Abstract

Gestalt approaches to gay male domestic violence survivors may better address gay-related concerns and attend to deep, unresolved issues that may remain neglected in other therapies. It is demonstrated that Gestalt therapy is highly appropriate for battered gay men and that the dynamics of explosion as understood in Gestalt are pivotal, existentially and therapeutically, in the case study presented. Clinical results of the study suggest that cathartic release of emotion, even in its dramatic expression, need not be feared as a source of retraumatization, but may be healing of trauma provided that the client remains in contact with the therapist throughout the explosive process. A seven-stage clinical model of explosion and implosion is proposed based on treatment outcomes in the case presented.

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