Change to and from

Change to and from :   The Paradoxical Theory of Change

What was tolerable then, may have no usefulness now. Growth is a collision of an every changing now . Growth is both erosion and assimilation. With relative autonomy , ( a slow developing set of behaviors in itself ) one may , as an agent of change , accelerate or stall the natural erosion and assimilation of:
people and things important ones life lilly-pad-blooming

  • values and meaning
  • experience
  • environment

As one reacts to pressures and novelties in contact with him and his internal health.

This is my summary of Arnold Beisser’s of Paradoxical Theory of Change.

Arnold Beisser wrote this as a preface for a Book by Fritz Perls , who developed a conceptual mix of humanistic psychology , experiential practice (or rather existentialism) and a graphical context into his so called “ Gestalt therapy ”. Fritz Perls did so with his wife , Laura and the help of numerous colleagues.

the purpose of Beisser’s “Paradoxical theory of Change ” was  introduce tthe humanistic psychology work by another.
However , there are important and brilliant observations in its rhetoric.

Change is seldom what a person thinks wants change  — at least initially and often do to desperation or boredom. change is a slow process.

that change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not. Change does not take place through a coercive attempt by the individual or by another person to change him, but it does take place if one takes the time and effort to be what he is — to be fully invested in his current positions.

Beisser is actually describing a specific nature of change, with autonomy and agents in mind , more than postulating a science theory.

The Nature of Change may apply to integrated group than just a single person. and the Nature of change may describe a community , a social group or social movement.
.

But it is proposed that the same principles are relevant to social change, that the individual change process is but a microcosm of the social change process. Disparate, unintegrated, warring elements present a major threat to society, just as they do to the individual.

The Nature of Change can be compared in study by comparing what “is” to what it “is not ” , as they meet and mobilize .

First, there is an awareness within the system that an alienated fragment exists; next that fragment is accepted as a legitimate outgrowth of a functional need that is then explicitly and deliberately mobilized and given power to operate as an explicit force. This, in turn. leads to communication with other subsystems and facilitates an integrated, harmonious development of the whole system.

the construct or object or gestalt: “is” and “is not“.
Contact” is a graphical boundary of definition between what something is and what something is not — this is a fundamental point of gestalt therapy, where focus lies at the interplay of the two — the awareness of difference and similarity, cooperation , conflict, withdraw and assimilation.

A somewhat abstract social example:

How do we describe the feminist movement of the last 100 years ?
We’d define “what is feminism and “what is not feminism”
furthermore, we would need to create context for both.
“What happened when and where: ” What is Feminism ” met or meets “What is Not Feminism
As far as the changes is Feminism , Beisser would have us expect the pressures and agents of change, erosion and withdraws along novelties.
the social collision of what is and what is not Feminism.

The personal example :

A person may describe himself as
What I am ” meeting “What I am not
The observation of change of “I “and “I am not” is the erosion, the letting go of old tenants and the assimilation of new tenants. Beissers point in his essay, that person must come to realize all facets of this if he is to change “I” and “I am not ” in a healthy manner. the person must become aware of differences, past hindrances or resolve past parts of what he is , in the contrast , interplay , coercion and cooperation of what he is not.
Beisser extends this advise beyond the single person , so that groups community and movements can change in a healthy manner.

https://echopen.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/flying_without_wings_-life_with_arnold_-beisser.png

Paradoxical Arnold Beisser

Further more…

What happens at boundary of contact is more complex than a Boolean value of this or that. With that said, it is important to become aware of distinction of what two are compared.

Another important characteristic of perception is the tendency toward closure–that is, toward making meaning about a figure. Presented with a circle of unconnected dots, for example, the perceiver instinctively fills in the gaps mentally to create a complete, bounded image.

http://www.clevelandconsultinggroup.com/articles/paradox-theory-of-change.php

A description of the natural tendency of “far perception” to further relationships.

reification triangle image

Reification

What could be inferred is the desire to make connection between broken or non-wholes.
an autonomous body may seek beyond its boundary as much as take what it was minutes ago.

Today the ( growingly) controlled media outlets, especially the internet and pundits is full of standoffs and bullies, both in groups and as people.
Its almost like someone is teaching a foolish irrational ways of “change” or defense.
Whats at risk ? An integrated way of being , for single person , environment, and community.

The compartmentalization of old people, young people, rich people, poor people, black people, white people, academic people, service people, etc., each separated from the others by generational, geographical, or social gaps, is a threat to the survival of mankind. We must find ways of relating these compartmentalized fragments to one another as levels of a participating, integrated system of systems.

Arnold Beisser – Paradoxical Theory of Change
https://www.gestalt.org/arnie.htm

I wrote you a poem…

a one draft poem inspired by Beisser. I wrote this years ago:

All things are shaped by friction
Growth by by erosion,
the crash of objects against environment
water against rock, man against circumstance,
two crashing into one and other
I am no different,
except for the engine within that propels me
forward, fueled with past experience
with the gift of mind, sensation, and memory
and the awareness of the sparks
created between me,
and the who and the what
that I crash into.

titled by me “Self indulgence”. thanks Arnie.

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Anger rather than Sad


from the Book of Life

Common tenants of Depression or Major Depressive Episodes

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Low appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment

Common tenants of Anxiety―Depression (disorder group GAD)PDF
thanks https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression/symptoms

What is Disorder?

  • Disorders such as Bipolar disorder, Personality Disorders. or Anxiety Disorders can only be “Diagnosed” by healthcare―professionals or psychologists.
  • One maybe diagnosed with 6 disorders or 1 disorder – this does not mean one is anymore “screwed up” than the other.
  • Disorder is categorized for the purposes of treatment & management between a client, therapist & healthcare―providers.
  • There are legal and professional standards that healthcare―providers in mental-physical health must abide by – that’s what the literature is about: DSM4 DSM5

Gestalt therapy perspective

  • Self awareness not why but:
  • how and when? do ” I feel angry and sad “.
  • Moral- am I judging myself for feeling angry? sad? or tired?
  • How and When do I judge myself.. others environment.
  • Ambivalence: do i feel “conflicting” sensations? ↓Examples:↓
  • thrilled but angry and anxious
  • sad but tuned_in
  • relaxed.. but tight in the legs or chest

contact―boundary memoirs

At a good time (when sad happy or angry etc.)
can I observe between “me” and “not―me” :

  • projection — eg. expressing feeling in drawing or painting ; blaming someone or somthing)
  • Deflection — avoiding both good or bad feeling for another time)
  • confluence — losing sense of self to the outside world, or defending in reaction
  • retroflection — turning ones desires for others (especially with anger) back and substituding ones self) i.e. self blame and self harm
  • Introjection — absorbents in the interactions between “me” and “not―me” without processing (metabolizing)
Anger is part of depression. Anger is part of all of us in daily life.
the good choices we make are in
how to manage are emotions, sensations and Affects so they are not regular intrusions or regularly destructive.
This Management.
This is Anger. This is Depression.

Metabolizing ~ k.i.s.s.

https://echopen.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/keeping-me-healthy-happy-whole-n-human.jpg

Keeping Me Healthy

The process involving a set of chemical reactions that modifies a molecule into another for storage, or for immediate use in another reaction or as a by product.
http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Metabolism

metabolism is used as a metaphor for psychological functioning. People grow through biting off an appropriate-sized piece (be this food or ideas or relationships), chewing it (considering), and discovering whether it is nourishing or toxic

http://www.gestalt.org/yontef.htm

As one discovers each moment that he experiences…
conscious gestalts(stimuli, senses far & close, emotional response  that together form temporal “phenomena”)  form out of the unconscious  background.
Assessing  these moments, is a matter of deciding what bits and pieces are “swallowed” (and nourishing) and what rejected
This happens at a metaphorical boundary between differences known as Contact“.  In this case Contact is between the subject -and- what-he-is-not,  at that moment.

Metabolism at contact boundary is holistic  body/mind/environment experiential adventure.

Keeping Me Healthy.

 

 

 

 

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Broken Continuum


On Obsession and the Rat Man Case – Jacques Lacan

Broken Continuum

From reading Perls and practising self therapy, I infer:
that the Ratman  is the underdog of a broken self  gestalt continuum [a natural top dog/ underdog integration]; the obsession on serving imaginary Hero or Authority ,is that sense authority has lost of his “whole-self”.
His severe lack of self esteem is projected or transposed, by ritual to esteeming an imaginary other.

As I interpret and infer, this routine, if intruding to his life: is an impeding disturbance at contact boundary
What the Ratman is projecting is of a wounded and buried Esteem, that serves in place of  Top dog or Authority over his day to day polarity and choices. this ritual may manifest its self at times as obsessive.

Apex and Servant

An alarming personal Dynamic is being promoted around the world, beyond the world of consensual relationships..
I call it  – Aphex and servant-, and it can shatter a person wholeness…
For those who find themselves in this predicament, I encourage them abandon their projection, and seek wholeness..
re-establish a healthy esteem to experience healthy daily top-dog /underdog polarities in their Being.

Beisser: Flying Without Wings

Arnold Biesser is the Author “Paradoxical Theory of change”
one of my favourite essays.

Briefly stated, it is this: that change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not

http://www.gestalt.org/arnie.htm

Paradoxical Theory of Change on PDF

Earlier post on Paradoxical Theory of change.

 

 

Now I am Aware of – Fritz Perls in workshop

 

Today’s Gestalt Therapy, A humanistic approach to psychotherapy, evolved and matured out of the experimental workshops of cofounder’s Fritz Perls and Laura Perls. In session, the gestalt client’s aim is to “Get out of their heads”, or the computer thought process as Perls has stated many times. Its method is to experience the awareness continuum , that is happening right now — body into the sensory field. This method of experiencing awareness includes experiencing the awareness of how one avoids awareness and sensing in his world.

The exercise in the video (posted on youtube by Marin Tataru) demonstrates “becoming acquainted with the on-going process of awareness.” in another words, mostly talk about process in the video, for the purposes of explanation and instruction.
Give it a shot:
 

Now, I am aware of…

 

Grief , the Empty Chair and Journaling

As I see it, the people in our lives, both present or past, become part of us. More, concretely… our experiences with others and the memories gathered, affect our Being or perhaps, become part of our Being. So what’s really going on when we grieving when we lose someone we care about?

I have been intrigued by the gestalt therapies “empty chair” or open chair, since I participated in the exercise. The technique, best learned with a trained Gestalt therapist as coach, allows one to explorer “parts” of one self . one can adapt empty chair to other methods of therapy such as therapeutic journaling.

Journaling-Empty-Chair ExampleHere is how I have done it   in the past:

  • First I need a pen and paper for journaling, (A tape or video recorder can be used, alternately).
  • I also need some sort of alarm clock or timer.
  • This exercise works best when I thinking of the person. For this example, I use my Grandmother who passed away over 5 years ago…
  • I set a timer for 5-10 minutes and write what I  want to say to  her, at this moment.  I write what I want to say and what I would have  liked her to have heard from me.
    If I’m stuck.. and I don’t know  what to write… then I write “I don’t know what to write”.  Keeping in the moment.
  • When the timer stops me at 5-10 minutes I stop and take a breath.
    then set the timer for five minutes..
    ….
  • I write again, but this time its different. I write what I would like to hear my grandmother say back to me.
  • again if I don’t know what to write.. pen to paper ” I don’t know what write” -(this is just to get me started writing if I’m stuck)
  •  After the timer stops… I am done.

You see, If my grandmother and  these people who I’ve  known have affected  my Being and are now part of me, then I must also give “them” a voice too. in this exercise. To grieve as a whole person, I am giving that part of me a voice, that might be otherwise silent ,or alienated and denied in  grieving.

journalingThis Empty chair journaling session can  end at this point.   If I want, I can continue this exercise further, writing:
Me giving -a -voice- to-what I-want-to say-my-grandmother and then what-I-would-have-like-to- have-heard-her-say-to-me. alternating sides of the correspondence  every 5 minutes or so. In the Gestalt jargon, I am creating a dialogue between to parts of me that maybe polarized. This polarization is common with grief.
I usually destroy my journaling after I am done… this act is some what of a cathartic ritual in its self (no attachments), But one could save it to review with a therapist or for themselves later if they wished.

Happy Holidays to you, your loved ones and the rest of you.