You have a good point about the "twisted chair stuff". Not just anybody can play theater experiments honestly and keep the whole experience theraputic. I will use chairs too in an effort to surface the awareness of my client more to the contact edge of what ever we are working on. To keep the quality of the therapy present, I allow my clients to put me on "the chair", if they so choose, and have their own chance to be the "therapist" and see how much I like it done to me. They often take me up on it. I find this to be very effective in bringing home just how real the whole experience is to my clients. Sometimes they (and I) can realize greater awareness to their own unfinished events by playing these gestalt games. I am not ready to call this process a seperate technique because the chair game is really just a more concrete realization of dialogue between therapist and client. Some clients have good ability with imagination and some have poor. Some like to play gestalt dialogue games and some don't. It all depends on the personality of the client and therapist.
I guess what I am getting at here is that since Gestalt therapy is a process of dialogue, experience and awareness, fact and imagination, time and place, and finally the satisfaction of the natural hungers and thirsts of the organism re-asserting and realizing the differences between bad food and good food, then really anything that happens IN gestalt therapy IS gestalt therapy. If this is true then if gestalt has even one "technique", then logic must bring me to have to acknowledge that ALL of Gestalt therapy is just "a bag of tricks and techniques".
My use of Gestalt therapy is a here and now living/existing philosophy experience which I share as authentically and as honestly as I can with my clients. If a gestalt therapist is suffering from ignorance and hence will engage in brutality with the client (as you say), then the therapist hardly needs to play "the chair game" to accomplish this. Ignorance is a normal function of the organism. Both client and therapist have a measure of ignorance to many things. It is a mighty big universe will exist in. True gestalt therapy accepts its own limitations. It can't "do" what it dosen't "know to do".
It is not simply a state of ignorance, as I understand, that must cause brutality, but that ignorance is a state of being in a bubble with the reality of whatever is surrounding that ignorance. Kinda like a bubble trapped in a ice-cube. When the ice-cube melts, the bubble is released. No real harm was done. The bubble just took up the space of the water. The essence of the water remains water. Where is the brutality?
I can respect your statement of ignorance. This is easy cuzz it is your statement and not mine. Gestalt prayer and that sort of thing. For me, brutality in therapy I believe to be a much more sinister, complicated, and mixture of motivational actions by a therapist who is not using therapy or techniques to brutalize his patients, but is simply using his or hers own selfish humanity to do so. Brutality is a purposeful attack on another being. It is not a mistake or an accident. One does not have to be a therapist to be brutal. Ignorance of the attack would make it innocent of being a brutality.
Ignorance is a human experience. Ignorance is not evil and it is not good. It MUST be understood in relational context to something else, and that something else is what decides the valuation of the ignorant "act", and not the state of ignorance itself.
We are all ignorant of many things, both individually/personally, and as humans collectively, but we are not all individually guilty for all acts of brutality; paradoxically however we are guilty collectively for all brutal acts individually done.
Kinda over beating this horse now, but I just have to express this last statement. Jesus says His children die from lack of knowledge. Ignorance is definitely a "something", but the context here is life and death. Is Jesus saying His children die from a lack of knowledge of life? Or even of death? Or perhaps both? My soul leads me to follow that He means ignorance of both and not just one or the other. But that is another story.