gestalt therapy

The Empty Chair. Tales from Gestalt Therapy

Forthcoming. Pre-orderable now at or click on the image

empty chair

Stress, communication & humanitarians

There is an increasing focus on humanitarian workers and stress. In certain situations, such as humanitarian crises, people - including humanitarian workers themselves - can easily become stressed and their communication violent, which in turn may contribute to more stress and violence around them. However, this cycle can be broken with sufficient support and awareness.

At a workshop in June 2015, I facilitated self-care, group debrief and communication sessions for senior gender advisers deployed by the Norwegian Refugee Council. This paper presents and discusses their experiences of stress, communication, and Gestalt interventions.

“‘Are we becoming bullies?’ A case study of stress, communication, and Gestalt interventions among humanitarian workers,” British Gestalt Journal, Vol. 26 No. 1 (2017)

In the hands of Europe

The Mediterranean is the most dangerous border between countries that are not at war. There have been more than 15 000 dead or missing since January 1998 and many more uncounted. Recently, the numbers of deaths have increased dramatically. As a border – a “contact boundary” in Gestalt therapy terminology – it is also somewhere we can see the European self in function, i.e. what Europe wants, does and becomes in interaction with the wider environment. 

In this article on the British Gestalt Journal website, I explore how we can use polarity theory to better understand the current crisis.
Read the article

Gestalt, gender identity and trans

In the current Gestalt Review, I have a paper based on work I’ve done with trans clients. The paper can be read here.

From the abstract:

This paper is based on a case study of a transgender therapy group I facilitated in Oslo in January and February 2013. The two interlinked research questions are: How can a Gestalt therapist approach gender identity issues and transgender people in particular? What are the important experiences and changes that transgender people report from a Gestalt-inspired group? The case study particularly highlights the importance of phenomenology, polarities, and certain modes of contact, and it illustrates the practice of the former in three case descriptions and discussions. The paper concludes that Gestalt can work as a transpositive approach in accordance with a new paradigm within transgender health, the “Transgender Model.” In addition to working with transgender clients, Gestalt therapists should also address gender identity issues within the larger social field, including norms and polarities on group and societal levels.

What Gestalt Approaches can Contribute to Climate Change Transformation

The Journal of Sustainable Development recently published a paper I wrote on what Gestalt approaches can contribute to climate change transformation. It is available here.

With the realization that some climate change is inevitable regardless of mitigation efforts, the recognition of the importance of climate change adaptation and transformation has increased. As a first attempt to link Gestalt approaches and climate change transformation, this paper discusses certain Gestalt concepts that are of relevance to, and may enrich, the concept of climate change transformation in general and transformational adaptation in the Dadaab refugee camps in the semi-arid Kenyan-Somali border area in particular.