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Brief Gestalt Therapy

Brief Gestalt Therapy

First Edition

June 2003 | 154 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
`Anybody with the slightest interest in brief therapy should read this book. Now that the initial controversy over brief therapy has begun to subside it is great to see how brief therapy works in practice. Gaie Houston's book is part of a series published by SAGE which sets out to do this - and hers is particularly illuminating and accessible.

As she points out Gestalt is better equipped than many mainstream therapies to be applied to situations with extreme time constraints because it is both flexible and it acknowledges the part that can be played by other therapies. But what propels Houston's book out of the hum drum - or indeed the defensive (or offensive) diatribes about short therapy which have appeared over the past few years - is her vivid accounts of real-life sessions, both one to one and group, which punctuate the text' - Amazon Review

Brief Gestalt Therapy demonstrates how the Gestalt approach can be used effectively in brief interventions with clients. Gestalt's distinctively integrative nature and emphasis on a highly co-operative working alliance, make it particularly suited to brief work.

The book sets out the basic theory and principles of Gestalt and looks at each phase of the therapeutic process from initial assessment through the beginning and middle stages to the ending of the work. It presents clear, practical strategies for therapists to follow and in particular examines:

} aspects of Gestalt which are especially relevant to brief work

-} the elements of successful therapy

-} ways of improving skills.

Brief Gestalt Therapy includes vignettes and detailed case studies which bring the theory alive. It will contribute much to both existing literature on Gestalt therapy and also brief therapy, and will be invaluable to trainee and practising Gestalt therapists.

The Gestalt Approach
Theory Related to Brief Intervention

The Assessment
The Beginning
The Middle
The Ending
A Brief Gestalt Therapy Individual Case Study
The Brief Gestalt Therapy Group
A Brief Gestalt Therapy Group Case Study
Evidence, Authority and Now in Brief Gestalt Therapy

"This is a powerfully stimulating and practical book."


We found this book on gestalt very informative. The explanations of the uses of Gestalt therapy and explores the theory of the therapy.

Miss Sam Ford
Health and Social Care, South Essex College
August 18, 2015

Did not find this book to be helpful at this level of learning - perhaps for more experienced practitioners.

Mrs Julie Wyman
Book Reviews, Devon Counselling College
August 9, 2013

This book takes the reader through the phases/stages of counselling briefly with Gestalt, and highlights the creativity and responsiveness of Gestalt. The case studies offer examples of use, and the book delivers a wide range of potential interventions. Throughout there are examples of how a structured and more time focussed frame can work well with Gestalt. Recommended reading.

Mr Mike Bancroft
Counselling, Alton College
December 24, 2012

I found this book to be clear on the process of BGT and very insightful. I recommend this book to both experienced therapists and students.

Miss Paula Williams
Counselling & Psychotherapy, Havering College of Further and Higher Education
February 21, 2012

This is a very helpful book with some provocative content that one expects from this author. She gives good overviews though argumenty for Gestalt as a brief therapy is not convincing. However, her chapter on Gestalt Assessment is the best I have seen so far.

Mr Bill Stanley
Counselling, Newman College
June 29, 2010

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