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Wedding & Corsini: Ch. 14

Okun: Chs. 8. 9. 10

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Violet Oaklander, Ph.D., Gestalt Therapy with Children

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What are the core elements of Gestalt Therapy?

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In a lot of cases, psychologists do not focus on being positive. Instead, psychologists focus on the importance of not being as miserable as their clients were (Wedding & Corsini, 2014). This would make anyone assume that since their client is not as miserable, that they are instead, promoting their wellbeing. However, if the focus is solely on symptom alleviation, then it is more difficult to actually achieve the true happiness these clients are desperately searching for. When symptoms are gone and not replaced with joy, there is just a person who feels empty inside (Wedding & Corsini, 2014).

Positive psychotherapy is an approach that expands beyond traditional psychotherapy and aligns with the positive psychology movement. When taking on a client who is psychologically distressed, positive psychotherapy assists the client in their journey to cultivating positive emotions. However, although positive psychology suggests that other types of psychotherapy are negative, they simply state that positive psychotherapy puts in an effort to create more of a balance between negative and positive life events. For example, when a client is criticizing themself, a positive psychotherapist may interject and such that although the situation did not pan out as planned, the client should also list some positive attributes to balance the scale between negative and positive criticism (Wedding & Corsini, 2014).

While positive psychotherapy is a newer concept, it is no considered a new genre of psychotherapy because it is seen more like a rebuild of an already strong model to maximize its strength instead of fixing what is wrong. While this is a strong model, it is far from a cure. This is mentioned in Wedding & Corsini’s 65% barrier theory where treatment is only cosmetic and does not “cure” anything. Instead, because of a lack of resources and funding, mental health professionals are left with fixing what already broke instead of preventing something that isn’t broken yet.

References

Wedding, D. & Corsini, R. (2014). Current psychotherapies (10th ed.). Belmont, CA:
Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning.

Okun, B. F. (1990). Seeking connections in psychotherapy. San Francisco, CA:
Jossey-Bass.

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