person’s life is worth a novel”). Drawing on my own experience in memoir writing I will present some of the techniques honed from experiential memoir writing workshops. In the experiential segment we will use theme-based techniques to do some memoir writing about meaningful life experiences. We will read some of the writing in the group. I will also discuss how to integrate experiential writing into therapeutic work with clients.
Iris Fodor, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at New York University and a Gestalt therapist in New York City working with many clients in the arts. She received her certification in Gestalt Therapy from the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Los Angeles (GTILA) and has been an Associate Editor of Gestalt Review. She has done workshops and written about the integration of Gestalt and Cognitive Therapy, mindfulness and Gestalt Therapy, women’s body image and feminist therapy. Iris is also a photographer whose work has focused on digital storytelling and narrative process. Recent work focuses on memoir, experiential writing and life story.