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Skills in Gestalt Counselling & Psychotherapy

Skills in Gestalt Counselling & Psychotherapy

Third Edition

February 2014 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This practical guide to the Gestalt approach has successfully introduced thousands of trainee therapists to the essential skills needed in Gestalt practice. Now in its third edition, the book includes:


·          New chapters on working with trauma, and building client resources

·          New material on depression and anxiety

·          Expanded content on working with more challenging client issues

·          Integration of leading ideas from contemporary trauma therapies.


The authors offer practical guidance on the entire process of therapy including setting up the therapeutic session, creating a working alliance, assessment and treatment direction, managing risk, supervision, adopting a research approach, and managing difficult encounters.

Preparing for the Journey
Phenomenology and Field Theory
The Therapeutic Relationship
Assessment and Diagnosis
Treatment Considerations
Strengthening Support
Contact Styles: Modifications to Contact and Polarities
Unfinished Business
Transference and Counter-Transference
Embodied Process
Ending the Journey
Assessing and Managing Risk
Resourcing the Client
Depression and Anxiety
Trauma Part 1: Assessing and Stabilizing
Trauma Part 2: Processing and Integrating
Brief Therapy
The Reflective Practitioner: Research in Gestalt
Diversity, Culture and Ethics
Spiritual Counselling

This brilliant, well-written and inspiring book is a real joy to read and I would highly recommend it to experienced counsellors, counselling students and counselling trainers alike. The authors skilfully bring together theory and practice, giving case examples and making helpful suggestions of exercises to engage the reader in the process of learning. The book is very thorough, including topics such as working with dreams, trauma and a chapter on research. The authors give an overview of the whole counselling process which would be helpful for anyone interested in counselling, even if not specifically gestalt counselling.

Mrs Hilary McNair
Kent Adult Education, Kent Adult Education
February 19, 2015

We have recomended this book to our learners as something to help them in their learning and development of gestalt therapy in their own practice.
A good read, not too overly technical.

Mr Peter Trowsdale
Counselling, West Herts College
January 8, 2015

A fabulous update to an invaluable skills guide on Gestalt Therapy

Mrs Julie Wyman
Book Reviews, Devon Counselling College
August 12, 2014

This publication is essential for any student of the Gestalt approach. It is easily asscessible and the case studies bring the theory alive in the way a lecturer would.

Mr Richard Carroll
Faculty of Professional and Vocational Studies, Guildford College
July 11, 2014

Practical and well-informed

Mr Keith Walmsley-Smith
Psychology & Mental Health, Staffordshire University
June 5, 2014

This book will support a module on therapeutic models providing an essential understanding of the skills and approach of the gestalt model.

Mr Adrian Easton
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education
May 11, 2014

Accessible and pragmatic, this is the book to tell you 'how to'. Supported throughout by the authors extensive experience, and written in a clear accessible style, Phil Joyce opens up the often perceived difficult landscape of Gestalt to all readers, including those embarking on their own voyages to understanding.

Mr Peter Lyon
Access To He, Doncaster College
May 6, 2014

Vital reading for anyone wanting to learn about Gesalt counselling. The explanations are simple. The book is practical and covers all aspects of the therapy.

Angela Rowlands
Centre For Medical Education, Queen Mary, University of London
February 28, 2014

- New material on other approaches and techniques that can be integrated into the Gestalt framework (sensory motor therapy; mindfulness; EMDR etc

- Two new chapters on trauma

- Expanded discussion of Managing Challenging Encounters and other evidence based techniques 

- Expanded discussion of shame

- New perspectives on treatment plans

- New perspectives on transference and counter-transference, include the authors’ own new model  

- The latest research

- Updated references

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One: Preparing for the Journey

Phil Joyce

Phil Joyce works in West London as a trainer, supervisor, psychotherapist and consultant and has also worked in a variety of mental health settings since 1979. He has worked as an approved psychiatric social worker in London and has considerable experience of multidisciplinary teams and working with disturbed people. He is a primary tutor on the MSc course in Gestalt Psychotherapy at Metanoia Institute, London and a visiting tutor on the Integrative psychotherapy programme also at Metanoia Institute. He has given many presentations at International conferences over the last 15 years and is an active member of the Gestalt community. Phil’s... More About Author

Charlotte Sills

Charlotte Sills is a UKCP registered psychotherapist in private practice and a supervisor, trainer and consultant in a variety of settings. She has been working in the field of psychological therapies since 1979 and is a BACP senior accredited supervisor, a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst and a Visiting Professor at Middlesex University. Until 2007 she was also part of the Leadership Team at Metanoia Institute where she remains a member of the faculty. Another interest is in the interface between therapy and coaching and she is a member of faculty of the Masters in Executive Coaching and Professor of Coaching at... More About Author