Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice

The specific effects of a Gestalt intervention

Leslie Greenberg, Laura Rice
Gestalt psychotherapyResearchCase seriesEnglish
Journal Article - Paid access


Reports 3 cases in which the effects on client depth of experiencing and voice quality of the Gestalt '2-chair' operation were investigated. In a design using the clients as their own controls, the effects on each client of 3 Gestalt operations, applied under experimental control to client statements of conflict, were compared with the effects of 3 active-empathy operations at similar points. Results confirm that following the Gestalt operation the depth of experiencing was significantly higher for each of the 3 clients selected as good prognosis clients for client-centered therapy. Two Ss used significantly more emotionally expressive voice after the Gestalt operation. The implications of the change in depth of experiencing on shifts in awareness and on the client's ability to cope with and resolve conflict are discussed

APA citation

Greenberg, L. S., & Rice, L. (1981). The specific effects of a Gestalt intervention. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 18(1), 31-37.