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Reply to 2 classmates for each forum. You must explain briefly (150-200 words) why you agree or disagree with your classmate’s view. Your replies must be in response to classmates who answered a different question than you and significantly add to the discussion. You are required to include at least one reference in each reply. Remember to use APA formatting.

After viewing the session on Gestalt Therapy. Respond to 2 students who answered a different question than your original post. Briefly explain why you agree or disagree with their views.

Nicholas Post: The majority of this session involves char dialog. What was the goal of chair dialog in the case of Helen? How effective do you believe this technique was?

The session between Shelley and Helen is a great display of Gestalt therapy. Helen comes into the session sad and upset about her life. The is an already established relationship between the two so eventually Shelley wants to try chair dialog with Helen. Gestalt therapy has a goal of externalizing something that has been internalized. It emphasizes individual choice, responsibility, and having awareness as an end state rather than a means to some end (Clarkson, 2014). Since Helen felt stuck and hopeless by seeing her life without choice or joy, the goal of chair dialog with her was to shift her perspective. She took the role of her internal critic and through the help of Shelley, she saw how it represented her perspective of her mother. After more dialog, Helen acted out the roles of herself, her mother, and her father. She became aware of her anger towards both her parents but also towards herself. This awareness became a pivotal moment by having her realize she has the individual choice to ask herself who is telling her to stop in her mind. Shelley called it “doing chair work in your head.”   Shelley made a great point by discussing how this could bring hope by dealing with the internal issues and how it makes everything on the outside look different. For Helen, the technique seemed to be very effective. It helped her realize she has personal choice against the internal struggles. The voices that tell her to “stop what she is doing and just be a good girl” are actualized and able to be dealt with. 


Clarkson, P. (2014). Gestalt counselling in action. (4th ed.). London, Uk: Sage

Renee Post: Helen began session with the counselor demonstrating a significant amount of difficulty voicing the source of her discontentment.  The therapist assisted Helen with identifying the need that was not being satisfied in her life. “In GT theory, a need is an incomplete Gestalt that emerges into the organism’s awareness; it becomes figure, and the rest of experience becomes ground” (Murdock, 2017, p. 208).  Awareness of a need is considered the “figure” while all other parts of the person’s environment becomes the “ground.”  Once a need is satisfied it is considered a “Gestalt” until another need comes to the forefront of a person’s awareness (Murdock, 2017, p. 208).  This is a perpetual process that humans thrive off of in life. 

A huge conundrum for Helen was how she lived her life to please her mother because in some way she felt her mother had no other choices.  Helen’s perception of her mother was revealed in the chair dialogue exercise.  The chair dialogue revealed that Helen felt a sense of sadness for her mother and anger towards her father.  Helen stated, “… he had choices.”  Helen blamed her father for not being present in their lives but also had some resentment towards her mother because her mother did not recognize she had choices also.  Helen believed her mother’s way of thinking kept her from personal happiness.  The “unfinished business” (Kaplan & Gladding, Summer 2011, p. 357) that Helen had with her parents came to light in the chair dialogue.  Helen was less anxious after completing the chair dialogue.  I am concerned that Helen could allow the awareness of her discontentment to drive her to become reckless and make decisions based upon a present need without understanding that life will continue to present new needs.  That is why I feel it is important for Helen to continue with therapy and discuss plans before making decisions for her future.


Kaplan, D. M., & Gladding, S. T. (Summer 2011). The Vision for the Future of Counseling: The 20/20 Principles for Unifying and Strengthening the Profession. Journal for Counseling and Development, 367*372.

Murdock, N. L. (2017). Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Case Approach . Kansas City: Pearson Education, Inc.

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