We know the issues and dynamics of the intimate couple are among the most challenging — and potentially most rewarding — of our practices and of our own lives. When the couple relationship breaks down, often painfully, where do we intervene to support restoration of growth and greater intimacy for each partner, and for the couple as a system? Family of origin issues? Conflict resolution and negotiation skills? Present patterns of contact, support and shame? Attachment and appreciation dynamics? Each of these and more has a presence in clinical literature and practice; how do we move choicefully among them, or to find new integral approaches to unblock destructive cycling? The Gestalt model is well placed to help us find our way through dilemmas like these in the full range of relational dynamics – and yet a Gestalt theory of couples’ process, breakdown, and potential repair has not yet been fully articulated.
The Esalen Evolution of Gestalt Symposium Series brings together a core faculty of major teachers and writers along with a rich range of participants, with the goal of cocreation and new understanding in Gestalt theory and practice. Using didactic/discussion and experiential modes, we explore ideas and experiences feeding into an ongoing seminar conversation through the week. The outcome is new evolution and articulation of Gestalt theory in this area, based on our basic principles of co-construction of experience, contact, and meaning-making. Afternoons feature workshops presented by Symposium participants themselves (to submit an afternoon workshop proposal, contact firstname.lastname@example.org). Collected articles from presenters and participants will be published in book form by GestaltPress/Routledge. Core faculty also includes Judith Hemming, Robert Lee, Leanne O’Shea, Arch Roberts, and Deborah Ullman. The Evolution of Gestalt Symposium Series is co-sponsored by Esalen Theory for Center and Research.