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Some Gestalt Contributions to Psychiatry

Clegg, Kathleen A. MD

Journal of Psychiatric Practice®: July 2010 - Volume 16 - Issue 4 - p 250-252
doi: 10.1097/01.pra.0000386911.39440.11
Columns: Psychotherapy

Gestalt theory and methods support significant behavioral change and personal growth, yet they have not been widely incorporated into modern psychiatric practice. Challenges to employing Gestalt principles in psychiatric practice exist, such as focus on diagnosis to guide treatment planning, key elements of psychiatric training, primacy of medication management in psychiatric practice, and financial pressures. However, the concepts of the co-created relational field in the here and now, the paradoxical theory of change, the cycle of experience, and the use of experiment are Gestalt concepts and methods that can be effectively applied in the modern practice of clinical psychiatry and psychiatric education. (Journal of Psychiatric Practice 2010;16:250–252).

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry, and Director of Public Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio. She is also on the faculty of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, and currently serves as a Co-Chair of the Gestalt Training Program, an 18- month training program in Gestalt theory and methods.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.