Program Year 3 and detailed description of class topics - School Stage II - Lodz School of Gestalt Psychotherapy - Piotrkowska 125

Program and class topics – Year 3.

  1. Working with sleep
  2. Research methods in Gestalt practice
  3. Working with adolescents
  4. Working with steam
  5. Working with trauma
  6. Gestalt work with addictions
  7. Group process and group experiment
  8. Working with grief
  9. Other therapeutic approaches versus Gestalt: systemic therapy, psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioral approaches, other currents
  10. Credit

Program Year 3

1. working with sleep

Perls stated that dreams are the “royal road to integration.”
The role of the therapist is not to understand or interpret the various aspects of the dream, but to help the client recover aspects of his or her own self that take the form of things or people in the dream and are available to consciousness to varying degrees. Isadore From saw the events of the dream as a manifestation of retroflection, of what cannot be expressed on waking.

During this workshop you will learn:
– issues related to sleep physiology and dream content
– A phenomenological method of working with sleep for the process of self-regulation
– you will discover areas for personal development emerged from the dreamed content


  1. Gestalt Therapy” by S. Perls Frederick
  2. Singer, S., Drabik, W., & Zaleska-Stolzman, M. (2004). Gestalt-the art of contact. Publisher. Jacek Santorski & Company

2. research methods in Gestalt

The slogan “drop your head and return to your senses,” while mobilizing the adoption of a holistic perspective of human cognition, has been taken too literally by the Gestaltists.

The practice of Gestalt psychotherapy is not free from the social and political context in which we live. The regulations imposed require our responsibility, directing our attention toward scientific research, in the service of independence and freedom of existence.

During this workshop:
– you will learn what the role of research is in the context of the survival of Gestalt theory in the competitive market of psychotherapy
– you will learn about the existing knowledge of research conducted in Gestalt theory and learn about “postmodern” thinking as a basis for research in Gestalt theory
– you will analyze how a session can become a jointly designed conducted study
– you will learn the tenets of “research in action”
– you will learn how to start a project that will become the basis of a research attitude


  1. Passons, W. R. (1985). The use of Gestalt therapy in counseling. Polish Psychological Association. Psychological Assistance Study.
  2. Zinker, J. (1991). The creative process in Gestalt therapy. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Jacek Santorski & Co.
  3. Elliott, R., Watson, J., Goldman, R., Greenberg, L. (2004a) Empty chair work for unfinished interpersonal issues. In R. Elliott, J. Watson, R. Goldman, & L. Greenberg (Eds.) Learning emotion-focused therapy: The process-experiential approach to change, pp. 243-265. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  4. Stevens, C., Stringfellow, J., Wakelin, K., & Waring, J. (2011) The UK gestalt psychotherapy CORE research project: The findings. British Gestalt Journal, 20(2), 22-27.

3. working with adolescent

The development and flourishing of a child is determined by the interplay of many environmental factors, self, as well as maturity and readiness for the role of parents. The young man is introjected, confluent with his family and expresses himself through deflection.

During this workshop:
– you will learn the theoretical background of adolescent development
– You will learn the rules of work including ethics and how to contract with parents
– you will experience the specifics of working with the emotionality and values of a teenager


  1. Francesetti, G., Gecele, M., Roubal, J., & Mizerska, R. (Eds.). (2018). Gestalt psychotherapy in clinical practice: from psychopathology to aesthetics of contact. Harmonia Universalis.
  2. Oaklander V., Windows to our children. Therapy of children and adolescents in the Gestalt approach, Oficyna Związek Otwarty, Warsaw 2021
  3. Salonia G., Gestalt psychotherapy and theories of development, in: Gestalt psychotherapy in clinical practice. From psychopathology to contact aesthetics, HARMONY Publishing Group, Gdansk 2017

4. working with the couple

Couples therapy is one of the more difficult forms of therapeutic work. The relational Gestalt approach seems to raise the bar, by the fact of the complex relational dynamics of the individual himself. Here we experience the requirement to work with two people at the same time and with the couple as a whole in its socio-cultural context.

During this workshop:
– you will learn the basic principles of working with steam
– you will define the role of the therapist his awareness and own resources
– You will learn about working with couples from three levels – self-awareness, craftsmanship,


  1. Crane, D. R. (2004). Fundamentals of Marriage Therapy. Gdańsk Psychological Publishing House.
  2. O’Neill B.,Couples Therapy: A Gestalt Approach, Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015

5. working with trauma

Trauma is a person’s response to what happens. A response to the violated balance in the relationship with a threatening environment that intruded, transgressed the boundaries of the “I” providing experiences impossible to assimilate. The individual becomes confluent with his surroundings, cutting himself off from his feelings. The therapist’s role is to acknowledge the client’s creative adaptation, which at the same time is a block to reaching the trauma. When working with trauma, the therapist is supposed to be present, patient, to container, to accompany and not to act.

During this workshop:
– you will learn the whole plan of the therapeutic process based on building a sense of security and trust in the relationship with the therapist,
– you will learn the next steps in working with trauma: expression, getting in touch with feelings (including the experience of shame), recovery, integration.


  1. Francesetti, G., Gecele, M., Roubal, J., & Mizerska, R. (Eds.). (2018). Gestalt psychotherapy in clinical practice: from psychopathology to aesthetics of contact. Harmonia Universalis
  2. Taylor M., Deepening Trauma Practice: A Gestalt Approach to Ecology and Ethics, Open University Press, 2021

6. Gestalt work in the area of addiction

Addiction in the Gestalt perspective is a kind of creative adaptation of a person to the environment. When we examine the symptom itself, we see impaired functioning, but when we look at the context and style of a person’s primary relationships, we see addiction as an adaptation to the conditions of life, to the field. During the workshop you will see how to work with Gestalt methods with addicts.

During the class you will learn:

– How to treat a symptom when working with an addict

– How to enter into a therapeutic contract in the context of taking responsibility for the process

– How to create an I-Thou relationship when working with an addict to make space to find solutions

– How to use Gestalt tools such as experimentation, body work

– you will learn the issue of working with resistance in the treatment of an addict


  1. Brownell P., Gestalt Therapy for Addictive and Self-Medicating Behaviors, Springer Publishing Company, 2012
  2. Leung G.,,A Gestalt Perspective on the Phenomenal World of Addiction in: Gestalt Journal, 2010.
  3. Rejniak K. Selected areas of the Gestalt method as a tool for broadening perspective in addiction supervision [w:] Bibiloteka Gestalt

7. group process and group experiment

The group process is a dynamic that Trainees experience at every moment of the meeting with their co-participants in the program. There are phenomena happening in the group’s field that are the backdrop of the educational process, and sometimes they become a figure that the group works on and looks at, examining their experiences since the first convention of the Development Year. During the class you will learn/name the stages of the group process and how to work with them. In addition, you will learn about the Gestalt method of group experimentation, a working technique for actively seeking a new perspective to serve the development of the group and the individual who is in the group.

The group experiment emerges from the group field and/or from the individual need of a group member.

During the class:
– you will learn how to work with the group self – we will show you how to engage the id and ego
– you will learn how to engage the energy of the group and work with a group experiment emerging from individual experiences
– You will experience a form of experimentation, such as. “Dress Rehearsal”.
– you will participate in a spontaneous experiment emerging from the current group field


  1. Philippson, P., Harris J., Gestalt: Working with Groups, Manchester Gestalt Centre , 2013
  2. Feder B., Gestalt Group Therapy: A Practical Guide, Createspace Independent Publishing Platform; 2nd Edition, 2013
  3. Zinker, J. (1991). The creative process in Gestalt therapy. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Jacek Santorski & Co.
  4. Yalom, I. D., & Leszcz, M. (2006). Group psychotherapy: theory and practice. Jagiellonian University Publishing House.
  5. Corey, M. S., & Corey, G. (1995). Groups: principles and techniques of group psychological assistance. Institute of Health Psychology and Sobriety Polish Psychological Association.

8 Man in the Environment: Working with loss and bereavement

We live in a world increasingly plagued by natural disasters, terrorism and mass violence. Loss and bereavement are two situations, causing prolonged suffering, that can surprise a person of any age. The experience of loss and/or bereavement involves experiencing pain around a lack of presence, with often unimaginable longing.

During the workshop you will learn:

– what is the difference between experiencing trauma, loss and bereavement

– what are the characteristics and criteria of mourning

– What are the stages of survival (Elisabeth Kubler- Ross)

– What is the Gestalt understanding of loss and bereavement in the context of menchanisms of self-regulation, functioning of the self,

– How the structure of time changes after a loss, in mourning,

– What the therapy process might look like: from support to contact

– What general psychotherapeutic techniques can be used to work with bereaved people


  1. Vazquez Bandin, C., “Loss and Mourning. Sometimes the absence of one person makes the world seem depopulated.” [w:] Francesetti, G., Gecele, M., Roubal, J., & Mizerska, R. (Eds.). (2018). Gestalt psychotherapy in clinical practice: from psychopathology to aesthetics of contact. Harmonia Universalis
  2. Weizman S. G. and Kamn P., 1985 About Mourning: Support and Guidance for the Bereaved, Human Science Press, New Cork
  3. Tatelbaum J., 1980, The Courage to Grieve: Creative Living, Recovery and Growth Through Grief, Harper and Row, New York

9. working with shame

Research on shame conducted in the 1990s (Robine, Erskine, Fuhr, Gremmler-Fuhr, Jacobs, Lee and Wheeler) contributed to “rehabilitating this feeling” (deprecated by psychoanalysts as infantile) in psychotherapeutic work. This research also contributed to the development of the Gestalt movement in theory and practice. Shame simultaneously relates to individual identity as well as a sense of belonging and connectedness. During the workshop you will learn how and in what contexts to work with shame during sessions.

You will touch on such topics as:

– Shame as lack of context for contact and absence of intersubjective resonance in the field

– shame vs. blame

– Shame in the relationship with the Other

– The bodily aspects of experiencing shame

– Shame in the work of a therapist (shame as resistance to overcoming a therapeutic impasse)

– conscious and unconscious shame

– the role of shame

– Shame as a creative adaptation


  1. Wheeler, Shame in two paradigms of therapy, [w:] British Gestalt Journal, vol. 4, no. 2, 1995
  2. Wheeler, Contact and Creativity: the Gestalt Cycle in Context, [w:] N. Amendt-Lyon, M. Spagnuolo-Lobb, Creative License: the Art of Gestalt Therapy, ed. Springer, 2003
  3. Robine J-M. Shame in: Francesetti, G., Gecele, M., Roubal, J., & Mizerska, R. (Eds.). (2018). Gestalt psychotherapy in clinical practice: from psychopathology to aesthetics of contact. Harmonia Universalis

10. credit final exam