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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
The workshop will begin with a paper creating the ground for the current revolution in the LGBTQIA community in regard to how gender choices are currently evolving and their fluid relation to sexuality. In particular, what does it mean for Gestalt therapists to remain open to working with the creativity of these changes while at the same time helping clients to examine the relational, familial, and psychological underpinnings of individual choice? The workshop will also utilize an experiment in which participants can take on various roles where they get to experience the shifting possibilities available in the community and then discuss in pairs and the whole group what this means therapeutically.
Lee Zevy is one of the founders of Identity House, a walk-in peer counseling and psychotherapy community mental health center for the LGBTQIA community in New York City, which began in 1971. After completing her training at the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy, where she is now a fellow, she became the clinical director of Identity House for many years and still does supervising and training there. In addition to becoming president of NYIGT twice, she teaches, supervises, writes, and publishes on the theory and practice of Gestalt therapy. Her current interest is how the fluidity of gender and sexuality today is moving to change the discourse of society around these topics.
Presenter: Mariano Pizzimenti (Italy)
A new orientation for couples therapy, working with sexual disorder, and other contexts where confrontation is important but dangerous and difficult.
With “sexual aggressiveness,” we define the experience in which aggression and sexuality can be combined with each other in a figure/ground relationship, which is not polarizing nor based on antithesis. It is the situation in which love and destruction, as well as hunger and sexuality, can simultaneously coexist.
Sexual aggression is an evolutionary behavior and concept, which comes from experiencing that I can attack and destroy resting on a background of love, desire, and creativity. I can desire, love, and create while maintaining the ability to attack and eventually destroy what I do not need and/or damages me in the relationship with another person. Aggression and sexuality come together in a figure/ground relationship, in which one can stay in the foreground while the other feeds and limits it from the background.
After a short introduction, we will experience how to nourish the background with care, pleasure, erotism, and intimacy, while in the foreground, there will be aggressivity, clarity, and even separation. In accordance with the interest of the participants, we will experience this special kind of figure/background relationship in a couples session and/or group session, entering also in the field of sexual disorder.
The different experiments will be influenced by the group, and I hope that in the context of NYIGT, we will be able to build new experiences.
Mariano Pizzimenti is a psychologist and psychotherapist, and the founder and director of the Gestalt School of Turin. He was trained in Gestalt therapy by Isha Larry Bloomberg and Robert Hall. He began his activity as a therapist in 1981 and has since practiced and taught Gestalt therapy in Italy, Germany, Scotland, and Ireland. Mariano is also the past president of FISIG (Federazione Italiana Scuole e Istituti di Gestalt). In addition, he is the author of the book Aggression and Sexuality: The Figure/Background Relationship Between Pleasure and Pain.
Presenter: Yaqui Andrés Martínez Ph.D (Mexico)*
When we reflect on the theme of love, we commonly refer to the various erotic-affective phenomena that arise in a couple’s relationship, or we think of love only as an emotional experience. In The Loving Gaze, we will reflect and share from a phenomenological-existential and relational proposal about love as an experience that goes beyond emotions and that transcends a couple’s relationship, to speak of it as a way of being-with-the-other, a posture that can enrich the Gestalt therapeutic relationship. We will try to reflect from our personal experience, as Plato suggests in the dialogue in his Symposium.
My name is Yaqui Andrés Martínez Ph.D. I live in Mexico City with my wife and our two cats. In my therapeutic practice, my work style is a mixture of a Gestalt relational approach and the existential-phenomenological model.
I’m a clinical psychologist, with an M.A. and a Ph.D. in humanistic psychotherapy and a major in Gestalt therapy.
I have also completed doctoral studies in philosophy with a major in psychotherapy.
I’ve been a teacher for more than 20 years at the Instituto Humanista de Psicoterapia Gestalt (Humanistic Institute for Gestalt Psychotherapy) in Mexico.
I founded the Círculo de Estudios en Terapia Existencial (Circle of Studies on Existential Therapy) in Mexico, 18 years ago, where I coordinate a master’s degree in existential therapy. www.circuloexistencial.org
I’ve been a teacher at several universities and institutes in Mexico and other countries.
Nowadays, I’m studying electric guitar and enjoy listening to music very much.
*Please note: Yaqui Andrés Martínez Ph.D will 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.