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Salon – Beyond the Individual: The Situation in Therapy

May 20, 2023 @ 10:00 am 12:00 pm PDT

Facilitated by Carol Swanson, LCSW, ACSW
Co-facilitated by Bob Edelstein. LMFT

Saturday, May 20th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Pacific Time

Virtual: EHNW will provide Zoom webinar details after registration

Fee: $20 Professionals | $15 Students | Free for EHNW Affiliates


In the therapeutic encounter, the therapist and the client are not self-contained separate
elements, but a configuration of the interacting forces of a field. There is no such thing as a
separate environment or a separate individual. [Or as Winnicott famously once said: “There is
no such thing as a baby, only a baby and a someone”] At every moment a person is part of a
field. His behavior and development is a function of this field.

In this professional salon we’ll look at the following:

  • the organism as a whole, which differs from the parts
  • the organism-environment field, or person-world unity
  • the here and now focus
  • the significance of spontaneous non-verbal gestures
  • the therapy situation as a genuine encounter of human to human and not with a “case”

“The world is the natural setting of, and field for all my thoughts and all my explicit perceptions.
Truth does not inhabit only the inner man, or more accurately, there is no inner man, man is in
the world, and only in the world does he know himself.”

Maurice Merleau-Ponty


Carol Swanson, LCSW, ACSW has been in private practice in Portland, OR for over forty years.
She cofounded the Portland Gestalt Therapy Training Institute and has trained therapists in
Europe, Australia and the US. Her current interests are studying philosophical resources for
humanistic clinicians. Although semi-retired, clinical work is still rewarding work along with
living outdoors in her garden, on her bike, her kayak or on the trails.


Bob Edelstein, LMFT, MFT, is an Existential-Humanistic psychotherapist with over fifty years of experience. He provides individual and couples therapy, as well as consultation, supervision, workshops, and trainings for clinicians and students. He is a blogger for Psychology Today and has published articles on the existential-humanistic perspective, including a chapter entitled Frames, Attitudes, and Skills of an Existential Humanistic Psychotherapist in the Handbook of Humanistic Psychology, 2nd Edition. He has presented multiple workshops on Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy, including presenting at both the 2nd and 3rd Existential Psychotherapy World Congress. Bob is the founder and past president of the Existential-Humanistic Northwest professional organization.

$20 Free to Affiliates | $15 Student & $20 Professionals

Existential-Humanistic Northwest

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