Gestalt Therapy and Family Systems Therapy

Gestalt therapy is mainly conducted to assist a client to restore his/her own identity. In addition, it is conducted to ensure that a client connects with his/her own disowned aspects of his/her life (Ginger 2007). After establishing that Linda has feelings of anger towards her boyfriend, I will use several Gestalt techniques to encourage her explore her feelings. I will use the empty chair technique to encourage her to tell me why she feels angry towards her boyfriend. Through the empty chair dialogue, she will be able to explain why she is angry towards her boyfriend and whether she is ready to forgive him. I will use the here and now experience to help her deal with the feeling of guilt of not living to her father’s expectations. According to this technique, the only awareness that a patient should have is here and now. Patients should not concentrate on past memories or future anticipations. This will help her to avoid feeling guilty for not fulfilling her father’s expectations in the past.

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I will use the staying with the feeling technique in an attempt of exploring her feelings concerning her pregnancy. By retaining her unpleasant feelings, she will eventually reveal all her feelings towards her pregnancy (Mann, 2010). I will look at the facial expressions of Linda in order to know her true feelings towards the therapy and different people in her life. In addition, I will look at her posture every time she answers questions in order to see whether her posture changes after she talks about different people in her life. Several instances may exist where the body language of Linda might be contradicting her words. Linda might be smiling when she narrates the pain that she has gone through because of her pregnancy.

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Family Systems Therapy

Family systems therapy mainly aims at nurturing the relationship of families or couples who are in intimate relationships. It can be used to counsel Billy who is the main character in Buffalo ’66. After Billy is released out of prison, he kidnaps a young girl known as Lily. If I were to counsel him from a systemic perspective, I will work with his entire family. According to the nuclear family emotional system, children are sensitive to the verbal and non-verbal signs that are present in their nuclear family (Tileman, 1998). This will help me know whether the behavior of Billy’s family affected his actions as he grew up. The themes that will interest me the most in this case include whether the family members of Billy offered him emotional support while he was in prison. This is because it would have helped him to avoid repeating any crime. In the initial session, I will ask all the members to be free and consider talking with each other. In the first meeting, I would like to know the family life chronology. This will help me to know how the parents in this family relate with their children.

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 I will use the concept of family constellations in order to encourage all the family members of Billy to attend the sessions. It helps family members to reconnect their lives (Becvar & Becvar, 1999). If all family members agree to attend the session, my focus will be trying to encourage the family members to accept each other and support each other. The main thing that I would want to achieve in these sessions is making Billy feel that his family appreciates him. This family is  a dynamic system since different members have different beliefs. It is therefore difficult for a person to accept the ideas of another family member. The family atmosphere in the therapy session will be full of love since all the members this family will be willing to support each other. I see myself as playing the supportive aspect in this family. I can identify with the mother of this family since she sometimes let sporting activities make her to neglect her family. I feel the similarity with the mother of this family will make me work better since I will be in a position to understand how personal activities may create problems in a family.

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