Gestalt Child Therapy: Three Individual Sessions

Violet Oaklander, Ph.D.

In this film, Violet Oaklander sensitively guides two children in the exploration of their conflicts while engaging them in the therapeutic use of clay and sand. She empathizes with both children in their right to their feelings and suggests possible deeper causes for their conflicts. Oaklander, a Gestalt therapist, works toward the goal of integrating the split off aspects of the self, as she validates feelings and recommends ways of dealing with problems. While Oaklander’s therapeutic use of clay is not unusual, her sand play technique is somewhat different. She places sand in a small plastic container, has water available in a pitcher and toy objects in containers, unlike many sand play therapists who display objects on shelves. The technique of Gestalt Therapy, founded by Fritz Perls, is interesting in that the therapist asks the child to imagine that he is all parts of his sand play construction , thus furthering the goal of integrating disavowed (split off) parts of the self.

Total Running Time: 2 hours, 27 minutes, 31 seconds



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