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ALL PRESENTATIONS ARE WITHOUT CHARGE.
Presenter: Susan Gregory
Since being named by both Kanner and Asperger in the 1940s, the understanding and treatment of autism has expanded and changed several times. From a search for a cure, emphasizing brain science research, through a period of cognitive-behavioral training efforts, then to a movement toward practical assistance and appreciation undertaken by a cohort of adult autistic people and their allies, the transition in our understanding of autism continues ahead.
In this presentation, I will encourage us to look at Gestalt therapy principles and how they may ground our understanding of autistic complexity and of the newly recognized societal contributions now being made by some autistic people. This presentation will be a series of mini-lectures interspersed with Q&A sessions, and possibly with a brief experiment.
Susan Gregory has been a Gestalt therapist and life coach in private practice for almost 30 years and has taught aspects of Gestalt therapy theory and practice throughout the world as both guest faculty and workshop presenter at conferences. In addition, she teaches singing and the Gindler approach to breath and body work. She has written four book chapters on the nexus of Gestalt therapy and breath and body work as well as more than 20 articles that treat various aspects of Gestalt therapy/voice/breath. Susan is a past president of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy.
Presenter: Frank Bosco
Trauma is a multifaceted phenomenon. It occurs when some personal boundary of the body/mind is overwhelmed and impacted by some change in the field and then remains in some way — a fixed gestalt! When known and understandable methods of control are either not utilized or not available in the moment of this overwhelming circumstance/situation and we are unable to maintain a sense of comfort/safety, this loss of control alters one’s personal boundary. If this alteration remains fixed and is deemed to be a negative and somewhat persistent experience, we call it trauma.
With such traumatic events come the physiological “events” that are hard-wired into our genetic design so as to help us manage the experiences in the moment. From these experiences, we learn what to fear and how to react to things we encounter in the future so as to avoid and/or replicate the same kind of experiences. Avoidant behavior or replications of the same reactive behaviors, both without significant nuances to alter the experiences, leaves us stuck in a fixed gestalt loop.
Making sense of this traumatic process involves isolating and then appropriately reintegrating all of the given elements of the experiences. A Gestalt therapist is especially well positioned to work with these elements, as we can give voice to each of them as parts of the self that require support to be in healthy contact with each other part. The key here is to understand what needs to be addressed in these experiments and that is what this presentation will be about.
Frank Bosco, MA, BC-MT, LCAT, LMT, RPP, SEP, is a body-oriented music psychotherapist and currently the president of NYIGT. He began working with Gestalt principles in music psychotherapy in the late 1970s in various hospital settings while studying at NYU. At the same time, he got a license in massage therapy and began exploring various approaches to body-oriented psychotherapy, such as the work of Wilhelm Reich and neo-Reichians like Alexander Lowen (Bioenergetics) and later Stanley Keleman. Throughout the 1980s, he worked in private practice, where he began incorporating and then later teaching East/West philosophies and practices along with Ericksonian hypnosis in an eclectic therapy approach called Polarity Therapy. In the mid-1990s, he began studying Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing approach to trauma in the first New York–based training and was impressed by how much this new approach employed theories and practices that were consistent with those of Gestalt therapy.
Frank has been teaching and leading music therapy groups at NYU since 1990 and elsewhere since 1981. He has had a mind/body and music therapy center (Sound Health Studio) in New York City since 1990. He has a handful of chapters related to pain, trauma, and Gestalt in music therapy, one of which has been republished in the book The New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy in the 21st Century.
Presenter: Adam Weitz
This presentation arises from my awareness of both subtle and extreme “top dog/underdog” dynamics in our shared social and political field.
Ranking and privileging exist throughout the natural world, with many, maybe most, species ranking and privileging as part of their organizing norm. We humans manage an ongoing tension between stratifying and equalizing to better and worse results.
Participants will explore ranking and privileging through the lens of Gestalt therapy. Theoretically, we may take up the question, “How and when might ranking support or interrupt contact?” Historically, we’ll hold the background knowledge that Gestalt therapy emerged from the extreme top dog/underdog stratification of two world wars.
This presentation will include both didactic and experiential teaching and learning.
Adam Weitz, LCSW, is a New York State–licensed psychotherapist and a graduate of the NYU Silver School of Social Work. He is a past president of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy.
Adam works in private practice in New York City. He previously served as a staff therapist at the Blanton-Peale Institute and Counseling Center. At Blanton-Peale, he had the opportunity to work with a broad spectrum of people and issues. He carries this experience into his ongoing work as a therapist.
Adam is a full member of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy (NYIGT); a member of the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy (AAGT); a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW); and a member of Identity House, a nonprofit peer counseling organization serving the needs of LGBTQ people.
Adam creates workshops that reflect the current social field. These have included You, Me and Our Cell Phones, Looming Figures on Shaky Ground: This Era’s Authoritarianism in Our Lives and Practice, and now Looking Up and Looking Down: Ranking and Privileging at the Contact Boundary. All aim to heighten awareness and support experimentation for ourselves as we live in the world.
Presenter: Lee Zevy
Presenter: Mariano Pizzimenti (Italy)
Presenter: Yaqui Andrés Martínez (Mexico)*
*Yaqui Andrés Martínez will also be offering a special workshop on Sunday, May 17; details to follow.
Yaqui Andrés Martínez will be offering a special workshop on Sunday, May 17; details to follow.