Gestalt therapist have many key concepts, one of which is “resistances or blockages to experience. ” Pearls believed that influence from others close to you can result in a you responding in ways that are not natural or true to yourself, and that this can prevent you from meeting your true needs. He came up with a number of defense mechanisms that one might use to avoid their “true self”. In Angela's therapy session with the Gestalt therapist Dr Davis, she used a number of these mechanisms that showed that she was avoiding being truly authentic.
The first resistance in Gestalt therapy is called introjection, where a person does as others would like him/her to do instead of what they feel is right inside. Angela has always taken care of others and did what others would like her to do. She never questioned her own thoughts. The second, projection, is where a person sees qualities in others that are really their own. After a few sessions, angela came in angry at Dr Davis for “not really trying to understand her at all”. She was projecting her own feelings of confusion of self onto the Dr Davis. Retroflection is when a person has a feeling attempting to show itself, only to hold it back.
Reflection is similar to repression, and Angela has done this all of her life by not letting out what she truly wants but instead, meeting the needs of others. Desensitation is when a person dulls or numbs his/her emotions/feelings and shows no emotion/feeling at all. Throughout Angela life, she has always given to others and has not spent much time on her and what she wants out of life. She has become insensitive to her emotions and feelings almost to the point of desensitizing them completely. Deflection is a psychological process of finding ways of avoiding authentic contact by averting it and putting it onto something else.
Angela has created a diversion of her life by placing it onto her family, husband, children, sister etc. Thus, she has avoided her inner self by deflecting it away from herself and putting it on to others. and finally, Confluence is the loss of identity and the inability to clearly define oneself. Angela has clearly blurred her boundaries and for years has lived through others and has looked at others to make her life fulfilled. She also makes assumptions that she knows what her husband and children are thinking and feeling, when truly, she can only really know herself.