ABSTRACT

The expression of certainty within a Gestalt clinical praxis has been unhelpfully discouraged. Expressing certainty has been aligned with abuses of power, while maintaining uncertainty has become a shibboleth of Gestalt thinking. This is theoretically unsound and potentially therapist-privileging, contributing to an amoral practitioner neutrality rather than an implicated, ethical responsibility. From a specific clinical encounter in which certainty is expressed, a basis is built to support how a Gestalt access to certainty might be understood and achieved with regard to knowledge and truth, beyond irrelevant imperatives of being right, or of implying permanence. Certainty is conceptualized to befit Gestalt’s field-theoretical paradigm, and the key theory of creative indifference is employed to critique the unipolar prioritizing of uncertainty. With support from Wittgenstein, it is argued that inhabiting certainty can demonstrate commitment and be an authentic manifestation of responsibility in a field paradigm, contributing to an ethical practice and a successful clinical outcome.

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