Close Up: The C Gestalt Way
is a book and it is a program that developed itself in the more than thirty years I practised Gestalt intensively. It is my contribution to Gestalt and to society. It is my way of saying how grateful I am Gestalt existed before I found it or did it find me?
It was Gestalt that gave my life the right direction.
As I am born in Amsterdam just before WW II I grew up under the occupation of the Nazis, which means that I had huge obstacles to overcome.
The first and maybe the most important is that I as the first born of the next generation was and still am a woman and not a man, not a scion (stamhouder in Dutch).
It meant feeling coresponsible for the family when my father disappeared in a psychiatric institute when I was fourteen. What happened to him was that he came back from the front with wrecked nerves and never really recovered.
I adored my beautiful, sensitive, intelligent father and I hated the crazyness of the World that made him a victim. My mission seemed to be to heal him and with him the other men I loved in my life who were of course war victims as well.
What I forgot or did not realize is that I was as wounded as they were.
The lame helps the blind is a Dutch and probably international way of saying that a mission like mine is mission impossible. Nevertheless I learned in the process of having friends and love relations that the first thing I had to do is to heal myself.
Of course I expected the men I fell in love with to give me the love I did not get from my father. And of course they expected from me the unconditional love their mothers were not able to give them. The story repeated itself time and time again as we all know untill we wake up and take responsibility for who we really are.
When Gestalt came into my life I was divorced, had no children and was completely free to choose the right path for me.
I already found Buddhism and meditation but what I missed was the art of making contact with other human souls. Becoming aware of the richness of Gestalt in this matter I was speechless, breathless, silent for some time. I could hardly believe it, I had so much mistrust in me, I felt betrayed so often but I knew in my soul Gestalt could save me. While writing those words, I can still feel the awe, the wonder in me that moves me to tears.
Never for one moment I have doubted my choice for Gestalt. I knew and still know that I will be committed to it till the end of my life. That’s why I never give up.
Since 1988 my focus has been on my Gestalt work. As I know and experience daily that Gestalt Works for me, I know it also must work for the other if s/he is ready to receive it.
My way to do what I have to do in this matter speially if I am fustrated is to write. Since Gestalt came into my life I wrote almost every day to explore and understand myself, the other and the World as a whole better. Out of all those writings this C book about the Creative Gestalt Way has emerged.
In it you will find a way to go into process that will inspire you to create your own life stories, your own songs, your own poems, paintings, sculptures. It will also tell you about my way of leading Gestalt groups. If you decide to go on a journey with me, I will take you to Gestalt conferences, to writing workshops, to Jewish retreats in search of the Truth, although I realize that Truth is not absolute but personal.
In the first part of the book you find a program to overcome Four Basic Fears by fullfilling Basic Needs like having a place, getting nourishment, loving attention, support, protection and borders. I also make you aware of the the four demands life poses: to say Yes to life, to stand on our own feet, to be autonomous and become who we really are.
In the third and last part of the book, you find 77 Existential Questions that can inspire you to find your own deeper questions and answers. In short chapters I explore my own thoughts and try to find answers by quoting Joseph Zinker and other – most - Gestalt writers, who have managed to give words to what often seems ineffible.
The first Gestalt writer colleague I invited to read the book was Joseph Melnick. He let me know that he finished it and loved it. To hear this from him gave me the courage to invite you too, to at least have a taste. As the book has more than four hundred pages it will take time to really read it. Bescause the book is a process book, it is meant to inspire you and of course your clients and I would suggest taking small bites to digest it more easily.
All you have to do to receive the manuscript, is to send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I thank you for your attention and I hope to be able to give the same to you.
In the end giving and receiving become one.
Tine van Wijk