Using a Gestalt or Existential Approach

Using a Gestalt or Existential Approach

Application: Evaluating Client Profile 3 Using a Gestalt or Existential Approach

In this week’s Discussion, you evaluated strengths and weaknesses of using a humanistic/person-centered approach with a client. In this Application, you are asked to evaluate a client using a specific humanistic/person-centered approach.


To prepare for this assignment:

  • Bring to mind what you have learned in the past two weeks about Gestalt and Existential theories and their respective theoretical approaches. Select one of these approaches on which to base this assignment.
  • Review Client Profile 3: Patrick in this week’s Learning Resources, and think about how you might use your chosen approach with this client.
  • Review the course text readings and the media segments for this week, paying attention to how the experts use a specific theoretical orientation, or approach, to evaluate a client.

The assignment:

  • In a 1- to 3-page paper, critically evaluate the client in Client Profile 3 using either a Gestalt or Existential approach. Make sure you address:
    • The strengths and limitations to using this approach with this client
    • The specific cultural/gender/age issues that need to be attended to with this client
    • The ethical or legal issues that need to be attended to with this client
    • The overall therapeutic goal with this client
    • How you would proceed with this client:
      • How would you begin?
      • What would be the goals of therapy?
      • What specific strategies and/or techniques might you use?


  • Course Text: Case Approach to Counseling and Psychotherapy

    Chapter 4, “Case Approach to Existential Therapy”

    Chapter 5, “Case Approach to Person-Centered Therapy”

    Chapter 6, “Case Approach to Gestalt Therapy”

  • Client Profile 3: Patrick (MS Word format)
  • Name: Patrick Gender: Male Age: 33
  • Ethnicity: CaucasianReligion: None
  • Relationship Status: Divorced
  • Description of Presenting Issue:
  • Patrick is a firefighter who was present at the September 11 collapse of the World Trade Center. Several of his colleagues were killed on that day despite Patrick’s heroic efforts to rescue them. Patrick received serious burns and has scars on his face and arms. Since September 11, he has experienced considerable anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and hyper vigilance, as well as intrusive and recurrent images of the towers collapsing. He has found it difficult to fight fires in tall buildings since that time and has become detached from his work. This has left him feeling very isolated because his colleagues at the fire station are his only friends. Patrick has been a loner as long as he can remember. Although he often fantasizes about having close friends, he is fearful that others would reject him if they came to know him well, and so he tends to reject others before they have the chance to reject him. He views himself as having poor social skills and rarely risks meeting new people.
  • Occupation History: Patrick became a firefighter in his early twenties. Prior to September 11th, he was very happy with his career choice.
  • Education History: Patrick graduated high school with honors. He briefly considered military service upon graduation, but was eager to begin work as a firefighter.
  • Medical History: Aside from the injuries suffered at work, Patrick is in good health. He maintains a regular exercise regime for his job.
  • Family History: Patrick had an older brother who was killed in an automobile accident when Patrick was 6. His parents divorced shortly after the death of his brother, and his mother remarried a man who had two daughters from a previous marriage. Patrick married shortly after high school graduation, but the relationship ended the subsequent year due to mutual dissatisfaction with the marriage. He is not currently dating.
  • Alcohol / Substance Use: Patrick drinks 3–4 times per week, 3–5 drinks per occasion. He does not smoke or use illegal substances.

Be sure to print out this document as you will need to refer to it for the media segment on the Counseling and Psychotherapy Theories DVD and this week’s Discussion and Application assignments.Media

Video: Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2006). Counseling and psychotherapy theories: Case study: A humanistic/person-centered perspective. Baltimore: Author.

Solution Preview for Using a Gestalt or Existential Approach

 Using a Gestalt or Existential Approach


597 Words