Gestalt – a way of living. CPD Course.

Gestalt Psychotherapy

The ACT Team have an up and coming CPD event on 20/02/16 titled ‘Gestalt — a way of living’ looking at Gestalt Psychotherapy. Whilst preparing the course materials we cannot help but remember the insight and power connected with this approach and its ability to help us as human beings make sense of our lives. With this in mind, let’s reflect on the connection between a family’s attitude to vomiting and the syntonic (in harmony) and dystonic (impaired) personality.

How did your family deal with vomit?

How did your family deal with the vomit? When you were young (before the age of 7) and you felt a bit unwell and were taken by surprise by a surge of vomit, what did your family members do? As you vomited all over the front room carpet, what did they do? Was your vomiting a family affair, did your siblings/cousins etc get to watch and make comment? Did Mum, Dad or significant caregivers tell you not to mind the mess, just get all that nasty stuff up? Did they hold and comfort you?

Were you reassured?

Perhaps your vomiting was dealt with differently. Did the significant caregivers reassure you, guide you to the toilet, spend a little bit of time with you and then leave. They might have come back to check on you at regular intervals. The last option the family or significant caregivers might have had was to quickly grab you when the vomit began, rush you to the toilet, sit you in front of the loo and quickly close the door. The last words you might have heard were to make your way to your bedroom once all vomiting had ceased at which point a bucket would be delivered to you and food parcels thereafter until all the messy stuff was gone.

How this links to life’s problems

However, the vomit was dealt with is probably how you now deal with life’s problems (the messy stuff). If the vomiting was shared, then you will share life’s problems with those close to you. If you were, supported and reassured to an extent then you probably share problems or the messy stuff in life to a certain extent but not the whole story. If your vomiting was a solitary affair conducted in isolation, then this is probably how you deal with life’s problems. The messages we hear and the rules we learn in childhood shape who we are today.

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