Theory, application and effects of Gestalt therapy: A comparative study upon psychiatric day hospital patients.

Gestalt psychotherapyResearchNon-randomized controlled trials or naturalistic studyEnglish
Thesis - Open access

Abstract

The thesis sets out to examine the way in which Gestalt therapy methods have been developed and to analyse the theoretical arguments which underpin them. An empirical study was undertaken in which Gestalt training methods were applied over a period of six months to a group of psychiatric day hospital patients who were simultaneously recipients of orthodox psychoanalytically oriented treatment. Their progress was compared with that of a matched group who were receiving the same psychoanalytically oriented treatment, except that painting sessions replaced the Gestalt therapy sessions. Outcome for both groups was measured pre and post treatment using the Personal Orientation Inventory (Shostrom), a form of repertory grid test (Kelly) and the Target Complaint Scale (Battle). Results generally indicated that the patient. had benefitted from the Gestalt therapy. These benefits were variable and different between the experimental and the control group. A further study was undertaken, designed to explore the effect of Gestalt training (in a therapeutic form) in a different culture and with non-psychiatric subjects. A group of Belgian mental health professionals received Gestalt training over a period of one year and change was measured using the Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire (Crown and Crisp), the Personal Orientation Inventory, a form of repertory grid test and the Semantic Differential (Osgood). Similar benefits to those noted for the patient population were evident. The usefulness of Gestalt theory is argued to rest primarily in its ability to induce time competence (the capacity to experience actual here and now stimuli) and its value in resolving antagonistic forces within the person (toward achieving personality integration).

APA citation

Selman, R. (1979). Theory, application and effects of Gestalt therapy: A comparative study upon psychiatric day hospital patients. Retrieved from http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/848005