From the perspective of relational and field Gestalt therapy, the authors shed light on the phenomenology of clinical intervention by showing that the therapist’s main activity consists in adjusting his or her own resonance to the movement toward contact—to the impulse—which informs the therapeutic encounter itself. The therapist “positions” himself in order to “hear” better. And it is this change in the therapist that leads toward change in the patient. A clinical example illustrates the different moments in this process. By designating the intentionality at work in the encounter as a secret longing, the authors introduce a new concept, offering practitioners a sensitive compass that allows them to orientate themselves and persevere in their efforts to adjust to patients and maintain their aim of reaching them.


To avoid clumsy circumlocutions from French to English, and until a better solution is found, “he,” “himself,” and so on should be understood throughout to mean “he/she,” “himself/herself,” and so on.

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