“Exploring Gestalt Group Therapy Techniques: Conducting Experiments for Behavioral Change”

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Part 1
A key aspect of applying various therapeutic approaches in Gestalt Group Therapy has to do with different experimentation. Gestalt therapy likes to focus on moving from talking about issues to creating actions for change. Experiments allow group members to practice these new behaviors in a safe and trusting environment.
Review some of the techniques/experiments in chapter 11 as listed below and CHOOSE ONE for this assignment.
Experiments with Internal Dialogues
Making the Rounds
Fantasy Approaches
The Exaggeration Technique
Dream Work in Groups
1) Choose an Experiment – From the list above, choose one of these experiments to conduct with a “client.” While it would be nice for you to practice with a small group of individuals, you are only required to practice one of these techniques with one individual. So find another willing friend, family member, or coworker to be your fake client! Some of these exercises might require that you use a “group,” such as Making the Rounds. A reminder that it is important to practice applying these types of theories instead of simply reading about them!
NOTE: Do not choose a “client” that has experienced severe trauma or is extremely vulnerable as it is not appropriate for practice purposes as you are not under supervision.
2) Conduct Mock Experiment – Please know that you are on the Honor System to ensure that you conduct an actual mock experiment in this Advanced level Direct Practice concentration where experience and practice are key!
Practice introducing the experiment to your “client” and explain what they will be doing and why
Complete the Gestalt experiment of your choice from the list
Provide appropriate feedback to your client
Then practice closing your session by recapping and summarizing what was learned
3) Report on Your Experience – Provide a written summary of your experience in APA format. – 30 points
Make sure you have headers to identify and clarify the different sections covered.
Provide insight into your client such as their age, gender, occupation, etc. but no name should be given.
Cite the information within your paper when you reference information you used from the text as I will be looking to see where you took the information learned and applied it to your experiences.
Your summary should identify what you did, how it went, and your thoughts/reflections on the process as well as your performance. Did it go well? Were there areas you could improve on? Did you like the experiment? Do you feel it would be beneficial? Is there anything you would change? How would you use this with an entire group versus just an individual?
Part 2
Since our MSW Direct Practice program has more of a Military focus, we would like for our students to know how to work with and assist Military service members and their families. Often when working as a social worker in a military setting, our services are focused on service members. Military spouses are often unaware of how a social worker might help them navigate the military world. Read the following two journal articles and respond to the questions below:
Social Work in a Camouflaged Life
‘I feel like we’re punished’: Military spouses face employment barriers when their families relocate
DB Questions:
Are you a military spouse (or do you know a military spouse) who is concerned about how your lifestyle might impact your career?
When you think about working with our military population, who do you first think about serving? Has that changed after reviewing this week’s resources?
What is one new piece of information that you were not aware of when working with military spouses?
What are 3 types of resources you would want to familiarize yourself with to prepare yourself for working with military spouses?
How might you use the information you learned from this assignment as you move into Practicum and/or the field of social work?


Draft of the response to Part 1:

Introduction: In this assignment, I chose the experiment called “Making the Rounds” from chapter 11 of Gestalt Group Therapy techniques/experiments. This experiment is aimed at enhancing group members’ awareness of their bodily sensations, emotions, and thoughts, while also facilitating their interaction with others in the group.

Description of the Experiment: I experimented with a friend who agreed to be my “client.” I explained the purpose of the experiment, which was to practice being present at the moment and actively listening to others. I instructed my friend to choose an object in the room and to share with the group what he noticed about it. Then, the other group members were encouraged to ask questions and share their observations about the object.

Feedback and Summary: After the exercise, I provided feedback to my friend, acknowledging his ability to stay present and share his observations with the group. I also highlighted some areas where he could improve his active listening skills, such as making eye contact with others and avoiding distractions. I closed the session by summarizing what was learned and encouraging my friend to continue practicing active listening daily.

Reflections on the Experience: Overall, I found the experiment to be a valuable tool for enhancing group members’ awareness and communication skills. I noticed that my friend became more comfortable sharing his observations with the group as the exercise progressed. As a social worker, I could see myself using this technique with groups of clients who may benefit from improving their communication and social skills.

However, I also recognize that the success of this experiment is highly dependent on the group dynamics and the facilitator’s ability to create a safe and trusting environment. Additionally, some individuals may feel uncomfortable sharing personal information with others in the group, so it’s important to be mindful of their needs and preferences.

In terms of using this technique with an entire group versus just an individual, I believe this experiment would work well with both. However, in a group setting, the facilitator would need to be more intentional about creating a safe and supportive environment for all members to participate fully.

Citations: The information used in this assignment was taken from the Gestalt Group Therapy textbook (Yontef & Jacobs, 2012).

(Word count: 355)

Note: This is a draft response, and it should not be submitted as the final assignment. The response needs to be revised and edited according to the assignment instructions and the grading rubric.

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