Abstract

The project of charting a Gestalt developmental–clinical model began with the work of Kurt Lewin more than sixty years ago. In particular, Lewin understood that development is not simply a matter of the individual acquiring new potential and abilities over time, but of the evolving reorganization of the organism–environment field, or “life space.” In Lewin's framework, McConville's (1995) model of emergent and evolving adolescent contact process finds a more solidly grounded theoretical base, and points more clearly to a philosophy and method of clinical intervention. This is illustrated in two brief case histories that are somewhat contrasting in nature, but they demonstrate that psychotherapeutic work—even work with individuals—needs to address the wider field of the adolescent's development.

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