This section of the web site for the British Gestalt Journal is associated with Gestalt Research Press Its purpose is to keep readers up to date with regards to current events and issues of importance in gestalt-oriented research.
I intend to update this section periodically to keep readers aware of various things that are taking place as the global gestalt community moves to establish a research tradition for gestalt therapy.
The years 2013, 2014, and 2015 can be marked as a time when it seems the gestalt world fully embraced research. We have held a dedicated research conference at the Gestalt International Study Center in Cape Cod, out of which an international research project took initial form (put a hyperlink here to the place where the description of the research project will be located–see below for text). We have conducted a research methods training seminar in Rome, out of which it became apparent that practice-based research networks of gestalt practitioner-researchers are seriously interested in, and pursuing, research projects using CORE, grounded theory, and single-case timed series studies. And we are gearing up for the second Research Conference in Cape Cod (http://www.gisc.org/practitioners/programs/researchconference2015.php), at which Leslie Greenberg (process-outcomes research) and Scott Churchill (phenomenological research) will be Mentors-In-Residence. We will have colleagues presenting from as far and wide as Hong Kong and Switzerland, the United States and Chile.
Here is a picture of the seminar gathered in Rome–an enthusiastic and energetic group of people.
This is the kind of positive energy we find among people coming together to discuss the philosophy of science behind research, research methodologies, and actual research projects whenever those involved in growing our research tradition meet. Students come to find help with their projects; established practitioners come because they sense something new and important is afoot.
In future instalments of this section I will communicate news of current events in research, workshops people can attend, brief descriptions of methodologies, snapshot reviews of relevant literature, and developments at Gestalt Research Press.
Why am I attending to this section of the web site? What have I got to do with research? Here is a brief bio that hopefully puts me into this context:
Bio for Philip Brownell
Philip Brownell, MDiv; PsyD is a clinical psychologist licensed in North Carolina and registered in the British Colony of Bermuda, where he lives and has a private practice. He also conducts counseling, consulting, and coaching for an Employee Assistance Program serving international corporations. He is a certified gestalt therapist by the European Association for Gestalt Therapy, Co-Editor at Gestalt Research Press (www.gestaltresearchpress.org), and Series Editor of The World of Contemporary Gestalt Therapy. He is a prolific writer and independent scholar who has contributed numerous articles and chapters as well as the books Gestalt Therapy: A Guide to Contemporary Practice, Gestalt Therapy for Addictive and Self-Medicating Behaviors, Spiritual Competency in Psychotherapy, and, as Editor or Co-Editor, the Handbook for Theory, Research, and Practice in Gestalt Therapy, Continuity and Change: Gestalt Therapy Now, Global Perspectives on Research, Theory, and Practice: A Decade of Gestalt!. He teaches and trains internationally, and he is a member of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy and Divisions 12 and 29 of the American Psychological Association.
So, that is an official looking bio, but I want to share one of my publications that is of particular relevance for gestalt research. The second edition of David Cain’s Humanistic Psychotherapies: Handbook of Research and Practice, published by the American Psychological Association, will be coming out soon, and I wrote the chapter on gestalt therapy for that book. The reason this is significant is that the approach taken in the book not only lists current research on gestalt therapy, but it also briefly discusses applications of that research to practice. It provides examples of research in three categories: gestalt specific research, gestalt hybrid research, and gestalt consilient research. I believe these categories will become important going forward as gestalt therapists attempt to provide evidence for the practice of gestalt therapy.
Gestalt Research Press
Gestalt Research Press (GRP) is an imprint of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT). Its purpose and vision is to contribute significantly to the establishment of a research tradition for gestalt therapy by publishing books that describe research methodology, discuss the philosophy of science behind research, and provide examples of developing research in the field of gestalt therapy and its applications to organizational development and coaching. GRP is guided by three Co-Editors: Jan Roubal, Peter Schulthess, and Philip Brownell. Our Associate editors currently consist of Michele Cannavo, Jelena Zeleskov Djoric, Gianni Francesetti, and Ivana Vidakovic (all bios are available at the web site, http://gestaltresearchpress.org).
The first book in the series will be Towards A Research Tradition In Gestalt Therapy, and it will be a collection of papers representing presentations at The Research Conference 2013, held at the Gestalt International Study Center in Cape Cod, and the Research Methods Training Seminar conducted by the EAGT in Rome in 2014. Along with GRP itself, this book emerged from the dialogues among the people gathered in these two conferences.
Another important development of the Research Conference 2013 is the international research project using single case, timed series design (SCTS). Pablo Herrera Salinas and others gathered in Cape Cod saw the potential in the SCTS design when it was presented there by Al Wong, at the time a doctoral student at the University of Tennessee. The SCTS has been considered to be a logical and acceptable alternative to random controlled treatments (RCTs) by the American Psychological Association. While RCTs have long been regarded to be the “gold standard” in outcomes research, the SCTS provides a way for individual gestalt therapist researchers to work as they normally would and to provide evidence that can stand at the top of the pyramid of outcomes studies, right alongside RCTs, contributing to an evidence base for gestalt therapy. Pablo supervises students’ master’s degree theses and is in charge of research at the Gestalt Institute of Santiago. He is heading up the international project to use SCTS designs in practice-based research networks in several regions of the world. He is a gestalt psychotherapist with a doctorate in psychotherapy research from the Catholic University of Chile and Heidelberg University. As a researcher, he has presented in scientific meetings in Chile, Argentina, Switzerland and the U.S.A., and he will be updating people as to the progress of the project at The Research Conference 2014.