Abstract

Presence is typically described as the way people carry themselves, thereby informing their ability to have an impact as practitioners. The purpose of this commentary is to look at presence from a contemporary, relational Gestalt perspective: that of the Gestalt Cape Cod Model developed at the Gestalt International Study Center in South Wellfleet, Massachusetts. This expanded understanding posits that presence has a relational aspect, that is, the practitioner's ability to maintain self-awareness as well as maintain awareness of other(s) enables her or him to have the greatest chance to build connection, and thereby to have an influence. The commentator offers a definition of presence from this relational perspective, as well as ideas for how one can enhance and develop presence. Finally, she suggests that developing and embodying an optimistic stance, a key element of the Cape Cod Model, greatly enhances one's presence as a practitioner.

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