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ALL PRESENTATIONS ARE WITHOUT CHARGE.
We regret to announce that Andy Lapides’s presentation has been postponed due to health concerns.
Aging is a process of becoming aware of changes bodily, medically, socially, and psychologically and adapting creatively. Challenges facing older adults vary greatly and may include such phenomena such as ageism, despair, loneliness, meaninglessness, isolation, dementia, and geriatric depression/anxiety. In this talk, the emphasis will be on treating those over the age of sixty using a relational gestalt model. Some of the areas of focus will be using humor, reminiscence/life review/storytelling, creativity, etc. to create vitality and meaning with older patients and their family members, loved ones, and caregivers. There will be special attention on the existential dimension of facing finitude and loss, a compounding trauma for many older adults.
Andy Lapides is a licensed clinical social worker in New Jersey and New York. Andy practices in Morristown, New Jersey, Morris County.
His educational background includes a master of social work degree from Fordham University. He studied for three years post-graduate in gestalt therapy at the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training in New York City, where he was awarded a certificate as a qualified gestalt therapist. His final paper was published internationally entitled “A Gentler Gestalt Therapy: On Reducing Stimulation in Adult Survivors of Abuse.” He also completed the one year certificate program in modern psychoanalysis at The Academy of Clinical & Applied Psychoanalysis (ACAP) in Livingston, New Jersey, as well as three subsequent years taking classes in ACAP’s certificate program. He also trained at the Center for Group Studies (CGS) in New York City for two years. Andy also did a one week intensive training in 2013 with Harville Hendrix in Imago therapy at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. Andy trained with Lynne Jacobs and Gary Yontef for one week at PGI’s residential program.
Andy trained in community-based social work and geriatric care management at the Henry Street Settlement NORC/Vladeck Cares program working with older adults living in the New York City housing project. Andy also worked for the Morris County Division on Aging, where he developed the first caregiver manual for Morris County residents and implemented a psychotherapy program for older adults in Morris View Assisted Living. Andy was involved with the creation of the Morris County Caregiver Coalition and contributed to the Morris County Older Adult Mental Health and Substance Abuse Task Force.
Andy has been featured in the Morris County, New Jersey’s Daily Record for doing home visits in the community with older adults. He has also been recognized by the National Association of Social Workers in Washington, DC for his work with older adults.
Andy is the founder of the “Morris County Psychotherapists’ Network”, a local psychotherapist networking group based in Morris County, New Jersey. His website is andylapides.com.
All too frequently, therapists are unable to claim the fees they desire even from clients who can afford to pay them. Through exploration of our own experience of desire and the complicated feelings that money stirs in us both personally and in our work with patients, the goal of this presentation is to offer vital new perspectives on, and resolution to, our resistances to earning and abundance. We help our patients in every other area but often leave money out because of our own inhibition about having and because of a lack of knowledge and skills in this area. We can only take our patients as far as we ourselves are willing to go and for far too long the thorniest (and juiciest) issues around money have been left out of the therapeutic process.
Therapists’ inhibition about their own needs is a multi-determined problem which includes: difficulties separating from their original family role (most therapists were early caretakers in their families), conflicts within the field itself about charging money for this service, clinicians’ anxieties about being in conflict with their clients and the all too real fear that discontented and angry clients will leave treatment. This workshop proposes that by working through our own conflicts about money we are better able to help our clients change their dysfunctional behavior and attitudes about money. By exploring this conflict as it comes up directly between client and therapist, specifically around the client’s fee and the fee negotiation, clients can address their financial difficulties in a new way.
Since the fee is a powerful intrusion of the practitioner’s need into the treatment, making financial demands of the patient requires the therapist’s willingness to embrace conflict. This workshop will demonstrate how a clash of subjectivities, rather than something to be dreaded and avoided, can be used to start the necessary struggle toward mutual recognition, increased maturation, and furthered self-actualization of both client and therapist.
Kachina Myers LCSW, ACSW, faculty and supervisor at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy (ICP), is also a past supervisor and co-founder of ALGAP (Association of Lesbian-and-Gay-Affirmative Psychotherapists). Her article Show Me the Money: (The ‘Problem’ of) The Therapist’s Desire, Subjectivity, and Relationship to the Fee published in Contemporary Psychoanalysis is now considered a classic on the topic of money in psychotherapy. She has been quoted in O, The Oprah Magazine, Redbook, and DailyWorth.com about the wide and varied emotional relationships people have with their money. Kachina maintains a psychoanalytic psychotherapy and supervision practice in Manhattan as well as offering group and individual supervision to clinicians on earning, practice building, and the clinical dynamics of money.
Traditionally, people at The New York Institute studied gestalt therapy with a close reading of Gestalt Therapy by Perls Hefferline and Goodman (PHG) within a group setting. They would read text, word, phrase, line by line, stopping at difficult passages or ideas and pay attention to whatever emerges from their personal interaction with the text. This reading was a psycho-dramatic exercise in hermeneutics.
This was how both Dan and Susan first learned gestalt therapy. Beginning in the late 1970’s, Dan studied PHG with Richard Kitzler and Isadore From, and Susan was in Dan’s first teaching/learning group in 1991.
Over the many years of teaching/learning/and practicing, they and their understanding of PHG and gestalt therapy changed. The clinical and socio-political world morphed many times over. Intrinsic givens of gestalt therapy clinical practice have been reconsidered — some radically changed and new perspectives assimilated.
How Susan and Dan now train and practice reflect these changes, each from their own particular and different point of view. Susan’s ongoing interests include the energy of oral language as an essential, embodied aspect of relationship. She is also interested in practical approaches to teaching the integration of gestalt therapy theory with practice.
Dan has been involved in an active dialogue between PHG and contemporary theory/practice. He is currently interested in the relational perspective of gestalt therapy and the clinical phenomenology of the other.
PHG remains the text of reference for their teaching/learning and practice of gestalt therapy.
Susan and Dan will present this in more detail and with their personal examples and experiences. They will offer experiential exercises, group interaction, and discussion of how workshop attendees have studied, and trained in gestalt therapy theory/practice and are carrying it into the future.
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.