Through eight compelling stories we get to know the Gestalt therapist Vikram Kolmannskog and some of his clients. These include the businessman Carl who is suffering from chronic burnout, the overwhelmed Marianne who believes she may have been the victim of sexual assualt, the trans woman Annette who breaks with dominant gender norms, the prisoner Jonny who is now encircled by his own self-made wall of isolation, and the beautiful Ask, who falls in love and others fall in love with - including the therapist Vikram.
Through these tales of psychotherapy we see how both suffering and healing can occur. With increased awareness and through dialogue we can experience more of ourselves, the other and our world. We become more whole – and that is a good definition of health.
Table of Contents
About the author *
Praise / reviews / blurb *
What is Gestalt therapy? *
Succeeding at everything, even stressing less *
Three generations of betrayal *
Marianne’s memories *
Inside the walls *
Put on your own mask first *
The bearded lady *
The empty chair *
Vikram Kolmannskog is a Gestalt therapist and writer based in Oslo, Norway. He has a private practice, and teaches and researches as associate professor at the Norwegian Gestalt Institute. He has also trained as a lawyer with specialisation in human rights, and social scientist with a doctoral degree in sociology of law.
«A labour of love, quite simply. I have to go out and howl at the moon.»-Ellen Koyote Millar, artist and Gestalt therapy student
«Some have compared Kolmannskog to Irvin D. Yalom, and this is justified in several ways. The ability to make therapy alive to the ordinary reader is one of them.»-Deichman’s Literature Blog (Oslo Public Library)
«When I read The empty chair there are three words that keep coming to me: humility, respect and care. This book gives readers not only an explanation, but also an experience of what Gestalt therapy is.»-Norwegian Gestalt Journal
«I gladly recommend this book to both inquisitive laymen such as myself, but also to those of you who work with people in this way. I began to understand how a Gestalt therapist works and have gained great respect for the way they carry out their profession.»-Tine Sundal, one of Norway’s most popular book bloggers
«For me as a therapist it is both entertaining and educational reading.»-Jens Fossum, Gestalt therapist and blogger
«The book raises Gestalt writing to a whole new level. The case studies unfold like a succession of gripping short stories. The commentaries provide contrast and balance. The thinking is contemporary and lucid. Kolmannskog is inspiring, well-informed, and a sheer pleasure to read.»-Malcolm Parlett, Author of FUTURE SENSE: Five Explorations of Whole Intelligence for a World That’s Waking Up