agile gestalt

    The Gestalt approach in psychotherapy and flexible development methodologies seem to be very close. This article is an attempt to expand this idea with the habra readers in mind. What is agile here should be clear, but what is psychotherapy in general, and the gestalt approach in particular, probably needs to be clarified. Having dealt with both, you can look at familiar things from a new angle and, as always, understand something about yourself, about the world and something else.

    Psychotherapy, unlike psychiatry, is talk therapy. Without pills. Or, vulgarly speaking, the art of chatter. If we talk about violations from the diocese of psychiatrists, then most often in different proportions we need this and that. For example, with exogenous depression, antidepressants are prescribed first so that the patient who is tormented by her has the strength for therapy, then the psychological settings that drive him into this state are unraveled, and the drug support is gradually canceled.

    And psychotherapy is not medical. Thoughts about something wrong happening in their life, but what exactly is not clear, come to healthy people. Household tips, such as: “Yes, okay, do not worry, - or,“ I would have your problems ”- they only add fuel to the fire.

    Therapy is not training. Training is the development of skills, therapy affects the level of personality, the level of conditions for the possibility of applying these skills. If trainings provide a suitcase of tools for use in negotiations, during public speaking, in conflict situations, then therapy, especially Gestalt therapy, is more about finding support in such situations. It may very well be that as soon as the support is found, an additional suitcase of skills is not needed. Moreover, if the problem is deep, trainings will not help at all. A person in a critical situation is confused and stupidly forgets the learned skills to apply.

    The word gestalt itself means: "a figure in the background." You cannot see a figure without a background. In this post, for example, psychotherapy was sequentially examined against the background of psychiatry, everyday conversations and trainings. Agile methodologies are visible only against the backdrop of waterfall. If you remove it, it will become impossible to explain what generally means be agile.

    Gestalt therapy is client-centered. If in psychoanalytic therapy the analyst acts as an expert and, in a sense, repairs the patient, in the gestalt approach, the client himself is the leading expert in his life.

    The Gestalt approach has a special respect for the current state. Scrum standup with answers to the questions “What has been done, what will be done, what are the obstacles” exactly corresponds to the gestalistic sharing. A group’s work usually begins with phrases like: “Tell us about your state, how you feel, what kind of requests.” The point of these actions is not to report to someone. This is finding yourself. The indicated feelings find or do not find a response in other participants, group dynamics is tied. During sharing, the resulting dialogs are suppressed. Their development is carried out during the main work.

    One of the significant topics of the gestalt approach is the paradoxical theory of change. Changes do not occur when a person tries to become what he is not, but becomes what he is. You can buy tickets from London to Paris as much as you like, while in Moscow, flying to Paris will not help. That's why, for example, Kanban insists on visualizing processes. That's exactly when it is possible to accurately understand the current state, it becomes clear what the next step should be. You can go further. Nothing is static. A condition is always an action to keep it. As soon as it is possible to deploy the efforts spent on maintaining oneself in the external environment, changes begin to occur by leaps and bounds.

    And what does a gestalt therapist do, who does not give advice and is not an expert at all. There are many answers: supporting awareness, supporting the process of the emergence and destruction of gestalt, exploring the client’s contact with the environment and its interruption. Interruption of contact is a simple concept to genius. There are only six types of contact interruption: confluence, introjection, projection, retroflexion, deflection and egotism.

    A programmer may not understand at all what they want from him. In this case, we can say that he is in a merger with the team. Although merging is the basis of teamwork, when the goals are not someone’s specific, but common, you still need to get out of it. It is only possible to find out that you have your own interests and the interests of the company and look for ways to unite them only after merging.

    If the programmer believes that it is impossible to convey ideas to the management or the owner of the product, then in the language of Gestaltists this is an introject. Some of the rules that were once adopted, served to adapt to those conditions, but here and now it objectively interferes. In a waterfall environment you have to do everything stupidly as they said, this is the basis of order. In agile methodologies, order is also important, but introjects are needed there a little different.

    If introjects are all correct and everything is fine inside, obstacles can be, as it were, outside. Ideas can and should be conveyed, but they do not seem interesting to others. It may be suspected that in this case there is interruption of contact due to projection. To be honest, a person himself is not interested in what other people think about approaches to solving, but he unknowingly ascribes this property not to himself, but to others. The projection needs to be swallowed. The role of the therapist in this case is to assist in recognizing one's own and others' interests. Laying a projection is unpleasant, but worth it.

    After cracking down on projections, the next ambush is retroflexion. You can and should tell, I just wanted to talk about something, but somehow hesitated, pulled my head into my shoulders and became quiet. Suddenly I'm out of place, maybe sometime later. Instead of realizing the plan, a person locks the energy in himself. If we talk about individual work, the first thing I want to do is ask: “How do you stop yourself? What comes of this? ”Just to detect this condition. If we talk about the environment, then in this example it is clearly seen why mutual respect is so important for development. Something big and delicious often grows out of plain and insignificant.

    If the excitement still bursts out, it can turn to the side (deflection). Instead of trying to indicate sharp corners in retrospect, a person can simply complain about a hard life somewhere in the smoking room and not go one iota further than talking. It's a shame, but it happens to everyone. I must say that deflexion, like all interrupts, has useful functions. For example, this article was born as a deflection when looking for a job. Instead of telling all this in an interview, I write it here.

    Well, the most annoying ambush awaits at the end. It is already clear what, how and with whom to do it. It is time to indulge in the satisfaction of needs, but for some reason it is not possible to release control. And some candles are dim, and the chair is somehow uncomfortable, and the dinner is not elegant enough. Everything is already agreed upon and it is time to plunge into creativity, but the bureaucracy is not asleep. Sneezed - write a report. Selfishness, it is not okay to be. In this case, it is important to help the person learn to recognize the security of the situation. This may not be obvious, but a useful function of egoism is to ensure security. She, for example, helps playing with a child, to ensure that he does not hit anything.

    That's about what Gestalt therapists do. It hurts like what scrum master does, doesn't it?

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