Chris Rodriguez – professor at UTSC and teaches psychotherapy. Works for city of
Toronto – instructor for Gestalt institute – teaching about anxiety.
Gestalt perspective on anxiety
- Over 400 approaches of therapy – this is one that does not get covered well.
- Discovered by Pearls Heffernan Goodman
- Anxiety holds onto an emotion
- Anxiety and excitement is very close – just depends how we perceive it
Gestalt: psychological or symbolic configuration of many things. Translates to ‘whole” –
see things as a whole – we view and live our lives holistically
Therapy: awareness of what is happening in the morning – not the present of future!
When you get anxious – bring yourself to present moment.
Awareness and discrepancy in person presentation – how people present and how they
act are usually different. Look at actions – says more about person then what comes out
Neurosis as necessary element to change process – anxiety is apart of life.
How person resist contact of here and now – when you have a connection with another
person and thing. How people resist determines what interventions to use.
It’s about what you can do now.
Need cycle: sensation (barely notice) – awareness – mobilize energy – excitement – take
action – contact – withdrawal (you need satisfaction to withdrawal completely)
Some people get stuck in these need cycle.
When the cycle finishes something new can come up --- neurosis & anxiety can come up
and get you stuck in the cycle.
Anxiety: beginning of a feeling – get nervous based on rule & conditions in past. If
excitement blocked it become anxiety and symptoms become chronic.
Anxiety now helped us survive at one point – but now it causes problems in our function.
It needs to be freed up.
Holding method protects us emotion, sadness, anger, etc but brings past to present.
We need to be in the here and now. Gestalt does not tell people what to do – help them figure it out themselves.
People with panic attacks: start with breathing – ask them if you can feel your feet on the
ground & brea