I'd like to begin a thread discussing the usefulness of the gestalt approach in working with people experiencing psychotic disorders, in particular schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. I've worked for many years in community psychiatry and I've found my background in gestalt therapy has been invaluable in the psychiatric rehabilitation field, even though there is very little gestalt literature in this area.
I'd be interested to hear of your work in this area, in the same vein as the threads we've developed in this forum pertaining to the drug and alcohol field. Case histories, theoretical musings or simple comments and questions are all welcome. I'd also be interested to hear of the differences and similarities between the gestalt approach and other modalities.
To help stimulate discussion, here's a quote from William Anthony (Boston) about a Recovery Model for mental illness...
Recovery : The Concept
"Recovery is described as a deeply personal, unique process of changing one's attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and/or roles. It is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life even with the limitations caused by illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one's life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness " Anthony,1993
Basic Assumptions of a Recovery Focused Mental Health System :
Professionals do not hold the key to recovery - consumers do;
A common denominator in recovery is the presence of people who believe in and stand by the person in need of recovery;
Recovery is not related to theories of cause;
Recovery can occur even though symptoms reoccur;
Recovery changes the frequency and duration of symptoms;
Recovery does not feel like a linear process;
Recovery from the consequences of illness are sometimes more difficult than recovery from the illness itself;
Recovery from mental illness does not mean the person was not "really mentally ill".