I agree with you completely that brutality in Gestalt therapy can only be sourced to a brutal therapist using effective "Gestalt techniques". On the other hand, I have trouble understanding the descriptive of "techniques" when we are talking about Gestalt therapy.
I am not just playing with words here now. As a therapist I bring various techniques (none which I consider gestalt therapy) to bear upon my client; using my past experiences and skills in what actually amounts to a spontaneous juggling act to actualize the initial contact with my client; and then I slowly but consistently abandon those same techniques, and in a process together, we realize and begin to appreciate the sweet fruits of actual gestalt therapy.
After that of course, gestalt therapy is in a class of it's own and is a significant fact in how gestalt therapy is readily distinguished from other therapies. I know that therapy is progressing with my client when neither of us can sense or otherwise are aware of the use of techniques as we progress. My use of this "yardstick" is in itself a technique of course, and one I remain aware of through out the process, but if used skillfully only clients more contactfully aware than me can sense it. When that occurs, my skills in yardsticking can be sorely tested; but even then a simple sharing of my awareness of the client's deftness usually ends the competition, and we progress at a renewed deepness and clarity.
My idea of brutality in gestalt therapy would be the therapist constantly bringing into the process a "bag of tricks" which overwhelms the client's defenses and undermines the client's abilities to share (construct and destruct) in mutual gestalts. In this sort of process, the client is forever opening gestalts with the therapist and the therapist is forever refusing to allow closure of those same gestalts. The client finally becomes bloated and filled with nothing of real substance and breaks off all contact with the therapist else the client will starve to death.
So to me James, I very much appreciate the meaning of your post, and just thought I would like to share something of me with you in return.