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Introduction to Helena Kallner’s article Phronesis and Knowing through movement

I am grateful to Helena for evoking in me a reminder of how central movement is in the theory and methodology of Gestalt therapy, present already in the first book, EGO HUNGER AND AGGRESSION where, apart from the metaphor of dental aggression, there is the aspect of aggressing as a movement towards the environmental other. And, of course contact is the interplay of moving towards for confluence/integration and moving away from for differentiation/egotism.
I was also reminded of the times I have cried in a cinema or watching television, both of which involve a screen between me and the event, in a one-way interaction. This in turn brought to mind my online clients through the medium of English for whom this is a foreign language and with whom I have experienced mutual laughter and shared tears. I explain this to myself as empathy where empathy is a movement towards the other, an emotional touching of the other – even at times the felt sense of a shared hug. We don’t have to be in the same physical space to resonate to and with the other in contact.
I have just now become aware of how I have been holding Helena in my mind through my memories of our previous meetings and – in a fascinating way – having a dialogue with her as I write this brief introduction to a rich article which I have enjoyed and learned from as I resonated to its themes and turned at least some of these resonances into words. This quasi dialogue is also available in a way with clients with whom I have previously had a face to face working relationship which is not available with clients with whom online is our only shared experience.
It is also my experience that online work is much more tiring and demanding. Colleagues in other countries have told me that they work fewer client hours online than they would normally do with face to face clients.

I have no doubt but that Helena’s work will resonate uniquely with each reader offering a choice of well-informed learning for Gestalt practitioners.

Seán Gaffney PhD,
Gestalt therapist and theorist,
Author of several books on Gestalt Group work,
and four suites of poetry.

Link to the article Phronesis and Knowing through movement.

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