Samar Khandwala

15th February 2011

“My Contact Boundary Disturbances’’

  Gestalt theory, a need-based approach, is the study of the organism in the here-and-now as it goes into the environment for need fulfillment. When it goes into the environment, it comes into contact with many things and forms figures and grounds.   The figure comes from its most emergent need, which when fulfilled goes into the background and becomes the ground. Then, a new figure emerges from the next dominant need. This process is called the figure-ground formation. A healthy organism self-regulates by clear figure ground formation whereas an unhealthy organism does not self-regulate effectively, by staying on a fixed figure. Consequently, there is no figure ground change to address the next emergent need.

  Need fulfillment is represented by the Gestalt cycle, which has 6 stages, namely; sensation, awareness, mobilization, action, final contact, satisfaction and withdrawal. An organism is said to be in equilibrium when it has no needs or desires.   After some time, when a need emerges, a sensation occurs. This sensation comes into its awareness, after which it mobilizes to take appropriate action. When it takes action, it comes into full contact with the environment, thus satisfying its need and then withdrawing. Once it withdraws, it comes back into a state of equilibrium until a new need emerges.   A healthy self-regulating organism fulfills its needs by moving along the cycle without any interruptions.

  However, the cycle is often interrupted and any disturbance causes dis-ease. When a figure emerges and the organism does not complete the cycle, the need is left unsatisfied which results in ‘unfinished business.’ This unfinished business represents an incomplete Gestalt and is usually shown in unexpressed feelings such as resentment, rage, hatred, pain, guilt, abandonment etc. Because these feelings are unresolved, they are not fully experienced in awareness and therefore...