UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Gestalt two-chair technique: how it relates to theory Mackay, Betty Nichol 1995

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_1995-060101.pdf [ 5.34MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0053980.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0053980-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0053980-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0053980-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0053980-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0053980-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0053980-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0053980-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0053980.ris

Full Text

THE GESTALT TWO-CHAIR TECHNIQUE:HOW IT RELATES TO THEORYbyBetty Nichol MackayB.A. Queens University, 1965B.P.H.E. Queens University, 1966M.A. University of British Columbia, 1984A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Counselling Psychology)We accept this thesis as conformingtotfredTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAApril, 1995© Betty Nichol MackayIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of___________________The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate 4CIAL ‘99<DE-6 (2188)AbstractUsing Q-Methodology, this study sought to find empirical supportfor the three stage model of the Gestalt two-chair technique and thetheory underlying how and why it is effective, put forth by L. S.Greenberg (1979; 1983). A structured Q-Sort was constructed usingthe factors of Conflict Resolution (CR) and the Gestalt concept ofContact (C) in a 2X2 factorial design. Each factor was divided into twolevels CR - Resolved/Unresolved, C - Interruption-of-contact/Contact.The factors of CR and C were expected to interact before and aftersuccessful and unsuccessful therapy for decision-making. Individualswho were Unresolved in their decision-making were expected toexperience Interruption-of-contact while individuals who wereResolved from an integrated sense of self were expected to experiencebeing in Contact. The 85 item sort was validated by experts in Gestalttheory and therapy as representing the three stage model and thetheory underlying it. Eight subjects, ambivalent about remaining intheir marriages, performed the Q-Sort before and after 6 sessions oftherapy using the two-chair technique.Moderate support was found for the 3 stages of the model,Opposition, Merging and Integration. Some support was found for theinteraction of the factors of CR and C. Significant 2-way interactionwas found for 1 subject before and after therapy considered successfulaccording to the model. Significant 2-way interactions were foundafter successful therapy for four subjects but not before. Significant2-way interactions were not found for subjects after unsuccessfultherapy. When therapy was successful the factors of CR and Cinteracted as predicted. When therapy was not successful the factorsUof CR and C did not interact as predicted. The factors of CR and C didnot interact for individuals who were experiencing a great deal ofinterruption-of-contact, indicating there is a possible pre-stage to themodel where CR and C are independent of each other or where otherfactors may be involved. This study expanded the research on theGestalt two-chair technique in several ways. It found some empiricalsupport for the model and the theory underlying it. It found areaswere CR and C do not interact as predicted by theory. It extended therange of application of research on two-chair technique from careerdecision-making to divorce decision-making.inTABLE OF CONTENTSAbstract IITable of Contents ivList of Figures vIIList of Tables ixAcknowledgments XChapter One Introduction 1Overview of the Study 2Rational of the Study SSignificance of the Study 7Research Question 8Assumptions and Limitations 8Definition of Terms 8Chapter Two LITERATURE REVIEW 11The Gestalt Two-Chair Technique 11Polarities and Splits in Gestalt Therapy 11Description of the Gestalt Two-Chair Technique 13Research of the Gestalt Two-Chair Technique 15Theories of Marital Stabffity 18Stages of Divorce 23Divorce Decision-Making 24Q-Methodology 27Case Study Research 32Summary 34ivChapter Three METHODOLOGY 35Research Design 35Procedures 36Study Participants 40Therapists 41Recruitment and Selection 41Training and Supervision 42Q-Methodology 43Q-Sort 43Q-Sort Items 44Relationship Between Theory Properand the Q-Sort Items 48Opposition stage: Cells 1, 2 and 3. 48Merging stage 54Integration stage 55Q-Sorting 58Analysis of the Q-sorts 59Elaboration Interview 61Summary 63Chapter Four RESULTS 64Introduction 64Sample Case: Sam 65Case Study One: Hector 71Case Study Two: Beverley 81Case Study Three: Gail 91Case Study Four: Edward 104Case Study Five: Amy 116VCase Study Six: Carol 126Case Study Seven: Fred 137Case Study Bight: Donald 148Chapter Five CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION 161Introduction 161Discussion of Replications 162Literal Replication 162Theoretical Replications 163Other Replications 165Discussion of Results 167Limitations 171Theoretical Implications 172Practical Implications 173Recommendations for Future Research 174The two-chair technique 174The Q-Sort 175Divorce Decision-Making 175Summary 178References 180Appendix A: Initial letter of contact. 188Appendix B: Consent form. 189Appendix C: Degree of Resolution Scale - Splits 190viLIST OF FIGURESFigure 1. Stages of two-chair technique showingrelationship with factors of Conflict Resolutionand Contact and the number of Q-Sort itemsper cell 3Figure 2. Overview of procedures used in the study 38Figure 3. Levels of Conflict Resolution and Contactshowing the stages of two-chair technique 43Figure 4. Pattern of Q-Sort before and after therapyfor Sample Case: Sam 67Figure 5. Results of placement of items before and aftertherapy for Sample Case: Sam 68Figure 6. Pattern of Q-Sort before and after therapyfor Case Study one: Hector 73Figure 7. Results of placement of items before and aftertherapy for Case Study one: Hector 74Figure 8. Pattern of Q-Sort before and after therapyfor Case Study two: Beverley 83Figure 9. Results of placement of items before and aftertherapy for Case Study two: Beverley 84Figure 10. Pattern of Q-Sort before and after therapyfor Case Study three: Gail 93Figure 11. Results of placement of items before and aftertherapy for Case Study three: Gail 94Figure 12. Pattern of Q-Sort before and after therapyfor Case Study four: Edward 107Figure 13. Results of placement of items before and aftertherapy for Case Study four: Edward 108viiFigure 14. Pattern of Q-Sort before and after therapy forCase Study five: Amy 118Figure 15. Results of placement of items before and aftertherapy for Case Study five: Amy 119Figure 16. Pattern of Q-Sort before and after therapy forCase Study six: Carol 129Figure 17. Results of placement of items before and aftertherapy for Case Study six: Carol 130Figure 18. Pattern of Q-Sort before and after therapy forCase Study seven: Fred 139Figure 19. Results of placement of items before and aftertherapy for Case seven: Fred 140Figure 20. Pattern of Q-Sort before and after therapy forCase Study eight: Donald 150Figure 21. Results of placement of items before and aftertherapy for CaseStudy eight: Donald 151vu’LIST OF TABLESTable 1. ANOVA results of Q-Sort: Sample case: Sam 66Table 2. Undecided/decided scores before and aftertherapy with decision reached forSample case: Sam 66Table 3. ANOVA results of Q-Sort: Case Study One: Hector 72Table 4. Undecided/decided scores before and aftertherapy with decision reached forCase Study one: Hector 75Table 5. ANOVA results of Q-Sort: Case Study Two: Beverley 82Table 6. Undecided/decided scores before and aftertherapy with decision reached forCase Study two: Beverley 85Table 7. ANOVA results of Q-Sort: Case Study Three: Gail 92Table 8. Undecided/decided scores before and aftertherapy with decision reached forCase Study three: Gail 95Table 9. ANOVA results of Q-Sort: Case Study Four: Edward 105Table 10. Undecided/decided scores before and aftertherapy with decision reached forCase Study four: Edward 108Table 11. ANOVA results of Q-Sort: Case Study Five: Amy 117Table 12. Undecided/decided scores before and aftertherapy with decision reached forCase Study five: Amy 120Table 13. ANOVA results of Q-Sort: Case Study Six: Carol 127Table 14. Undecided/decided scores before and aftertherapy with decision reached forCase Study six: Carol 130ixTable 15. ANOVA results of Q-Sort: Case Study Seven: Fred 138Table 16. Undecided/decided scores before and aftertherapy with decision reached forCase Study seven: Fred 141Table 17. ANOVA results of Q-Sort: Case Study Eight: Donald 149Table 18. Undecided/decided scores before and aftertherapy with decision reached forCase Study eight: Donald 152xAcknowledgmentsI wish to express my appreciation to my supervisory committee:Dr. Bill Borgen, Dr. Walter Boldt, Dr. Beth Havercamp, and Dr. AdamHorvath for their support, interest and helpful suggestions during thepreparation and completion of this dissertation. I extend an especiallywarm thank you to Dr. Bill Borgen, my chairperson, for working withme on this research project when he had a very busy schedule as Headof the Counselling Psychology Department and to Dr. Walter Boldt whowas always accessible for consultation and encouragement.I wish to express my appreciation to the people who participatedin my study. I am sincerely grateful for their willingness to involvethemselves so fully in my project.To my sons, Colin and Angus, I express my deepest thanks fortheir support and encouragement.xi1CHAPTER IINTRODUCTIONAny theory is by definition unfinished and therefore creates aneed for continuous scientific investigation (Bronowski, 1973). Thepurpose of this study was to investigate the theory underlying aparticular therapeutic technique, the Gestalt two-chair technique, asput forth in the literature by Greenberg (1979, 1983), and to relate itto practice. The Gestalt two-chair technique is a powerful techniquethat many clinicians incorporate into their practice regardless of thetheoretical framework that forms a basis for their work. Thetechnique was developed from Fritz Pens’ Topdog-Underdog techniquein which he separated the opposing forces within the individual andfacilitated a dialogue between them (Pens, 1969; Enright, 1970).Practitioners used this technique for many years withoutunderstanding how or why it was effective. Beginning in the mid1970s, intensive investigation of the practice of two-chair work beganand the theory underlying the intervention was developed (Greenberg,1976, 1979, 1983; Greenberg and Rice, 1981; Greenberg and Webster,1982; Webster, 1981). Practitioners currently use the two-chairtechnique in dealing with decisional conflict in various areas of humanfunctioning because it has proved to be an effective method forresolving decisional conflict caused by two aspects of the self being inopposition to one another (Clarke, 1977; Greenberg, 1979; Greenberg &Clarke, 1979, Greenberg & Higgins; 1980; Higgins; 1979; Webster,1981).The purpose of this study was to explore whether empiricalsupport could be generated for the theory underlying the three-stage2model of the Gestalt two-chair technique put forward by Greenberg(1979, 1983) using participants who were experiencing decisionalconflict concerning whether or not to remain married.Overview of the StudyAs stated previously, the three-stage model of the two-chairtechnique was developed in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Recently,Greenberg, Rice, and Eliott (1993) delineate a five stage model of two-chair work (See p. 14). The stages in that model focus specifically onthe operations of the therapist during a session of two-chair work. Thisstudy sought to find empirical support for the three-stage model andthe theory underlying it; that is, do people actually experience the threestages of the model in successful and unsuccessful decision-making asput forth in the theory.The three-stage model of the two-chair technique as put forthby Greenberg (1979; 1983) can be seen as involving two independentvariables or factors, Conflict Resolution and the Gestalt concept ofContact, that interact with each other. The more individuals come intocontact with themselves, that is, become aware of their beliefs,feelings and actions and take responsibility for them, the better theyare able to decide. Therapy using the two-chair technique enablesthem to come more in contact with self which facilitates their decisionmaking. The relationship between Conflict Resolution and Contact,along with the stages of the model, is diagrammed in Figure 1. Forresearch purposes, each variable was divided into two levels. ConflictResolution was divided into unresolved (level one), and resolved (leveltwo). Contact was divided into interruption-of-contact (level one), and3in contact (level two). Individuals experiencing indecisiveness areunresolved and experience interruption-of-contact. They are in thefirst stage (Opposition) of the model in which aspects of the self areopposed to each other.The two-chair technique promotes and facilitates contact betweenthe aspects of the self which enables the second stage, Merging, to occur.In this stage one aspect of the self softens toward the other. Thisenables individuals to enter the third stage, Integration, in which thetwo parts merge into one integrated self. Having reached this stage,individuals are resolved and experience being in contact with the self.Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3Opposition IMerging IntegrationCell 1 (A1B) Cell 2 (A1 B2) Cell 3 ( AB1) Cell 4 - ( AB)Pink Yellow Orange Blue :VioletUnresolved Unresolved Resolved ResoledInterruption Interruptionof Contact In Contact of Contact In CntactItems 19 21 21 8 + 16 = 24Figure 1. Stages of two-chair technique showing relationship with factors ofConflict Resolution and Contact and the number of Q-Sort items per cell.In order to test the relationship between the factors of ConflictResolution and Contact with the three stages of the model of the twochair technique, this study used Q-methodology, a methodology thathas been found potent for testing theory (Stephenson, 1953). Thetheory underlying the three stage model of the two-chair technique4was built into a Q-Sort. The Q-sort was given to participants beforeand after they received treatment by experienced therapists trainedin Gestalt therapy and specifically the two-chair technique. Theparticipants were asked to sort, in a rank order, cards that describedexperiences of their decision-making process according to those mostlike their experiences and those least like their experiences. Thescores derived were analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) todetermine whether or not patterns were present in the sortings. Aftertherapy was concluded the Q-Sorts were again presented to theparticipants and further information about their experiences wassought. Significant differences between the pre-and post-therapy QSorts were seen to support the theory by demonstrating that bothfactors, Conflict Resolution and Contact, were present and interactedwith each other. Results which produced no patterns, that is randomresults, were interpreted to mean the theory was not meaningful forparticipants experiencing this phenomenon.Significant results were indicated by particular patterns of Qsorting. For example, all participants, prior to treatment, wereundecided; therefore, they were expected to perform the Q-sort so thatthe items indicating that the participant was unresolved were sortedinto categories most descriptive of themselves while items reflectingresolution with contact were sorted into categories least descriptive ofthemselves or discarded into a neutral category.After therapy, two results were anticipated. It was predictedthat participants who went through the second (Merging) and third(Integration) stages would perform the Q-sort so that items reflectingresolution with contact were sorted into categories most descriptive ofSthemselves while items reflecting unresolved with interruption-of-contact were sorted into categories least descriptive of themselves. Itwas predicted that those individuals who did not complete theMerging stage would sort in a pattern similar to before therapy. Thatis, they would sort some of the Merging stage items into the categoriesmost descriptive of themselves but the others would be still in thecategories least descriptive of themselves or discarded into the neutralcategory. Sorting in the predicted patterns would give support for thetheory. A failure to identify patterns in the sortings would indicatelack of support for the theory or that it needed further elaboration toaccurately explain the participants’ experiences.Rationale for the StudyPolster and Poister (1973) state, “Our truth is only a temporarytruth, one which is currently serviceable and responsive to the vitalstimulation of the times” (p. 6). Continued research on the Gestalttwo-chair technique is important to the field of therapy for severalreasons.Firstly, the two-chair is used by many practitioners, regardlessof their theoretical orientation. Greenberg (1980) states, “Given thepotency two-chair technique can be used ‘for better or for worse’ andsystematic training is essential to ensure its effective usage” (p. 180).It is valuable to ensure that a potent, widely used technique isembedded in theory and that it is taught and used appropriately andeffectively, to allow for greater flexibility in application than is truewith a set of methodological directives.6Secondly, previous research on the two-chair technique involvedtheory development (Greenberg, 1976, 1979, 1983). That is, theprocess of the two-chair technique was analyzed to determine whatoccurs in effective and ineffective resolution of a conflicted sense ofself (Greenberg, 1976; Greenberg and Webster, 1982; Webster, 1981).Process analysis is considered by this researcher to be a micro theoryembedded within a more global theory. The effects of the two-chairtechnique were studied using normative or conventional methodologyGreenberg and Clarke, 1979; Greenberg & Dompierre, 1981; Greenberg& Higgins, 1980; and Greenberg and Rice, 1981). This study added tothe field by testing the completed theory. It investigated the theoryunderlying the two-chair technique using an ipsative methodology, Qmethodology, that is appropriate for examination of theory. Using Qmethodology Byrnes (1975) found support for the Gestalt therapyfactors of Contact and Interruption-of-contact. This study extendedthe research on Gestalt therapy by investigating the factors underlyingthe three-stage model of two-chair technique put forth by Greenberg.Thirdly, the two-chair technique is effective for resolvingdecisional conflict regarding a career decision (Clarke, 1981; O’Grady,1986). Clarke (1981) recommended that the two-chair technique beexamined in other areas of decision-making. The decision whether ornot to remain married is a very important one that has not receivedmuch attention in any of the areas of theory, research or clinicalinterventions (Turner, 1985). The divorce rate has greatly increasedin recent years, indicating that many people have struggled with thisdecision and have dissolved their marriages. This does not speak tothe number of individuals who have struggled with this decision, may7even have separated and petitioned for divorce, yet have remainedmarried (Donovan & Jackson, 1990) or to individuals living incommon-law relationships. People struggling over whether or not toremain married frequently seek individual therapy during this periodof indecision (Janis & Mann, 1977; Kressel & Deutch, 1977; Oz, 1994;Salts, 1985). Salts (1985) states that people who cannot decidewhether to stay married or get divorced reaily want to dissolve theirmarriages but have been unable to do so. Research regarding this areaof decision-making benefits practitioners in the field as increasedknowledge of the issues and more effective methods of facilitatingdecision-maidng are needed to deal with such a common presentingproblem. Everett and Volgy (1991) state “perhaps divorce therapycan better be understood not as a distinct discipline or group oftechniques, but as a symbolic arena or therapeutic stance in whichclinicians have gained knowledge and experience regarding thedivorce process and can offer the therapeutic service of shepherdingfamilies through the often excruciating experiences of emotionallosses, disappointments and anger that attend the divorce experience”(p. 510).Significance of the StudyThis study extended the research on the two-chair technique inthree ways. Previous research on two-chair technique concentratedon theory development while, in this study the concern was withtesting the theory as developed to date. Secondly, it used a differentmethodology, Q-Methodology, useful for the testing of theory. Finally,it extended the range of application of research on the two-chairtechnique from career decision problems to divorce decision-making,8specifically, the pre-decision (deliberation) stage. The limited researchthat does exist in this area is retrospective in nature. This study bycomparison focused on the decisional process as it occurred.Research OuestionThis study asked: can the theory underlying the three stagemodel of the Gestalt two-chair technique as put forth by Greenberg(1979; 1983) be supported empirically?Assumptions and LimitationsTheorists argue that the Gestalt concept of decisional conflictshould apply generally for all decisions. It was assumed in this studythat the theory would also apply to individuals undecided aboutwhether or not to remain married.The Gestalt two-chair technique is drawn from the Gestaltapproach to therapy. Although the technique is based on Gestaltconcepts and methodology, it was removed for research purposes fromthe full context of Gestalt therapy. Thus, further research is necessaryin order to generalize the findings to Gestalt therapy as a whole.Definition of TermsFollowing are explanations of terms used throughout this text.Boundary: the partition between the organism and the environmentand between the aspects of self. Polster and Polster (1973)describe it as a “permeable pulsating locus of energy” (p. 102).Contact: “...awareness in the here and now with what one is feeling,thinking, and doing...” (Hellgren, 1983, p. 1). It involvesexperiences that occur at the boundary between the organism9and its environment in which the organism rejects that which isdangerous and assimilates that which promotes growth (Byrnes,1975) and experiences that occur at the boundary between theaspects of self. Greenberg (1979) describes contact as “.. anencounter between the parts” (p. 320).Contact-boundary: the point at which differentiation occursbetween an organism and its environment and between theaspects of self. It is the point at which contact takes place.Byrnes (1975) described it as “a relationship between theorganism and its environment within the organism/environmentfield which potentially allows for organism definition, protection,and maintenance through need satisfaction” (p. 10).Interruption-of-contact: hindrance of the natural process ofcontact.Confluence: “lack of clear boundaries between the parts” or “non-awareness of a boundary between the parts” (Greenberg, 1979,p. 320).Critic: the aspect of the self which is harsh toward and critical of theexperiencing self. It embodies the standards and values of theperson.Experiencing self (exp. self): the organismic aspect of the self. Itembodies the wants and needs of the person.Split: “a statement of conflict expressed in a lively or poignantmanner” (Greenberg, 1980).Resolved: decided.Unresolved: undecided.10Two-chair technique: a therapeutic intervention in which thetherapist guides the client in an encounter between the differentsides of the intrapsychic conflict by asking him or her to expresseach position, usually from different chairs; the client movesfrom chair to chair as the conflict unfolds (Greenberg, 1979).The three-stage model of the two-chair technique as putforth by Greenberg (1979; 1983):In the two-chair experiment, two opposing sides of anintrapsychic conflict are separated and brought into contact with eachother, verbally and non-verbally. One side, named the critic, evolvesinto an aspect of the self that is usually harsh toward and critical ofthe other aspect of the self. It embodies the standards and values ofthe individual. The other side, named experiencing self, evolves intoan aspect of the self that usually is rebellious, devious and/or acts likea weakling in reaction to the critic. It embodies the wants and needsof the individual. Differences between an individual’s standards andvalues and his/her wants and needs create conflict. Resolution of theconflict occurs when the critic softens into compassion toward or fearfor the experiencing self; it then embraces the experiencing self in atender loving manner. The experiencing self is able to express itswants and needs clearly and directly toward the softened critic.Resolution is either precipitated by a new perception of each sideand/or reached through negotiation.11CHAPTER IILITERATURE REVIEWThis chapter considers the literature and research related to thethree major areas of this study, the Gestalt two-chair technique,divorce decision-making and Q-Methodology. The two-chair techniqueis described and research establishing it as an effective therapeutictechnique for decision-making is given. The three-stage model of thetwo-chair technique is presented along with the theory underlyinghow and why successful conflict resolution is reached. This leads intothe area of divorce decision-making, a new area of decision-making inwhich to investigate two-chair work and the theory underlying it. Theappropriateness of case study method and Q-Methodology as methodsfor the investigation of theory is also put forth.Gestalt Two-chair TechniqueThis section outlines the Gestalt concept of polarities and splits,gives a description of the Gestalt two-chair technique and presents theprevious research on this technique.Polarities and Splits in Gestalt TherapyAccording to Passons (1975), the major goals of Gestalt therapyare teaching individuals to assume responsibility for their beliefs,feelings and actions plus facffitating integration of aspects of the selfinto a unified whole. Interruption of the person’s natural self-regulation causes aspects of the personality to split creatingintrapsychic conflict. This conflict involves polarities or splits in12human functioning, one of the major concepts of Gestalt therapy(Pens et at., 1951; Poister & Poister, 1973). Resolution of the conflictoccurs by the integration of the opposing aspects, which is broughtabout by the two sides listening to each other (Greenberg, 1983). Theresolution achieved is a new creation that transcends both sides of theconflict (Lamer, 1973). Pens (1970) termed this process centering,“the reconciliation of opposites so that they no longer waste energy inuseless struggle with each other, but can join in productivecombination and interplay” (p. 19). Korb, Gorrell and Van De Riet(1989) believe that “the most relevant and useful patterns to explorein therapy are those, such as topdog-underdog, that block the personfrom growing and that use energies to maintain neurotic structuresrather than for behaviors that are authentic, non-manipulative, andhealthy, as defined in Gestalt terms” (p. 120).Greenberg et at. (1993) believe that it is the conflict between theschemes that contain the societal standards (shoulds) and theorganismic feelings and needs that requires changing. They viewdysfunctional states occurring due to underlying schematic processingdifficulties “which arise from the content, structure and organization ofthe emotion schemes through which one processes information aboutthe self and the world. Specific types of processing difficulties can berelated to specific types of interference with or blocking off of moreadaptive emotional processing” (p. 186). They claim that incorporationof societal standards, attitudes, and ways of thinking and acting thatare not the organism’s own is a major method of interfering withadaptive functioning.13Greenberg (1979, 1980) discusses splits in depth. He defines asplit as a statement of conflict made by a client in a therapy session“...in which two parts of the self are presented as being in opposition ina lively or poignant manner, indicating that the person is experiencinga split in the moment” (p.143). The three types of splits identified areconflict, subject/object and attribution. The manner in which theclient presents the conflict determines the type of split. In a conflictsplit clients make such statements as “I want to go to go on a holidaybut I don’t think I should.” In a subject/object split the client is boththe subject and the object of the conflict, and makes statements suchas, “I drive myself crazy.” In an attribution split, clients attribute oneaspect of their own conflict to someone or something in theenvironment and believe he, she or it is in conflict with them; forexample, “I’d like to quit school but my parents won’t let me” and “Iwant a job but there are no jobs out there.”Description of The Gestalt two-chair techniqueThe two-chair technique is a therapeutic intervention in whichthe therapist guides the client in an encounter between the differentaspects of the intrapsychic conflict by asking him or her to expresseach position usually from different chairs; the client moves fromchair to chair as the conflict unfolds (Greenberg, 1979). Splits aregenerally recognized by verbal and non-verbal markers. Greenbergpoints out that recognizing splits is basically a perceptual skill ofprocess diagnosis that is important because it “captures an aspect ofthe client’s ongoing functioning that at thatmomentrequires and ishighly amenable to change” (p. 317).14There are five basic principles underlying two-chair work(Greenberg, 1979; 1980). Maintaining the contact boundaiyirivolvesestablishing a definite separation and contact of the two positions.Taking responsibility entails a client “owning” his or her experience ineach position, that is, being responsible for it. Attending requires thatthe therapist bring to a client’s awareness his/her experiences in themoment, both inside, such as sensations, and outside, such as clenchedfists. Heightening requires the therapist to increase a client’s affectivearousal by asking him/her to exaggerate and repeat behaviors, bothverbal and non-verbal. Expressing involves the acting out of each sideof the conflict, again verbally and non-verbally as opposed to justtalking about it.Greenberg et al. (1993) have identified and defined stages oftwo-chair work. First is the Predialogue stage in which the therapistengages the client in the task and structures the technique. In thisstage the therapist detects the split from the dialogue and non-verbalbehaviors and invites the client to participate in the two-chairtechnique. The Opposition stage involves identifying the two aspectsof the self, separating and creating contact between them, and thenpromoting each side in taking its position. The Identification andContact stage requires many operations of the therapist, promotingclient’s awareness of automatic self-criticisms and injunctions,increasing the specificity of those self-criticisms/injunctions,identifying core self-evaluations and injunctions, accessing underlyingfeelings in the experiencer, encouraging recognition and affirmation ofwants and needs of the experiencer, and increasing awareness of theperson’s own values and standards. The Integration stage involves15focusing the critic on his or her inner experience when softeningoccurs and facilitating negotiation or integration. The fmal stage, PostDialogue stage, involves the therapist and client creating a meaningfulperspective of the work that has been done.Research on the Gestalt Two-Chair TechniqueIn the past 15 years the Gestalt two-chair technique has beeninvestigated and compared to many affective and cognitive therapytechniques. One of the first studies was a task analytic study in whichthree single case studies found that the two-chair experiment had theeffect of greater conflict resolution and significantly greater depths ofexperiencing than empathic reflection (Greenberg 1976). This studyalso showed that resolution occurs by integration, with the softening ofthe harsh internal critic emerging as a key factor in resolvingintrapsychic splits (Greenberg, 1980). Bohart (1977) found that theGestalt role-playing technique proved to be more effective forreducing anger, behavioral aggression and hostile attitudes than eitheremotional discharge or intellectual analysis techniques.In an analogue study of facilitating resolution of personallymeaningful conflicts, Clarke (1977) and Greenberg and Clarke (1979)found that depth of experiencing and change in awareness weresignificantly greater with the two-chair technique than with empathicreflection although they found no difference in level of goalattainment. Higgins (1979) and Greenberg and Higgins (1980), inanother analogue study, compared the two-chair technique to afocusing technique and also found the two-chair more effective inresolving conflicts.16Dompierre (1980) and Greenberg and Dompierre (1981)extended the study to clients engaged in counselling at various urbanfacilities. It was found that depth of experiencing and shift inawareness were higher, conflict resolution immediately after thesession and in a one week follow-up was greater, and behavior changeafter a week and progress over a week were also significantly greaterfor the Gestalt two-chair treatment.Using the Gestalt two-chair technique, Webster (1981) comparedresolvers and non-resolvers of decisional conflict and found significantdifferences between them. In the study 31 clients completed a six-week program using the two-chair technique to work on intrapsychicconflict related to making a decision. Clients who showed signs of allof the following three components of a proposed model of conflictresolution were identified as resolvers: 1) the expression of criticismby one part of the personality, 2) the expression of feelings and wantsby the other part of the personality, and 3) the softening in attitude ofthe critical part. These aspects were measured with reference to voicequality, depth of experience and structural analysis of social behavior.Resolvers were significantly less undecided and less anxious attermination and follow-up than non-resolvers; their target complaintswere revised significantly in a positive manner at termination andfollow-up, and on a report of behavior change at follow-up. Allparticipants received six sessions of therapy. Over the resolutionsession, the session in which resolvers experienced a sense ofresolution of their conflict compared to the fifth session for non-resolvers, the resolvers revealed a significantly greater sense ofconflict resolution, less target complaint discomfort, a greater sense of17self acceptance, greater integration, and greater feelings of power. Themood changes lasted for resolvers during the week following theresolution session, and resolvers showed superior goal attainment andattitude change at both termination and follow-up.Using the two-chair technique, Greenberg (1983) tested aproposed three-stage sequential model of conflict resolution. Hecompared 14 resolvers with 14 non-resolvers and found the pattern ofresults with the resolvers matched the proposed three-phase model ofconflict resolution. The stages include Opposition, Merging andIntegration. The softening of the previously harsh critic clearlydistinguished resolvers from non-resolvers.Clarke (1981) and O’Grady (1986) explored the use of the two-chair technique in resolving intrapsychic conflict in regard to careerdecision-making. In an analogue study, Clarke found the Gestalt two-chair technique to be more effective than a cognitive-behavioralapproach or controls. O’Grady extended this study to clients andadded a bio-energetic component to one of the two-chair treatments.He found both treatments to be effective, and the two-chair plus bioenergetic component more effective than the two-chair alone.The foregoing experimental research has demonstrated that theGestalt two-chair technique is an effective technique for helpingpeople resolve intrapsychic conflicts. Greenberg (1979, 1983)developed the model of the two-chair technique around the conceptsof opposition and integration. He states, “There is an experience of twoparts of the self split into partial selves in opposition, rather than theexperience of a single integrated self in process” (1979, p. 317). Therole of the therapist is to facffitate integration of the opposing aspects18of self. The five principles guiding two-chair work, developed byGreenberg, are based upon the therapist’s ongoing assessment ofcontact or interruption-of-contact in client functioning and aredesigned to facilitate and increase a dient contact wkh self. Byrnes(1975) and Heligren (1983) found contact and interruption-of-contactto be valid factors of Gestalt personality therapy theory. Conflictresolution occurs as a result of clearing interruptions to contact andincreasing contact with self. The researcher agrees with Greenberg(personal communication, Dec. 10, 1992) that contact and interruption-of-contact are the underlying factors guiding two-chair work whileOpposition, Merging, and Integration are stages of the process. ConflictResolution (Independent Factor A) and Contact (Independent Factor B)are the two independent factors upon which the Q-sort wasconstructed.This study endeavored to determine whether or not there isempirical support for the three stage model of the two-chair techniqueand the theory underlying it It also is a study of the two-chairtechnique in a new area of decision-making. The intrapsychic conflictof whether or not to remain married is one for which many peoplefrequently seek therapeutic help. This study considered the two-chairtechnique in this area of decision-making.Theories of Marital StabilityIn the literature there are two major theories regarding thestability and instability of marital relationships: the social exchangetheory and the economic model (Price & McKendry, 1988). Bothmodels have a costs and rewards framework proposing that19individuals evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of theircurrent marriage and compare their fmdings with the advantages anddisadvantages of the available alternatives such as being single ormarrying someone else. Donovan and Jackson (1990) outline thetenets of social exchange theory. The theory focuses on humaninteraction and exchange between two to three individuals in which abroad range of commodities, resources or skills are exchanged. Anindividual attempts to maximize rewards and minimize costs in orderto achieve a profitable gain, and he or she compare these rewards andcosts with available alternatives. If costs are greater than anindividual’s personal comparison level, he/she becomes dissatisfiedwith the relationship and it deteriorates. Social exchange theoryclaims that when the relationship is rewarding there is anaccumulation of positive regard that enhances the relationship(Thibaut & Kelley, 1959). When the opposite is true, that is, the costsare greater than the rewards, then the relationship will develop moreslowly or gradually terminate. Lewis and Spanier (1979) claim it isreasonable to assume that the anticipation of future costs along withpast accumulation of costs and rewards, has an influence upon thequality and the continuance of the marriage. Social exchange theoryviews “the strength of the dyad as a direct function of the sum of theattractions to be in the marriage and barriers preventing dissolution ofthe marriage” and does not consider the strength of the dyad to implythat the relationship is satisfactory (Donovan & Jackson, 1990, p. 25).The economic model is very similar. It deals with the cost andbenefits of the current relationship compared to the costs and benefitsof alternatives to the relationship (Becker, 1981). The difference20between the cost and rewards determines the profit of therelationship and becomes the standard that the individual uses tocompare the relationship to the attractiveness of other availablealternatives. If the profit of the comparison is at or above their coststhen individuals will not consider divorce. According to Becker(1974), even if there is a cost deficit a marriage will continue ifindividuals can draw upon outside resources to enhance their lives.Outside resources include education, income, property, prestige,friends and autonomy (Scanzoni & Szinovacz, 1980). However, thegreater the benefits outside the marriage the higher the probabffityindividuals will leave unsatisfactory marriages as they believe theycan obtain higher rewards for less costs.Using social exchange theory Levinger (1965, 1979) put forwarda model explaining why individuals stay married or get divorced. Heclaims there are attractions (forces that draw an individual to therelationship), barriers (forces that prevent an individual fromterminating a relationship) and alternative attractions (forces thatcompete with the attractiveness of the relationship). Attractionsconsist of companionship, esteem for spouse, sexual pleasure, homeownership, level of education and similar social status. Barriersinclude religion, children, legal and economic barriers, family income,obligations to the marital bond, community stigma and familyinfluence. Circumstances that create an alternative to marriage consistof higher levels of education (especially for women), availabffity ofresources outside the marriage, increased opportunity foremployment, attractiveness of single life and an alternate source ofaffection.21Kaib (1983), Albrecht and Kunz (1980) and Levinger (1979) allstress that the probability that a marriage will dissolve is heavilyinfluenced by the attractiveness of the alternative. Kalb believes that“the key variable affecting the decision to divorce can best beunderstood through an exploration of the individual’s conception ofthe alternative (p. 354). Albrecht and Kunz state, “The decision todivorce will be made only after it is determined that the alternative tosustaining a marital relationship is either more rewarding or lesscostly than the decision to remain with the relationship” (p. 321).Levinger claims that “even if internal attractions are low and barriersoffer minimal restraint a relationship will not be terminated unless analternative seems more attractive” (p. 54). The one reason mostfrequently mentioned for the dissolution of marriages was “finding amate who seemed better to fit the man’s or woman’s needs and wants- an engaging alternative to the lackluster of one’s presentcircumstances” (Cuber & Harroff, 1966, p. 92).Donovan and Jackson (1990) criticize social exchange theory asfailing to “specifically include a variable which ‘tips the balance of thescales’ in favor of marital attractions and marital preservation” (p. 27).They view attachment as one of the rewards of the relationship. Theyput forward attachment theory and cognitive dissonance theory to beconsidered in guiding the decision to divorce.Attachment theory is “a way of conceptualizing the propensity ofhuman beings to make strong affectional bonds to particular othersand the many forms of distress and disturbance which includeanxieties, anger, and depression to which unwilling separation and lossgive rise” (Goldenson, 1984, p. 70 cited in Donovan & Jackson, 1990).22Attachment in marriage is different from an individual’s sense ofcommitment to his or her spouse or the degree of satisfaction with therelationship. It is a bond that forms as a function of time and closeassociation with each other, and appears to provide an importantsense of psychological security and personal identity (Donovan &Jackson, 1990). Commitment is a sense of pledging oneself to theother and of investing oneself emotionally in the marriage, whereasattachment “seems to be the symbolic bonds between two people thatemerge because of shared beliefs, values, meaning and identity”(Donovan & Jackson, p. 19). Thweatt (1980) discussed four phases ofdistress that occur when the attachment bonds are disrupted—denial,protest, despair and detachment. In spite of the fact that one or bothindividuals want out of the marriage, when they experience thisdistress they may latch onto each other, feeling very confused as theygo through the dissolution process (Donovan & Jackson). Attachmentcan be present even when commitment to the marriage and thespouse are greatly reduced (Donovan & Jackson).Cognitive dissonance theory maintains that individuals require aconsistency among behaviors, perceptions, feelings and cognitions.When this balance is upset an uncomfortable psychological state iscreated that causes the individual to change a belief, feeling, behavior,or perception in order to reestablish the balance (Donovan & Jackson,1990). Denial, a phase of distress when attachment bonds arethreatened, frequently occurs when commitment to a marriagelessens. This creates cognitive dissonance, which prevents correctionof the relationship difficulties. Even though a marriage may continuefor years in this state it usually leads to eventual dissolution (Donovan23& Jackson). This indicates that there are various stages of thedissolution process.Stages of divorceSalts (1985) describes divorce as “a process involving decisions,changes, and adjustments resulting from increased dissatisfaction withthe marital relationship” (p. 13). The divorce process has beendescribed by many writers as occurring in stages that individuals andcouples undergo (Bohannan, 1970; Brown, 1976; Duck, 1982; Everett& Volgy, 1983; Froiland & Hozeman, 1977; Herman, 1974; Kaslow,1981; Kessler, 1975; Kraus, 1979; Kressel & Deutsch, 1977; Weiss,1975; Wiseman, 1975). Theorists developed different models byfocusing on factors such as emotions of individuals, actions and tasksof individuals and couples, time sequencing and therapeuticimplications (Salts, 1985).Models vary from two to seven stages, with most consideringthree fundamental stages. Lyon, Silverman, Howe, Bishop andArmstrong (1985), Storm and Sprenkle (1982), Everett and Volgy(1983) and Salts (1985) outline three very similar stages of thedivorce process and give implications for therapy. Lyon et al. putforth these stages: the decision-making stage; the litigation andrestructuring stage; and the post-dissolution stage. Storm andSprenkle present the following stages: decision-making; restructuring;and recovery. Everett and Volgy’s (1991) model attempts to captureclinical aspects of the divorce process that therapists face: structuralde coupling, network coupling, and structural re coupling. They setout 14 steps in the divorce process, two of which deal with24ambivalence, Step 1: Heightened ambivalence, Step 8: Recurringambivalence. Salts also presents three stages: the pre-divorcedecision-making stage; the divorce restructuring stage; and the post-divorce recovery stage. Salts further divides the pre-divorce decision-making phase into early and late phases. In the early phase, spousesare considering other alternatives as well as divorce. During the latephase, divorce is being given much more consideration and is thelikely outcome.The first stage of the divorce process, the decision-making stage,is the stage that was most relevant to this study. It is a very stressfulperiod during which it is common for individuals to experiencesymptoms such as vacillation, feelings of uncertainty and hesitation, aswell as intense levels of guilt, shame and anxiety (Turner, 1985). Thegreater the anticipated loss the greater the level of stress (Turner,1985). It is during this stage that individuals are most likely to seektherapeutic help (Saks, 1985). Lyon et al. (1985) state that “the timejust before the decision to divorce is a major traumatic period” (p.262) and “the decision-making stage phase, then, is one characterizedby conflict, ambiguity, and emotional turmoil for both adults and theirchildren” (p. 263).Divorce decision-makingGiven the concepts expressed by social exchange, attachment,and cognitive dissonance theories the decision of whether or not toremain married is obviously a very complex one. Few researchershave addressed this specific area of decision-making, perhaps becauseit is complicated and difficult to study. One group, Janis and Mann25(1977), put forth their theory as one which is suitable for this area ofdecision-making; Turner (1985) and Donovan and Jackson (1990) useit to address the dynamics of this specific decision-making issue.Janis and Mann (1977), researchers in the area of decision-making, claim their theory “pertains directly to decisions concerningchoice of career, marriage and divorce, health-related activities,community welfare programs, management of small and large firms,governmental policies, and a variety of other kinds of significantchoice” (p. xv). They define decisional conflict as “simultaneousopposing tendencies within the individual to accept and reject a givencourse of action” (p. 48). They put forward five coping patterns, onlyone of which is constructive. The first is unconflicted inertia whichoccurs when individuals do not perceive a threat and so continue theircourse of action. The second is unconflicted change no threat isviewed to change so the individual changes to a new course of action.The third pattern, defensive avoidance, is a selective ignoring ofthreats and a continuation of current course of action. Hyper vigilanceis a pattern in which the individual is aware of the threats but doesn’tknow the best course of action and fears there is not enough time tofmd one. It is in this state that errors in judgment occur due in part tothe negative impact of a highly aroused emotional state on cognitivefunctioning. In the state of vigilance, individuals are aware of thethreats, are excited but not overly excited, believe they cansuccessfully get out of the situation and have time to find a way.Janis and Mann (1977) consider ambivalence about remainingmarried or divorcing to be a decision-making and a conflict resolutionprocess. During this process of problem solving the person usually26experiences considerable distress. A person’s appraisal of oneself inthe situation determines how one deals with the decision. Majordecisions create conflict and therefore the process is considered anemotional as well as rational one.Donovan and Jackson (1990) state that the decision to divorce isnot a single event but the culmination of many smaller decisions.They believe that “as a result of these incremental decisions, a personcan progressively commit him/herself to a particular course of actionof major significance in the absence of feeling like he/she has madeany definite decision” (p. 31). This strategy of decision-making istermed satisficing by Janis and Mann (1977) and involves following acourse of action that is just “good enough” in meeting a personalminimal set of requirements. This is in contrast to the strategy ofoptimizing, in which an individual considers all possible alternativesand factors in order to evaluate whether or not the final decision is thebest possible one. People get so overwhelmed with the many factorsto consider in the decision to remain married or to divorce that theysettle for the satisficing decision-making strategy, which is an easierinformation processing method.Turner (1985) outlines five major stages of making a sounddecision to divorce based upon Janis and Mann’s decision-makingtheory. The preliminary stage involves deciding to decide for oragainst separation or divorce. Once that step has been taken, the nextstage is concerned with surveying all the alternatives relating to one’spersonal goals and values. In the third stage, the advantages anddisadvantages of all the alternatives are considered. The fourth stageinvolves deliberating about the decision in anticipation of acting and27preparing for negative feedback from family and friends. The laststage is adhering to the decision in the face of negative feedback.As the decision to remain married or to separate is a verysignificant one, and one with which many people wrestle, it isimportant to investigate it. As well, it is important to find anappropriate methodology for the study of this decisional issue.Q-MethodologyAccording to Rinn (1961) Q-Methodology is comprised of severaldata-gathering and statistical operations, referred to as Q technique,along with the basic assumptions of ipsative investigation. Stephenson(1953) defines Q-methodology as “a set of statistical, philosophy-of-science, and psychological principles” designed for intensive study ofthe individual (p.1). It offers quantitative measurement andstatistical analysis of the data of the individual. Kerlinger (1972) findsit a flexible, sophisticated and powerful method that takes an ipsativequantitative approach to the study of phenomena. It provides “asystematic way to handle a person’s retrospections, his reflectionsabout himself and others, his introjections and projections, and muchelse of an apparent subjective nature” (Stephenson, 1953, p. 86).Kerlinger acknowledges that probably Stephenson’s most importantcontribution is the correlative notion of building theory into Q-Sortitems and structuring the Q-Sorts along Fisherian analysis of variancelines. The concept of building theory into a measuring instrument andthen testing that theory with systematically selected cases is,according to Kerlinger, an important development from a scientific andmeasurement point of view.28An example of finding support for theory using Q-Methodologyis Ailport, Vernon, and Lindzey’s (1951) Study of Values. Theseauthors used Spranger’s theory to develop items or descriptorsrepresenting the values of different life orientations, described inSpranger’s book, Types of Men, and built these into a one way analysisof variance design with six levels (theoretical, political, economic,aesthetic, social and religious). Descriptors, reflecting the discretevalues positions of each of these six sub-types described by Spranger,represented the six levels. The test of Spranger’s theory involved thesampling of individuals of known value orientations such as priests,bankers, musicians etc. to sort the items. The results, obtainedthrough analysis of variance, were an appraisal of the validity ofSpranger’s theory as well as the adequacy of the Q-Sort items inrepresenting the theory.The strength of Q-Methodology in capturing the psychology ofthe individual lies in its ipsative nature. Q-Methodology, rather thancapturing the variance of individuals across variables or test items, asis the case with the conventional normative or R approach, capturesthe variance of items or variables within individuals, usually withinforced choice distributions. Unlike R-Methodology, Q-Methodologydoes not require the assumption that all people possess a measuredcharacteristic to some degree and therefore must vary on anymeasured variable around some sample or population mean. With theusual forced-choice distribution of Q-Sorts, the scatter (Sd) andelevation (mean), as used in R-Methodology, are lost. However, theseare not of interest in the typical questions addressed via QMethodology. In R-Methodology the approach is an objective one in29which the items developed are assumed to be a valid measure ofwhatever traits, attitudes, etc., are targeted for study and they areassumed to be independent of each other. It is a method ofexpression; that is, subjects are measured from an external point ofview (McKeown & Thomas, 1988). The subject’s own point of view atissue is of little theoretical interest and technical significance. Thesubjects are randomly chosen (random sampling) with the focus onhow any subject deviates on a given item from the mean of all otherpersons on that item. In Q-Methodology the subjects are purposivelychosen (dimentional sampling). The approach is a subjective one inwhich the items are developed from the people experiencing thephenomenon under investigation. Because the subjects rank order theitems, the items are considered to be dependent upon each other. It isa method of impression; that is, subjects are measured from asubjective point of view. The subject’s own point of view at issue is ofgreat theoretical and technical interest. (McKeown & Thomas, p.23).Q-Methodology is somewhat controversial as it lies outside thetraditional realm of analysis techniques. Its major strength lies in itskinship with theory (Kerlinger, 1973). To create a structured sort, it isnecessary to explicate theory, and in order to build two variables intoa sort they must be related to each other in some way that makessense. “While often rudimentary, this is the essence of theory:variables related in logical and empirical fashion” (p. 594). Otherstrengths include its heuristic quality and its usefulness in exploratoryresearch (Kerlinger). One of the major drawbacks of Q-Methodology isthe inability to generalize to populations of individuals due to thesmall number of subjects that can be studied (Kerlinger). Another is30criticism is on statistical grounds that the assumption of independenceis violated. Kerlinger acknowledges that the independence assumptionis somewhat vitiated but he doubts much is risked in the Qstatisticalsituation if a fairly large number of items is used. Stephenson (1963)argues that “the operations in Q-sorting are by definition primarilymeasurements of understandings or apperceptions, and not primarilyany superimposed ‘effects’ of factorial designs” (p. 271). He claimsthat a properly performed Q-sort is psychological-situational andwhether items are independent or not is an empirical matter, not oneof prior definition. He states “independency is as it happens, not as itis by logic” (p. 272).The Q-sort is a refined method of comparative ranldng. Anindividual ranks, comparatively, statements or descriptionsrepresentative of an object, concept or experience according to someself-referent criterion. Statistical analysis of an individual’s responsesis intended to identify the sources of variance in the sorting, that is,the variance due to error and the variance due to the factors implicitin the theory. It also can indicate whether a theoretically proposedunderlying factor structure exists for the phenomenon underinvestigation (Kerlinger, 1972, 1973). These factor structuresrepresent the subjective meanings of the psychological event orphenomenon under investigation (Stephenson, 1985). These specificcharacteristics of the Q-sort make it the appropriate measure for thisinvestigation of the three-stage model of the Gestalt two-chairtechnique, as it provides a systematic way to handle the subjectivedata obtained.31Several studies confirm the reliability of results produced by Qsorts. Frank (1956) reported test re-test correlations between .93 and.97. Kahle and Lee (1974) found reliabilities over .95. Kerlinger(1973) reported a correlation of .81 over an 11-month period, whileFairweather (1981) reported test-re-test reliability coefficients of .90or higher for one to two-year intervals.There are two studies using Q-methodology that relate to thisproject. Byrnes (1975) examined Gestalt therapy personality theoryusing Q-methodology, focusing on the explanation of psychologicalhealth and psychological disturbance, using the variables of Contactand Interruption-of-contact. A structured Q-sort was built, usingitems related to Contact and Interruption-of-contact, and thenadministered to psychologically healthy and psychologically disturbedsubjects. Using the same Q-Sort, the study was both extensive, testingacross subjects (30 university students), and intensive, testing withinsubjects (four university students). The study found the construct ofContact related to psychological health and the construct ofInterruption-of-contact related to disturbance of psychological health,giving support for Gestalt therapy personality theory.In another study using Q-methodology, Ladd (1992) investigatedthe pattern of experience in a career transition. Jams and Mann’s(1977) decision-making theory is one of several theories of decision-making Ladd tested. The study, using an unstructured Q-sort andconsisting of ten single cases, found individual accounts of how aperson arrived at a decision during the transition period did not matchthe sequential appraisal process described in Janis and Mann’s modelof decision-making. Findings supported Janis and Mann’s position that32major policy decisions are made during significant conflict anduncertainty but did not support their idea that the guiding purpose ofthe process is to calm the turmoil that the person experiences whenfaced with a major decision. Ladd found the struggle with making ornot making a change reflects a deeper concern, one of searching formeaning in one’s life. His fmdings are consistent with Cochran’s(1987) idea that career decisions relate to a concern with how best tolive one’s life.Case Study ResearchThe case study, an important part of Q-Methodology, is animportant research strategy for investigating an empirical topic (Yin,1989). It is an idiographic approach in which the intensive study ofindividual cases produces a detailed description and analysis of anaturally occurring real-world phenomenon or related set of events(Bromley, 1986). It is an accepted method of scientific inquiry(Bromley, 1986; Campbell, 1979, 1989; Yin, 1989). Yin (1989) states“case studies, like experiments, are generalizable to theoreticalpropositions and not to populations or universes. In this sense, thecase study, like the experiment, does not represent a ‘sample’, and theinvestigator’s goal is to expand and generalize theories (analyticgeneralization) and not to enumerate frequencies (statisticalgeneralization)” (p. 21). Thus the case study method is appropriate forthe investigation of theory.Multiple case studies have an advantage in that they areconsidered to add to the robustness of a research project (Yin, 1989).Replication logic provides the rationale for the use of multiple case33studies. If similar results are obtained from several cases, replicationis said to have taken place. Yin states “each case must be carefullyselected so that it either (a) produces predictable results (a literalreplication) or (b) produces contrary results but for predictablereasons (a theoretical replication)” (p. 53). Essential to replicationprocedures is the development of an in-depth, theoretical frameworkthat stipulates “the conditions under which a particular phenomenon islikely to be found (a literal replication) as well as the condition whenit is not likely to be found (a theoretical replication)” (p. 54). If literaland theoretical replications are obtained, then the theoreticalframework is supported and becomes even stronger for generalizing tonew cases. If not, then the theory needs to be modified (Yin, 1989).This study used replication logic in a Q- Methodologyinvestigation of the theory underlying the three stage model of thetwo-chair technique. The theory relates the factors of ConflictResolution and the Gestalt concept of Contact interactively. It statesthat individuals who are unresolved are experiencing Interruption-of-contact. As they become more in contact with themselves throughtherapy, becoming aware of their beliefs, feelings, and actions, theyare able to reach resolution. Specifically, theoretical frameworkpredicted that individuals, conflicted about whether or not to remainmarried, who successfully resolved their decision would go through allthree stages of the model reaching resolution with integration ofopposing aspects of self; those individuals who did not pass throughstages 2 and 3 would remain conflicted or they would resolve withoutintegration- a forced resolution. The eight cases involved in thisstudy were chosen with the prediction that resolution would be34achieved. However, given the importance and complexity of thisparticular decision plus the relatively brief number of sessions, fewcases were expected to reached resolution as a result of passingthrough all three stages. Cases that achieved resolution withintegration were literal replications and cases in which individualsremained conflicted or reached a forced resolution were theoreticalreplications.SummaryThis chapter has drawn on the literature from the areas ofGestalt two-chair work, divorce decision-making and Q-Methodology.The material covered developed an argument for the researchquestion addressed by this study: can the theory underlying theGestalt two-chair technique be supported empirically? The followingchapter sets out specifically the design of the study and themethodology used to investigate the theory of the two-chair techniquein the area of divorce decision-making.35CHAPTER IIIMETHODOLOGYThis chapter presents the research design and procedures used inthis study. It sets out Q-methodology and the development of the Qsort. It shows how the two major factors underlying the two-chairtechnique, Conflict Resolution and the Gestalt concept of Contact, relateto the three stage model of the two-chair technique. The phenomenonunder investigation was the decision-making process for the specificdecision of whether or not to remain married.Research DesignThe design chosen was a replicated single case-study using Qtechnique. It was an experimental design that included a Q-Sort basedupon the dependent and independent variables. The independentvariables, obtained by logical analysis, were Conflict Resolution andthe Gestalt concept of Contact. The dependent variables, obtained byscoring the rank ordered responses of the individuals, were the Qvariates. The technique included the formulation of a researchhypothesis based upon theory to be tested. The design called for ananalysis of variance to analyze the rank ordered responses and wasintended to allow for an intensive study of the individual. Repeatedmeasures was not used as it requires random sampling in order thatthe observations or scores are independent across subjects. In thisstudy the scores were all obtained from one participant, each sortacting as a separate experiment.36ProceduresThe study proceeded as follows (see Figure 2):1. A Q-sort was developed from the three stage model of the two-chair technique according to the following steps.a) Two factors were identified, Contact and Conflict Resolution.For research purposes each factor was divided into two levels.Conflict Resolution was divided into unresolved and resolved.Contact was divided into in con tact and interruption-of-contact.These factors were combined to form a two-by-two factorial grid(see Figure 2).b) Between 80-90 items were designed by the researcher,approximately 20 items per cell. Each item was composed of twoparts: one level of Conflict Resolution and one level of Contact,creating a single statement that integrates the two factors. Thiswas done for each of the four cells. For example, in Cell 1,consider item #16 I feel like running away. This item consists of level1 of Conflict Resolution as individuals who feel like runningwhen faced with a decision are not resolved. It also consists oflevel 1 of the Gestalt concept of Contact in that individuals whofeel like running away when struggling with a difficult decisionrather than face it are experiencing interruption-of-contact.Thus, this one statement represents level 1 of both factors. Foranother example, in Cell 3, consider item #53 I’ll stay for the children’ssake. “I’ll stay” consists of level 2 (Resolved) of the independentfactor, Conflict Resolution, It is combined with “for the children’ssake.” which represents a decision not from an integrated sense of37self but from a conflicted sense of self. It represents level 1(Interruption-of-contact) of the independent factor, Contact.c) The Q-Sort was sent to three experts for validation that it wasrepresentative of the model developed and that each item fellinto only the cell for which it was targeted. Specifically theywere asked to validate that 1) the items represent the processanalysis of the two chair technique as put forth in the literatureand 2) that each item fits into the cell designated and not intoany of the other cells. The three experts were L. S. Greenberg,Ph.D., R. Elliott, Ph.D. and K. Clarke, Ph.D. L. S. Greenberg isProfessor in the Department of Psychology and Director of thePsychotherapy Research Center at York University, Ontario. Hehas been responsible for in-depth study of the Gestalt two-chairtechnique, writing many articles on the research findings ofhimself and his associates (see references). R. Effiott is Professorof Psychology and Director of Clinical Training at the Universityof Toledo in Ohio, where he also practices, teaches andsupervises experiential psychotherapy. He has co-authoredFacilitating emotional change. (1993) with L. S. Greenberg and L.Rice on the two-chair technique. K. Clarke is on staff at theWeston School of Theology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Hermaster’s thesis and doctoral dissertation (1981) were studies ofthe Gestalt two-chair technique.d) The experts returned the Q-Sort with a few suggested changesand items were deleted, added and revised based uponrecommendations of the experts. For example, the phrase “I feelstuck” is a statement of experience frequently used by people38who are unable to decided upon a course of action. However, itwas dropped because it could fit in to cells 1, 2, and 3. When therevised Q-Sort was returned to the same experts for furtherconsideration, they all agreed that it met the requirements.e) The researcher’s committee then requested that a furthercheck be done to ensure the items fit only into the cells forI Develop Q-sort and validate by experts I‘I,I Therapists, trained in Gestalt therapy, validate items in ceilsi.1r Train therapists in two-chair technique I.1..I Selection of participants I.1-I Randomly assign participants to therapists1IParticipants perform Q-sortjTreatment—two-chair technlgue—6 sessions I.1.IParticipants perform Q-sortl[Analyze of variance and development of probesi1I Conducting Elaboration interviewlI Relate results to theory IFigure 2. Procedures for this study.39which they were targeted. Three therapists, trained in Gestalttherapy, were recruited to verify that the items went into thecell to which they were targeted. Each item was put on aseparate card. The researcher met with the therapistsindividually, explained the requirements of items to fit in eachcell and directed the therapists to sort the items into the cellswhich they thought appropriate or discard any item which theythought did not fit into any of the four cells. The therapistsagreed upon most items. Items which the therapists could notagree upon were dropped while others were revised. Then theresearcher met with an additional four therapists, again on anindividual basis. These therapists agreed unanimously that theitems fit into the cells for which they were targeted.2. The researcher recruited four therapists and gave themadditional training in the two-chair technique. They had alreadyreceived training in two-chair technique in the Gestalt trainingprogram.3. Participants were identified through an informal networkof contacts and referrals. The researcher talked to therapists in thefield about her study, gave them information regarding the study (seeAppendix A) and asked them to refer appropriate people to theproject. Participants were identified as suitable for the study throughdiscussion with their therapists and that they met the criteriaestablished for the study (see p. 41).4. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the fourtherapists.405. All participants received the Q-sort before therapy.Participants were asked to sort the cards according to most/least likewhat characterizes their thoughts and feelings about remainingmarried or separating at that time.6. All participants had six treatment sessions. This numberof sessions was chosen because the researcher believed it was possibleto achieve resolution within this time frame and to make the studymanageable.7. Participants performed the Q-sort following the last sessionof treatment. Participants were asked to sort the cards according tomost/least like what characterizes their thoughts and feelings aboutremaining married or separating now.8. Analysis of variance was used to analyze the Q-sort dataand probes were developed for the elaboration interview. Theanalysis tested whether the participants characterized their feelingsabout the conflict both before and after therapy, in terms of thetheory underlying the three stage model of two-chair work.9. One week after the final session the researcher met witheach subject for an elaboration interview. The elaboration interviewsought first to clarify and validate the comparative rankings of theparticipants through the Q-sort and also to elaborate the resultstoward matching practice with theory.Study ParticipantsEight participants were recruited through a referral network ofpersonal contacts. The number of participants was limited to eight forpractical reasons; eight cases were considered manageable for this41study and each of the therapists had agreed to provide therapy fortwo case studies.Participants were recruited through therapists in a large urbanarea of western Canada. They were recruited from therapists so thatat the conclusion of the study they would have therapists to whom toreturn if they wished to do so.All participants had sought therapy to deal with thephenomenon being investigated by this study - ambivalence aboutremaining married. A normal context of therapy would include peoplewith various exposure to therapy. The intent was to investigatewhether or not support could be found for the theory in as normal acontext as possible.Participants were offered six sessions of free therapy specificallydesigned to facilitate their decision-making. They were selectedaccording to the following criteria: 1) they were married adults whovolunteered for a therapy research project; 2) they were experiencingthe phenomenon being investigated; that is, they were in conflictabout whether or not to remain married; and 3) they wanted aresolution to their dilemma.TherapistsRecruitment and SelectionBergin and Lambert (1982) maintain results of therapy beinghelpful are due to the use of experienced therapists in studies (p. 180).Accordingly four experienced therapists were recruited, three femalesand one male. They volunteered to participate in the project. Theyreceived training and supervision from the researcher in lieu of42remuneration. All therapists had completed a three-year part timetraining program in Gestalt therapy from a local training institute. Allwere in private practice either full or part time. Their experienceranged 3 to 20 years. One of the therapists had a Master’s degree inCounselling Psychology and was enrolled in the doctoral program inCounseffing Psychology at a local university, one had a Master’s degreein Social Work and two had diplomas in Counselling Psychology.Training and SupervisionTherapists were trained in the use of the two-chair technique bythe researcher. This training was an extension of the training theyhad previously received at a training institute. The training sessionsconsisted of two weekends of two 8-hour days each, for a total of 32hours. The training material covered the following: introducing theparticipants to the two-chair technique; the three stages of the two-chair technique (Opposition, Merging, Integration); identification ofand working with the three types of splits (conflict, subject/object, andattribution; and the five principles of two-chair work (maintaining thecontact boundary, taking responsibility, attending, heightening, andexpressing).All sessions were video-taped and the researcher reviewed allsessions to confirm adherence to the principles and practice of thetwo-chair technique. The researcher supervised the therapy as itproceeded, meeting with all therapists every two weeks. Supervisionconsisted of the researcher choosing relevant portions of video tapedsessions from the project, viewing them with the therapists and43Conflict Resolution (A)Unresolved (Ar) Resolved (A2)CELL 1 A2B1 CBLL3Stage 1 Stage 1..e Opposition (P) Opposition (0)b.d.—. AiB CELL 2 A2B2 CELL 4Stage 2Stage 1 Merging (B)-,Opposition (Y)Stage 3° Integration (V)c?—Figure 3. Levels of Conflict Resolution (A) and Contact (B) showing the stagesof two-chair technique.(P) Pink Stage 1. Opposition A1B1 Unresolved with interruption-of-contact.(Y) Yellow Stage 1. Opposition A1B2 Unresolved with contact.(0) Orange Stage 1. Opposition A2B 1 Resolved with interruption-of-contact.(B) Blue Stage 2. Merging A2B2 Resolved with contact.(V) Violet Stage 3. Integration A2B2 Resolved with contact.discussing the material with them.Q-Methodology0-SortThere are two kinds of Q-sorts, structured and unstructured.Unstructured Q-sorts are sets of items assembled without specific regardto the variables or factors underlying the items while structured Q-sortshave factors identified by theory built into the items (Kerlinger, 1973).The Q-sort for this study was structured. It consisted of a set of itemsthat was a representative sample of the theory underlying the three44stage model of the Gestalt two-chair technique, related to thephenomenon to be investigated, and organized according to topics(independent factors) drawn from the theory. The items consisted ofcharacterizations of conflict in the decision-making process of whether ornot to remain married; the characterizations were applicable beforetreatment and following treatment. Each participant was asked, beforeand after therapy, to sort the items according to how well the descriptionon each card matched his or her current experiences of the decision toremain married or to separate.Separating was considered a step in the divorcing process. Oncepeople separate they may go through the decision-making process againregarding whether or not to remain married. They may reconcile ratherthan go on to divorce. Many people separate and reconcile several timesbefore they finally go on to divorce. For this reason the participants wereasked about their experiences of the decision to remain married or toseparate rather than remain married or divorce.0-sort ItemsThe Q-sort developed for this study was composed of arepresentative sample of descriptive phrases, positive and negativecharacterizations, about the conflict involved in whether or not toremain married. They were written in everyday language soparticipants were able to readily understand them.Kerlinger (1973) recommends the Q-sort consist of between 60and 90 items for adequate reliability and ease of handling byparticipants.45Relevant statements from the literature on Gestalt two-chairtheory were written in the form of brief statements forming the itemsfor the Q-sort. Each item was expressed in the present tense and inthe active voice as well as in everyday language that is easilyunderstood by the participants. The final total was 85 items.Two factors are considered, Conflict Resolution (A) and theGestalt concept of Contact (B). (see Figure 1.):There are two levels of each factorConflict Resolution (A) 1) unresolved2) resolved1) interruption-of-contact2) in contactStage 1 Stage 2IMerg in gFigure 1. Stages of two-chair technique showing relationship with factors ofConflict Resolution and Contact and the number of Q-Sort items percell.Contact (B))PinkUnresolvedYellowStage 3UnresolvedBlueInterruptionof ContactOrangeResolvedInterruptionof ContactItems 19In ContactResohedIn Contact21 8 =2446According to the theory of the two-chair technique these twofactors interact with each other. The more interruption-of-contactindividuals experience the more difficult decision-making is. They arelikely to remain unresolved. Items relating to the joint influence ofthe factors A1B1 (unresolved and interruption-of-contact) are in Cell1. As therapy progresses individuals come more into contact withtheir feelings, beliefs and actions and take responsibility for them.Before individuals can resolve their decision from an integratedposition they need to become aware of each side of their conflict. Thisrelates to the principle of separation and contact in the three stagemodel of the two-chair technique. Although they are stifi unresolvedat this point this is a precursor to a decision that stems from anintegrated position. Items relating to the joint influence of the factorsA1B2 (unresolved and in contact) are in Cell 2. A decision that ismade without going through the Merging stage is a decision madewithout an integration of individuals’ standards and values with theirwants and needs. They remain in the Opposition stage. Itemsrelating to the joint influence of the factors A2B1 (resolved andinterruption-of-contact) are in Cell 3 of Figure 2. As individuals comefully into contact with self they are likely to experience full expressionof their experiencing selves as their critics soften, enabling them tointegrate their standards and values with their wants and needs.They experience a new sense of self. Items relating to the jointinfluence of the factors A2B2 (resolved and in contact) are in Cell 4.There are approximately 20 items in each cell: 19, 21, 21 and 24items in Cells 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. Items that reflect theOpposition stage of the theory are in Cells 1, 2 and 3 (61 items).47Aspects of the self are in conflict; the individual has not reconciledstandards and values with wants and needs. Items that reflect theMerging (8 items) and Integration stages (16 items) of the model arein Cell 4. Aspects of the self have been reconciled; the critic hassoftened into compassion or fear for the experiencing self and theexperiencing self has expressed itself clearly and directly to the critic.As the theory of the model is built into the items, it is possible topredict how individuals will sort. Since all individuals were undecidedand seeking resolution upon entry into this project it was predictedthey were experiencing opposition within themselves. Therefore, theywould choose items mostly from the stage of Opposition, Cells 1, 2, and3, to describe what they were like. They would either not relate toitems from Cell 4 containing the items reflecting stages 2 (Merging)and 3 (Integration) and leave them in the neutral category or wouldchoose them to describe what they were not like. Because they wereunresolved they would choose items from Cell 3 and 4 to describewhat they were not like or they would not relate to these items andwould leave them in the neutral category.After therapy, those individuals who came to a decision basedupon their critics softening and integration would sort differently thanthey did initially. They would choose mostly items from Cell 4 todescribe what they were like and items from the stage of Opposition,Cells 1, 2, and 3, would be chosen to describe what they are not like orthey would be left in the neutral category. Individuals who were stillunresolved but were more in contact with themselves would choosefewer items from Cells 1 and 3 to describe themselves and more items48from Cells 2 and 4. Some items from Cell 4 might still be chosen todescribe what they are not like.Individuals who resolved without going through the Mergingand Integration stages would remain in the Opposition stage eventhough they were resolved. They would feel more conflicted aftertherapy as the conflict between the opposed aspects of self wasexacerbated by therapy but not resolved. As well, they wouldexperience disappointment and loss of hope as a result of the therapynot having been successful.Relationship between the theory and 0-sort items (See Figure 1)Opposition stage: Cells 1. 2 and 3.This stage is characterized by a relationship of oppositionbetween the two parts in conflict. “One aspect of the personality,labeled as the ‘other chair’ is critical, hostile, intimidating orthreatening toward the part, labeled the ‘experiencing chair’ that isinitially rebellious, passively compliant, helpless or avoiding”(Greenberg, 1983, p. 191).Cell 1 (AlB 1): Unresolved and In terrupLion -of-con tact. This cellcontains items that describe experiences of people who are unresolvedabout their conflict. They are in the beginning of the opposition phaseand do not have a clear sense of the opposing forces withinthemselves. They have difficulty taking responsibility for most oftheir beliefs, feelings and actions because they block or interruptawareness of themselves. These items represent the experiences ofsubjects who are experiencing confluence.49• Opposition between two parts of the conflict is not the focus of client’sattention.• Two sides of the conflict are not clearly delineated.• Client is more invested in one side of the conflict.Source: Greenberg (1979, 1983); Greenberg & Webster (1982); Greenberg, Elliott &Rice- degree of resolution scale (1993) (see Appendix C)11 I’m just not happy.12 I feel like something is wrong with me.13 I’m terrified.14 Sometimes I feel suicidal.15 I feel out of control.16 I feel like running away.17 I feel like a failure.18 I’m torn.19 I’m afraid.Number of items: 19Cell 2 (A1B2): Unresolved and in Contact. This cell containsitems that describe experiences of people who are still unresolved, arestill in the opposition phase, but now have clear awareness of bothsides of their conflict. They take responsibility for the beliefs, feelingsand behaviors of each side of the conflict. They are aware that oneside has become very critical and that the other side responds andreacts to the criticism. They have become aware of deeper underlyingfeelings but have not yet accessed new feelings. They are aware ofwhat they do to themselves and how they do it. The critic has notsoftened. Neither side has developed a new perception of the other.1 I don’t know what to do.2 I’m confused.3 I’m frustrated.4 I constantly question myself.5 I don’t know what I feel anymore.6 I don’t like the person I’ve become.7 I feel like life is passing me by.8 I feel anxious a lot of the time.9 I feel discouraged.10 I’m depressed.50The two sides of the split become clearly 20 I see clearly both sides of my struggle.delineated. 211 am struggling hard to resolve myClient experiences struggle. impasse.Sources: Greenberg (1979);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice, (1993):degree of resolution scale;Greenberg & Webster (1982).The critic embodies the standards and 22 What I want conflicts with what I thinkvalues of the individual and conflicts I should do.with hislher wants and needs.Source: Greenberg (1983).One side of the self (critic) becomes 23 I’m really hard on myself.harsh and critical to the other sideof the self (experiencing self).Sources: Greenberg (1983);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993):degree of resolution scale.Client experiences expectations. 24 I expect/demand a lot of myself.Source: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice 25 I feel pressure to honor my wedding(1993): degree of resolution scale, vows.The critical aspect of the self embodies 26 I should be better/different than I am.the standards and values of the self. 27 I should count my blessings, others areSource: Webster (1982). worse off.The experiencing self embodies the 28 I want a better relationship.wants and needs of the self. 29 I want a better life for myself.Client experiences striving. 30 I want a better life for my children.Source: Greenberg (1979). 311 want to be free.51One side becomes the part of the selfthat fundamentally is and experiencesbeing done to by the critical side.Sources: Greenberg- (1983);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993):degree of resolution scale.One side is unaccepting of the other.Source: Greenberg (1979).One side is coercive toward the other.Source: Greenberg (1979).Client takes responsibility for bothsides of conflict and become awareof how he/she prevent him/herself.Source: Greenberg (1979).32 I intimidate myself.33 I discount myself.34 I’m my own worst enemy.35 I feel stifled by my standards and values.36 I can’t accept myself as I am.37 I feel guilty if I do what I want.38 I pressure myself to do what I think Ishould do.39 I undermine the actions I do take toresolve my dilemma.40 I hold myself back from taking action toresolve my decision.Number of items: 21Cell 3 (A2B1): Resolved without integration (a forced resolution).These items reflect the experiences of subjects after they haveexplored their conflict thoroughly but have not achieved a shift orchange in the underlying dynamics of the conflict. They feel eitherforced to make a decision or resigned to a decision. They remain inthe Opposition stage without shifting into the Merging or Integrationstage.52Client experiences frustration and lackof progress.Sources: Inferred from Greenberg (1983);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice, (1993):degree of resolution scale;Greenberg & Webster (1982).Client may express increased criticismof self.Sources: Inferred from Greenberg (1983);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice, (1993):degree of resolution scale;Greenberg & Webster (1982).Client expresses deep discouragement.Client expresses deep resignation.Sources: Inferred from Greenberg (1983);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice, (1993):degree of resolution scale;Greenberg & Webster (1982).Client cannot see how various needs anddesires can be accommodatedSources: Inferred from Greenberg (1983);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice, (1993):degree of resolution scale;Greenberg & Webster (1982).Client continues to feel conflicted,perhaps in a worse way such asmore divided within self.Sources: Inferred from Greenberg (1983);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice, (1993):degree of resolution scaleGreenberg & Webster (1982)41 I’m so fed up with going round in circlesthat I’ve decided to stayfleave.42 I’m too screwed up to ever sort this out.43 I’ve decided to give up trying to getwhat I want.44 I feel utterly hopeless that I can changemy situation.45 I’ll never be able to get what I want andneed so I’ll just accept my situation theway it is.46 I’ve resolved to remain unresolved.53Client experiences a sense of blockingand lack of contact and openness to theself as it most fundamentally is.Sources: Inferred from Greenberg (1983);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice, (1993):degree of resolution scale;Greenberg & Webster (1982).Client feels resigned or forced tomake a decision.Sources: Inferred from Greenberg (1983);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice, (1993):degree of resolution scale;Greenberg & Webster (1982).47 I’ve decided to settle for what I’ve got.48 I have decided that I have no choice.49 I’ve decided to sacrifice myself to mymarriage.50 I’ve decided that it’s ‘better the devil Iknow than the devil I don’t know’.51 I’ll continue as I am because I’m too afraidto make a change.52 I’ll maintain the status quo because I don’tknow what else to do.53 I’ll stay because I’m too afraid to be alone.54 I’ll stay for the children’s sake.55 I’ll stay, with the hope that my spousewill change.56 The price I’ll pay is too high if Ileave/stay.57 Financially I can’t afford to leave/stay.58 I can’t face starting over.59 I’ll stay because I’ll feel too guilty if Ileave.60 I’m not sure I’ll find another partner so I’llstay.61 I’ve decided to lead a separate life withinthe marriage.Number of items: 2154Cell 4 (A2B2): Resolved with Contact - integration.The items in this cell reflect both the Merging and Integration stagesof the conflict. They reflect experiences that occur in order forresolution to occur. Key experiences are:• The critic softens. Sources: Greenberg (1979); Greenberg (1983);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice, 1993, degree of resolution scale; Greenberg& Webster (1982).• The experiencing self expresses its feelings and then its wants in aclear direct congruent manner. Source: Greenberg & Webster (1982).• Each side has a new perception of the other. Source: Greenberg &Rice (1982).• A new feeling is arrived at. Source: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993)- degree of resolution scale.Merging stage: Cell 4.This stage is characterized by a softening of the critical part ofthe self, which appears to shift from a blaming and lecturing stance toone of introspection. The two sides move toward affiliation bychanging the manner in which they relate to each other, shifting fromopposition to acceptance. The experiences of this stage involve deeper,more intense feeling (Greenberg, 1983). The Merging stage occurswithin the context of the Opposition and Integration stages andrequired fewer items to accurately represent it than either of theother stages.55Client’s underlying feelings in response to 62 My deeper feelings are clear to me.criticism emerge. 63 I realize my self criticisms are based onSource: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice, (1993): my fears.degree of resolution scale.Critic softens — for the first time client 64 I’m not as bad as I thought I was.experiences greater considerations for 65 I can ease up on myself.expressed feelings and needs. 66 What I want and need is worth fightingSources: Greenberg (1983); for.Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice, (1993): 67 What I feel is important.degree of resolution scale;Greenberg & Webster (1982).Critic softens into compassion or 68 I feel veiy tender toward myself.fear for the self. 69 I’m more afraid than condemning ofSource: Greenberg (1983). myself.Number of items: 8Integration stage: Cell 4.This stage is characterized by negotiation or integration takingplace between the sides of the conflict, when they mutually listen,understand and accept each other, to form a resolution in whichopposing aspects of the conflict are reconciled (Greenberg, 1983).Pens (1970) states “the reconcffiation of opposites so that they nolonger waste energy in useless struggle with each other but can join inproductive combination and interplay” [cited in Greenberg (1979].Critic expresses concern for exp. self. 70 I feel very protective toward myself.Source: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993): 71 I’ve decided to take care of myself.degree of resolution scale.56Critic expresses respect for exp. self. 72 I am worthy.Source: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993):degree of resolution scale.Client expresses wants or needs associated 73 I have wants and needs that stem from awith newly experienced sense of self, new sense of myself.Source: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993):degree of resolution scale.Client recognizes and accepts self as a 74 I am trustworthy.trustworthy and responsible person. 75 I am responsible.Source: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993):degree of resolution scale.Client recognizes self as responsible 76 I can make a difference in my life.agent for self determination.Source: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993):degree of resolution scale;Greenberg & Webster. (1979)Client expresses: a caring type of self- 77 I value myself.embracement, orSource: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993):degree of resolution scale.expresses a comforting type 78 T believe that whatever I do I’m going toof self-embracement. be OK.Client describes a clearer stronger sense 79 It’s OK for me to do what is right forof self and freedom to be. me.Source: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993):degree of resolution scale.57Client expresses clear understanding of 80 I can reconcile the differences withinhow various needs and desires may be myself.accommodated with standards and values.Client expresses clear understanding ofhow previously antagonistic sides ofthe self may be reconciled in a workingrelationship.80 continued.Discourse may involved some negotiationbetween aspects of the self. [This item also shows recognition of selfSource: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993): as responsible agent for selfdegree of resolution scale, determination]The subject reaches a decision which is 81 I’m clear on what I am going to do.a result of the integration of his/herstandards and values with his/herwants and needs.Source: Greenberg & Webster (1982)The subject experiences a sense of 82 I feel at peace with myself.inner harmony and self as a singleintegrated self in process.Source: Greenberg (1979);Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993):degree of resolution scale.Client feels new feelings and sensations 83 I feel relief.as a result of having resolved decision. 84 I have new feelings and sensations.Source: Greenberg, Elliott, & Rice (1993):degree of resolution scale.Client experiences changes in perception 85 I see things differently.and specific shifts. Number of items: 24Source: Greenberg & Rice (1981, p. 34).58Items — Opposition stage 61Items — Merging stage 8Items — Integration stage 16Total 850-sortingEach Q-sort item was typed on a small card the size of a businesscard. Each participant sorted the cards according to the followingdirections:1. Sort these items according to how you feel about remainingmarried or separating now.2. Put the items that aremost like you on the left-hand side.Put the two items most like you in the outside column. Putthe three items next most like you in the next column. Do therest of the items the same way according to how many itemsare required for each column.3. Put the items that are not like you on the right hand side.Put the two items that are least like you, or not at all like you,in the outside column. Put the next three least like you in thenext column, etc.4. Put any items that mean nothing to you or are just notrelevant to your situation in the middle column.5. At any time you can change an item from one column toanother as long as there are the required number of items ineach column.59Analysis of the 0-sortsEach Q-sort item was scored according to the column in which itwas placed. The Q-sort was administered as follows:Question: How do you feel about remaining married or separatingnow?Directions: Sort these cards according to how you feel aboutremaining married or separating now.Evaluative CriteriaMost Neutral Leastlike me like me1_____________— —Frequency: 2 3 5 8 10 29 10 8 5 3 2Q-Score: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0Each participant performed the Q-sort twice: before and aftertreatment. Each sorting provided a score for each item. Items sortedinto the category of ‘Most like me’ obtained the highest scores whileitems sorted into the category of ‘Least like me’ obtained the lowestscores. Using analysis of variance, pre-treatment sorts were comparedwith post-treatment sorts for each participant. The Q-scores for eachkern were entered into the appropriate cell of the structured sampledesign (2X2 factorial design), before analysis (see Figure 3, p. 43).Participants’ Q-sort data were analyzed by means of a 2X2 factorialANOVA design with fixed effects. The scores on the dependent60variable in the design were the Q-scores obtained for items in thestructured sample design.The significance level was set at a <.10. A lower requirement ofstatistical significance was considered because this study was aninvestigation of theory therefore a higher risk level of committing aType I error could be tolerated. Kerlinger (1973) claims that if thereis a fairly large number of items in a Q-sort, in most cases, the F ratiosare so high they leave little doubt as to statistical significance (p.595).The current study used a Q-sort with 85 items.The two factors in the design were expected to interact. If theydid not interact it would indicate that Factor A (Conflict Resolution)was independent of Factor B (Contact). For the theory to be supportedthere must be interaction effects; clear resolution must include contactand clear contact produces resolution. Specifically, the levels ofContact and Conflict Resolution interact. Support for the theorydemands that Level A1 (unresolved) will interact significantly withLevel B1 (interruption-of-contact) while Level A2 (resolved) willinteract significantly with Level B2 (contact).Also, if the theory underlying the model is supported, the threestages of the theory (Opposition, Merging, and Integration) areexpected to emerge through patterns in the sorting. All participantswere expected to perform the Q-sort in a similar way initially becausethey were all in the Opposition stage. Following treatment,participants who had not resolved but had shifted—that is, aspects ofself were not as opposed—were expected to perform the Q-sort so thatthe Merging stage was evident from the analysis. Finally, participantswho had experienced coming to a decision were expected to perform61the Q-sort so that merging and integration were evident from theanalysis.Where the two factors did not interact would indicate a failure ofthe sort. If participants could not describe their experiences accordingto the theory underlying the three stage model of the Gestalt two-chair technique no patterns would emerge in the analysis of the data.This would indicate a lack of support for the theory underlying hismodel. Significant interaction effects would be interpreted in terms ofthe theory.The individual sorting patterns are considered very important.For this reason the cell means were not be used as they would beaggregate scores and would hide rather than show the individuality ofthe sorting patterns. For example, in this study two participants couldobtain the same cell means but have very different sorting patterns.Elaboration InterviewFrom the analysis of each participant’s Q-sort a series ofquestions regarding the content and the pattern of his or her sortingwere developed. The results were then discussed with eachparticipant in an individual interview that took place one to twoweeks following the post Q-Sort dependent upon the participants’schedules. Participants were treated as collaborators in the study. Inthis interview they were encouraged to give explanations that wouldgive a more complete understanding of their experience. They wereshown their pre-therapy Q-Sort and asked if this represented whatthey remembered about themselves when they sorted the items.62They were given an opportunity to shift and change any items. Thefollowing procedure was used:Presented first sort.Question 1: Look at this sort. Think back to how you felt beforetherapy when you sorted these items. Does this accuratelydescribe yourself deep down as you were then?.If you want to change any items you may do so but you mustkeep the same number of items in each column.(Subject responds)How would you account for this...?Question 2: Did you have problems understanding what it meant byto sort according to— Most-like-me? Least-like-me?Did you have any problems understanding which items went in themiddle or center column?2. Presented and repeated with Second sort.Question 3: Look at the sort. Does this represent you deep downafter therapy?Question 4: Can you help me understand what impact if any thetherapy had on your decision change? Was there anything in thetherapy that stands out for you?If so what led up to that?What followed from that?(If there were several events do each one.)63Question 4:Were there any extraneous events outside of the therapy that couldhave had a bearing upon your decision?Question 5:Ask questions about items that shifted in the second sort.Example: Item #67 What I feel is important. shifted from a score of 4 to 8.Can you help me understand your thinking when you sorted thisitem here (in the first sort) and here (in the second sort).Repeat with more items if necessary.Question 6:Was there any item that you had any difficulty with or did notunderstand?Question 7:Describe and elaborate on any experiences you felt were importantbut have not been brought out by what we’ve discussed so far.SummaryThis chapter set out the design and methodology used in thisstudy. The development of the Q-Sort was described and explained.The relationship between the two factors Conflict Resolution andContact was shown in a 2X2 factorial grid. The Q-Sort items weredirectly related to the three stage model of the two-chair techniqueand the theory underlying it. The predictions of how individualswould sort, made possible as a result of the integration of theory andmethodology, were stated.64CHAPTER 1VRESULTSIntroductionThis chapter presents the results of the eight single case studies.Of the eight case studies one demonstrated a literal replication of thethree stage model of the two-chair technique and the theory underlyingit. According to replication logic, if similar results are obtained fromseveral cases replication is said to have taken place (Yin, 1989). Casesare carefully selected so that they offer the best chance of producing aliteral or theoretical replications. Literal replications are ones thatproduce predictable results according to the theory under investigation.Theoretical replications are ones that produce contrary results but forpredictable reasons (Yin). Replications that are neither literal ortheoretical are considered to demonstrate areas where the theory isinadequate. These replications may be partially literal or partiallytheoretical (see page 32-33). Successful therapy is defined by themodel; participants demonstrated movement from Stage One(Opposition) through Stages Two (Merging) and Three (Integration).To facilitate understanding of the results in this chapter ahypothetical case demonstrating a literal replication of the model ispresented first. This is followed by the results of the eight single casestudies each of which contains demographic data, results of an ANOVA,Q-sort qualitative results, outcome of the decision and discussion ofresults. The participants were given fictitious names for ease of readingand identification.65Case study Hector demonstated a literal replication of the modeland the theory underlying it. Case studies Beverley, Gail, Edward, andAmy demonstrated partial literal replications. There were no casesdemonstrating a theoretical replication. Case studies Carol, Fred andDonald demonstrated partial theoretical replications.Hypothetical Case: SamThe following is a presentation of a hypothetical case whichdemonstrates support for the three stage model of the two-chairtechnique and the theory underlying how and why it is effective. It is arepresentation of a case of an individual who was conflicted aboutremaining married before therapy and made a decision after successfultherapy using the two-chair technique as a result of going through allthree stages of the model.ANOVA Results of 0-Sort (see Table 1)Before and after therapy the analysis of “Sam’s” Q-Sorts showedthat he could be categorized successfully according to a jointrelationship of the factors of Conflict Resolution (CR) and Contact (C).Significant 2-way interaction results were interpreted to mean thatthe Q-Sort task was meaningful to “Sam”. That is, he sorted in a systematicway, responding to the factors targeted by this study as predicted bytheory. If the 2-way interaction results had not been significant, it wouldhave been interpreted to mean that the Q-Sort task was not meaningful tohim. That is, that he had sorted in a random manner, not responding tothe factors targeted by this study as predicted by theory.66Table IANOVA results of the 0-Sort: Hypothetical Case: “Sam”.Source of Variation Before TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 11.055 1 11.055 3.918 .051*Contact (B) 6 1.630 1 6 1.630 2 1.843 .000*2-Way interaction 69. 199 1 69.199 24.525 .000*Source of Variation After TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 152.943 1 152.943 82.750 .000*Contact (B) 5.23 1 1 5.23 1 2.830 .096*2-Way interaction 6 1.636 1 6 1.636 33.348 .000*n = 85 items=< .100-sort Qualitative Results (see Figures 4 and 5)Before therapy “Sam” sorted as predicted for an individual who wasundecided about remaining married or separating. He chose mostly itemsfrom the Opposition Stage to describe both what he is like and not like.After therapy “Sam” sorted very differently. He sorted as predictedfor an individual who was decided. He chose mostly items from theMerging and Integration stages to describe what he is like and itemsfrom the Opposition stage to describe what he is not like. The differencesin the items he chose before and after to describe what he is like and notlike can be seen in figures 4 and 5.Table 2Undecided/decided scores before and after therapy with decision reached.Before After Elaboration DecisionHypothetical Case:Sam 2 7 No change Remain married67Hypothetical Case: “Sam”B. After TherapyFigure 4. Pattern of Q-Sort for Hypothetical Case: “Sam” with neutral items omitted.Theory underlying the three stage model of the two-chair technique.(P) Pink Stage 1. Opposition(Y) Yellow Stage 1. Opposition(0) Orange Stage 1. Opposition(B) Blue Stage 2. Merging(V) Violet Stage 3. IntegrationCR = Conflict Resolution (factor A)i=level 1. 2=level2.t Grid showing interaction of levels of Conflict Resolution and Contact. (See Figure 3)Note. In main figure each rectangle represents a Q-Sort item.Most like me Least like meY Y 0 P 0Y 0 0 0 0Y 0 0Y 0 0P P P P PY P P P PY P P YP V YV V YV YV YCRt V 0[12 1 B17 1+7 VA.Most like meY B B Y Y‘ V B B B Y0I00 V0 00 0V B CRtV 1 17V 5 1+4Before TherapyV V B BV B VLeast like meV V VP PO Y PP P000VP 0 0CRVP 0 00IV VV VP 0 00 04 8+16VVY UY 00 0 CR0 8 170 3 0+0Al B 1 Unresolved with interruption of contact.A 1B2 Unresolved with contact.A2B 1 Resolved with interruption of contact.A2B2 Resolved with contactA2B2 Resolved with contactC = Contact (factor B)68Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3Opposition erging IntegrationCell 1 (A1B) Cell 2 ( A1 B2) Cell 3 ( B1) Cell 4 ( A2B2)Pink Yellow Orange Blue violetUnresolved Unresolved Resolved ResoledInterruption Interruptionof Contact In Contact of Contact In CdntactItems 19 21 21 8 + 16 =24Before TherapyCell 1* Cell 2 Cell 3 Cell 4a Cell 4b112111 1715 I Ii 1171 111111714 IAfter Therapy________________________________to 18 I I41 I to 117 I 18 to ((16 lo IFigure 5. Results of placement of items before and after therapy for HypotheticalCase Study : “Sam”.*Lft box = number of items used to describe what participant is like.Right box = number of items used to describe what participant is not like.Discussion of ResultsThe results of the ANOVA table were interpreted to indicate that,as predicted by theory, the combined factors of Conflict Resolution andthe Gestalt concept of Contact were present in “Sam”s decision-maldngprocess both before and after therapy. Evidently, before therapy “Sam”was unresolved with interruption of contact in regard to his decisionwhether or not to remain married. After therapy he sorted according tobeing resolved and in contact. Before therapy, “Sam” apparently was in69the early part of the Opposition stage. After therapy he appeared toshift to the Integration stage having passed through the Merging stage.According to the theory, the Merging stage, a key determinant ofsuccessful therapy using two-chair technique, is characterized by thecritical aspect of the self (critic) softening toward the experiencing partof the self along with clear expression of the experiencing self to thecritic. The statistical analysis does not detect or identify the occurrenceof this stage; it only indicates whether or not the factors of ConflictResolution and Contact interact. Indication of the Merging andIntegration stages can be seen in placement of items within the cells.To determine the occurrence of the Merging stage the qualitative resultsmust be considered both by the placement of the eight Merging itemsbefore and after therapy as well as the participant’s oi words. In“Sam’s” case, before therapy, he selected only one of the Merging stageitems (placing it in the weakest position) to describe what he is like. Hechose one Merging item to describe what he is not like and placed therest in the neutral category. After therapy he chose all eight Mergingstage items to describe himself. These results indicated that “Sam”passed through the Merging stage. Because there are only eight itemsrepresenting this significant stage, their placement before and aftertherapy would need to be supported by “Sam’s” own words.Therapy is considered successful if participants sort the itemsaccording to theoretical expectations of the model. For the post-therapyQ-Sort when participants chose mostly items from the Merging andIntegration stages to describe what they were like and no items (or70very few) from these stages to describe what they were not like,therapy was considered to be successful.“Sam’s” case demonstrated a literal replication of the theory. Thatis, “Sam” sorted the items as the model said he would both before andafter successful therapy as defmed by the model. If therapy had notbeen successful then Sam’s post Q-Sort would be similar to his first.There would be little or no indication of the Merging stage, hence itwould demonstrate a theoretical replication.71Case Study One: HectorDemographic dataHector was a 41-year-old male Caucasian. He had two graduatedegrees and worked in an area that combined his business and artisticabilities. He had been married for nine years and had an 8-year-old son.He was previously married for five years and had no children from thatmarriage. His wife had a graduate degree and this was her firstmarriage. He reported family income in the over $80,000 range.Hector had had an affair which created a crisis in his marriage. Hiswife was interested in retaining the marriage but Hector was ambivalent.He had had other affairs before and now wanted some time and space toexplore himself. He had moved into the basement of their borne. Prior tothis study Hector was in individual therapy with a male therapist and thecouple was in conjoint counselling with a different therapist. Because ofHector’s ambivalence regarding the marriage his therapist referred himto this study.ANOVA Results of 0-sort (see Table 3)Both before and after therapy the significant 2-way interactionresults of Hector’s Q-Sorts showed that he could be categorizedsuccessfully according to a joint relationship of the factors of ConflictResolution (CR) and Contact (C). (Interpretation of these results follow inthe discussion section.)72Table 3ANOVA Results of the Q-Sort: Case study one: Hector.Source of Variation Before TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 30.109 1 30.109 10.535 .002*Contact (B) 43.095 1 43.095 15.078 .000*2-Way interaction 65.887 1 65.887 23.053 .000*Source of Variation After TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 141.648 1 141.648 62.261 .000*Contact (B) 35.823 1 35.823 15.746 .000*2-Way interaction 7.051 1 7.05 1 3.099 .082*n = 85 items*p=<.100-sort qualitative Results (see Figures 6 and 7)Before therapy, Hector sorted the Q-sort items as predicted by thetheory for an individual who was conflicted. To describe himself hechose 18 items from the Opposition stage, ten from Cell 1 (unresolvedwith interruption of contact) and eight from Cell 2 (unresolved and incontact). Also to describe what he was like, he chose from stage 2, twoMerging stage items #66 What I want and need is worth fighting for. and #67 What Ifeel is important. plus eight stage 3 (Integration) items. Most of the itemsfrom the Merging and Integration stages were placed in the weakerpositions. To describe what he was not like he mostly chose items fromCell 3 (resolved with interruption of contact); these were items from thestage of Opposition. Also to describe what he was not like he chose oneitem from stage 2 (Merging), #62 My deeper feelings are clear to me. plus twoitems from stage 3 (Integration). The remaining Merging and Integrationitems he discarded as neutral or irrelevant.73Figure 6. Pattern of Q-Sort for Case Study one with neutral items omitted.Theory underlying the three stage model of the two-chair technique.(P) Pink Stage 1. Opposition(Y) Yellow Stage 1. Opposition(0) Orange Stage 1. Opposition(B) Blue Stage 2. Merging(V) Violet Stage 3. IntegrationCR = Conflict Resolution (factor A)1=level 1. 2=level2.= Grid showing interaction of levels of Conflict Resolution and Contact.Note. In main figure each rectangle represents a Q-Sort item.Most like meHectorLeast like mep y 0 P 0Y 000Y 0 0Y 0 0B P P P PY P P p PY P B YP V YV V YV YV YCRt V Y10 0 V8 2+8 VA.Most like meV V Y P YV V B Y Y0IY 0 V0 00 00 B0VBefore TherapyVCRt2 185 1+2Least like meB Y BV Y BV B BP P P P PP P P Y PP P PB VY 0 P0CR1 06 7+14Y 00V VV V0 00 00 0VV00B. After TherapyCRt13 123 0+0A1B1 Unresolved with interruption of contact.A1B2 Unresolved with contact.A2B 1 Resolved with interruption of contact.A2B2 Resolved with contactA2B2 Resolved with contactC = Contact (factor B)74After therapy, Hector sorted very differently. He sorted aspredicted by theory for an individual who had passed through theMerging stage and was solidly in the Integration stage. This wasconfirmed by his choice of items to describe himself in the second Q-sort.To describe himself he chose mostly items from the stages of Mergingand Integration, all items from Cell 4 (Resolved and in contact). He choseseven of the eight Merging stage items and 14 of the 16 Integration stageitems. He chose only seven items from the Opposition stage; one fromCell 1 (unresolved with interruption of contact) and six from Cell 2(unresolved and in contact). He did not chose any items from Cell 3(resolved with interruption of contact) to describe what he is like. Todescribe what he is not like he chose only items from the Oppositionstage (Cells 1, 2, and 3). His sort showed a total lack of conflict.Stagel Stage2 Stage3Opposition 0’- Merging IntegrationBefore TherapyCell 1* Cell 2 Cell 3 Cell 4a Cell 4b11012 I 18 I I 1° 118 I 12 11118 12 IAfter Therapy________________ ________________111131 1613 I 101121 17 101114101Figure 7. Results of placement of items before and after therapy with for CaseStudy one: Hector.*Jft box = number of items used to describe what participant is like.Right box number of items used to describe what participant is not like.75Outcome of the decision (see Table 4)Upon entering into this study Hector had just moved out of thefamily home. He had been living in the basement of the home prior tomoving out. After therapy Hector reached a decision he reported feelingvery good about. On the undecided/decided scale he shifted from a scoreof 3 to 8 (see Table 4). He decided to remain married. After the fourthsession of therapy he moved back into the family home and into themarital bedroom. He and his wife continued in conjoint counselling at theconclusion of his participation in the study.Table 4Undecided/decided scores before and after therapy with decision reached.Before After Elaboration DecisionCase Study one: Hector 3 8 No change Remain marriedOualitative Data Collected at Elaboration InterviewAt the Elaboration interview Hector spoke of his confusion when heentered the study and performed the first Q-sort:The first Q-sort really, I think- I think when I did it- it really surprised me howconfused and sort of searching I was.., there was just a lot of uncertainty andconcerns and all that kind of stuff, and some of the questions, you know, thisstuff about tenderness and all those kinds of things, I think that those are thingsthat I probably didn’t want to-want to address when I first did it.... yeah yeah oractually really jarring, things like the tenderness one, and, you know, that italmost hurts to look at it because you think, yeah I should feel that, but boy,that’s just not part of my feeling or thinking right now, yeah.76What stood out in therapy for Hector was the effectiveness of thetwo-chair technique in helping him focus on the core issue of his conflict:Clearly the method stands out in that, urn, I think it’s really effective. It reallyhelped me. Yeah, the two chair, yeah yeah. Urn it seemed-it seemed to veiyquickly get you into -into the essence of what-whatever was beingdiscussed andsort of got rid of all the superfluous thoughts and feelings and just really homedin on what was critical. The method seemed to do that really effectively.I was actually quite surprised, because I thought the therapy would focus on therelationship, and in fact, of course it was brought in at times, but, in fact, itwasn’t that. The focus wasn’t that at all, and that seemed to really fit what Ineeded at the time.Where he placed specific items before and after therapy explainedsome of Hector’s changes. Specifically, he shifted from feeling vague andunclear to very clear. This was demonstrated by the change in thefollowing items:• Item #51 don’t know what I feel anymore. shifted the greatest amount, froma score of 9 to 2.Initially, I think urn just so many conflicting feelings that didn’t- didn’t -therewas nothing common about them, and I think to some degree shutting downfeelings because that was an easier way to deal with things at the time. Andafterwards I think I do know what I feel and sort of have a much betterunderstanding- clearer understanding of my feelings.• Item #14 Sometimes I feel suicidal. shifted from a score of 5 (neutral) to 0.I guess maybe in the first sort, it was neutral and then it wasn’t really there atall. And now it’s-it’s like...that’s just- just not there. And S I think it’s movedfrom a neutral- as being- no I wasn’t- I was- It certainly wasn’t something I wascontemplating, but it wasn’t something I was really strong against.77• Item #18 I’m torn, shifted from a score of 9 to 3.I think that initially there’s probably a whole series of, sort of, competingthoughts and feelings about which way to go and possibilities and all thosekinds of things, and that’s-that’s not there now. It’s much clearer and I don’tfeel torn. I feel more committed, more focused...on the direction I’ve chosen togo.• Item #36 I can’t accept myself. shifted from a score of 6 to 1.I think that’s all tied into the feelings things as well, the change in feelings andthe focus on feelings, acceptance of feelings. Initially, a lot- a lot- of inability toaccept who I was and also accept some of the actions that I made. And now I-I-just feel a whole lot better about myself and who I am.• Item #48 I’ve decided that I have no choice. shifted from a score of 0 to 4.I realize I have a choice and it’s maybe gotten off the bandwagon to simplybeing there.Hector sorted most of the Merging stage items in different waysbefore and after therapy:• Item #62 My deeper feelings are clear to me. shifted from 3 to 7.I think that’s very much part of the process in that initially there’s some realbarriers there, some blockages and understanding some of my feelings and now,now they’re certainly far more apparent, yeah.• Items #63 I realize that my self criticisms are based on my fears., #64 I’m not as bad as Ithought I was., #65 I can ease up on myself. and #68 I feel very tender toward myself. wereinitially neutral (5) to Hector but after therapy he used them in theweaker positions (6 or 7) to describe himself. Item #64 I’m not as bad as Ithought I was.78I think that all has to do with the acceptance and understanding about myselfand I guess I don’t feel I’m as bad as I thought I was, you know, it came from avery neutral ambivalent response to it- to- that was more reflective of what Iwas thinking.Item #68 I feel very tender toward myself.I feel tender- I.. ..initially....I have no relationship with that [item]whatsoever,and so. ..neither positive nor negative. But afterwards, I felt- I felt quite tender.• Item #69 My criticisms are based on my fears, remained neutral to Hector. Hestated simply, “It doesn’t fit.”Hector’s perception of himself and his situation changed over thecourse of therapy indicated by the shift in items #43, #66, and #85.Item #43 I’ve decided to give up trying to get what I want, shifted from a score of 0to4.It could well be seeing things in maybe a bigger perspective than just me, andthat yes, of course, I’m very important and what I want is important, but there’sother things that have to be reconciled or looked at and accepted I think as well,and I think that makes... [the] shift, Yeah. It’s not saying that I’m going to giveup, but it’s saying that it’s just one of many things to maybe be factored in... .Itwas [initially], yeah, yeah, beat your chest kind of issue. Yeah.Item #66 What I want and need is worth fighting for, shifted from 10 to 8.It’s again, I think, that the polarization and then it gets softened as things getinto better perspective.Item #85 I see things differently. shifted from a score of 4 to 8.I think that that relates to some of these here, the ease up on myself, tendernessand taking care, in that I think that’s one side of it where I have certainly beenexposed to look at things differently.79Events Occurring While Involved in the ProjectTherapy proceeded as expected and there were no unusualextraneous events or circumstances while Hector engaged in therapy. Itis worth noting that after one session of therapy Hector moved out of thehouse and then moved back in after the fourth session.Discussion of ResultsThe results of the ANOVA table were interpreted to indicate that aspredicted by theory, the combined factors of Conflict Resolution and theGestalt concept of Contact were present in Hector’s decision-makingprocess before and after therapy. Evidently, before therapy Hector wasunresolved with interruption of contact in regard to his decision ofwhether or not to remain married. Apparently, after therapy he wasresolved and in contact. This suggested that therapy was successful asdefined by the model.The patterns of Hector’s Q-Sorts showed that he sorted as predictedfor a person who was conflicted about remaining married before therapyand decided after therapy. He chose mostly items from the stage ofOpposition to describe what he was like and some items from the stagesof Merging and Integration to describe what he was not like. Aftertherapy he chose mostly items from the stages of Merging andIntegration to describe what he was like and items from Cell 3 (Resolvedwith interruption of contact) to describe what he was not like.It seemed that before therapy Hector was in the stage ofOpposition. After therapy he appeared to shift to the Integration stagehaving passed though the Merging stage. This was supported by Hector’sdescription of his experience. This also suggested that therapy wassuccessful.80Hector’s case demonstrated a literal replication of the theory. Thiswas interpreted to mean that the three stage model and the theoryunderlying it can be useful to describe the decision-making process ofindividuals who successfully resolve their conflict about whether or notto remain married.81Case Study Two: BeverleyDemographic dataBeverley was a 50-year-old female Caucasian who had beenmarried for 29 years. She had a Master’s degree and was currently adoctoral candidate at a local university. She was also working parttime in a research capacity. Her husband had a university degree.She reported their family income level in $40-60,000 range. They hadthree adult children, none of whom were living at home.Beverley described her marriage as difficult for many years.She and her husband separated when their youngest son was nine;Beverley moved out of the house. She and her husband wereseparated for a period of three years. Beverley said she reconciledbecause she found it very difficult living on her own. She was notemployed at the time and she was displaced from her home and rolesof wife and mother. Another important factor influencing her decisionto reconcile was that her youngest child was experiencing seriousemotional difficulties. Beverley was in therapy to deal with herrenewed indecision regarding whether or not to remain married whenher therapist referred her to this project.ANOVA Results of the 0-sort (see Table 5Before therapy, Beverley did not sort the Q-sort itemsaccording to theoretical expectation for a person who was undecidedabout remaining married. The two-way interaction results of her QSorts did not reach significance and showed that she could not becategorized successfully according to a joint relationship of CR and C.After therapy Beverley did sort the items as predicted by theory.The two-way interaction results of her Q-Sorts reached significance82and showed that she could be categorized successfully according to ajoint relationship of the two factors. (Interpretation of these resultsfollow in the discussion section.)Table 5ANOVA Results of the 0-Sort: Case study two: Beverley.Source of Variation Before TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 1.062 1 1.062 .266 .608Contact (B) 45.262 1 45.262 11.331 .0012-Way interaction .000 1 .000 .000 .993Source of Variation After TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 58.764 1 58.764 17.952 .000*Contact (B) 25.364 1 25.364 7.748 .007*2-Way interaction 21.064 1 21.064 6.435 .013n =85 items*p=<.100-Sort Oualitative Results (see Figures 8 and 9)Before therapy Beverley sorted the Q-sort items as predicted bythe theory for an individual who was conflicted. She mostly choseitems in the Opposition stage to describe herself, items from Cells 1, 2,and 3. She identified with five items from Cell 3 (Resolved withinterruption of contact) #43 I’ve decided to give up trying to get what I want., #46I’ve resolved to remain unresolved., #53 I’ll stay because I’m too afraid to be alone., #58I can’t face starting over, and #59 I’ll stay because I’ll feel too guilty if I leave.Beverley either did not relate to most of the items in Cell 4 (Resolvedand in contact) or used them to describe what she is not like. Of theBeverleyA. Before TherapyB. After TherapyFigure 8 Pattern of Q-Sort for Case Study two with neutral items omitted.Theory underlying the three stage model of the two-chair technique.(P) Pink Stage 1. Opposition Al B 1 Unresolved with interruption of contact.(Y) Yellow Stage 1. Opposition A1B2 Unresolved with contact.(0) Orange Stage 1. Opposition A2B 1 Resolved with interruption of contact.(B) Blue Stage 2. Merging A2B2 Resolved with contact(V) Violet Stage 3. Integration A2B2 Resolved with contactCR = Conflict Resolution (factor A) C = Contact (factor B)i=level 1. 2=level2.= Grid showing interaction of levels of Conflict Resolution and Contact.Note. In main figure each rectangle represents a Q-Sort item.83Most like me. P P P P Pp y P P P0 Y Y PY Y YLeast like meY B YP P P Y VP P B 0P 0 BVCRtUY 0 VVIV 0V 010 58 1+400 V0VMost like meU UV 0V V CRV 6 9V 2 2+9Y V P P YV V Y Y YV B BV B YYLeast like meV B BPP P P P YP P P Y 0YVPCRBPY0I0V VV VP Y 02 07 6+13YYYVVVVY00 CR11 69 0+284Merging stage items (#62-69) she chose only one to describe herself,#67 My feelings are important. She used items #62 My deeper feelings are clear tome. and #65 I can ease up on myself. to describe what she is not like. Shediscarded the remainder of the Merging stage items in the neutralcategory.Stagel Stage2 Stage34 Opposition Merging IntegrationBefore TherapyCell 1* Cell 2 Cell 3 Cell 4a Cell 4b11016 I 1812 I I 191 111211419 IAfter Therapy________________________________121111 17191 10161 16101113121Figure 9. Results of placement of items before and after therapy for Case Studytwo: Beverley.*Left box = number of items used to describe what participant is like.Right box = number of items used to describe what participant is not like.After therapy, Beverley sorted as the theory predicted shewould sort for an individual who had passed through the Mergingstage and was in the Integration stage with still some work to do. Sheused mostly items from Cell 4 (Resolved and in contact) to describeherself. Of the Merging stage items she identified with all but two. Ofthe rest of the Cell 4 items she identified with all but three. She didnot use any items from Cell 3 (Resolved with interruption of contact)to describe herself. To describe what she is not like she chose 26 outof 28 items from the Opposition stage. She also chose two items fromstage 3 #81 I’m clear on what I’m going to do. and #83 I feel relief, placing themin higher positions than in her pre-Q-sort.85Outcome of the decision (see Table 6)After therapy Beverley reached a decision that she reported shefelt good about. On the undecided/decided scale she shifted from ascore of 2 to 6 (see Table 6). She decided to separate. She did not acton this decision at this time. She said she was working on herdoctorate and she and her husband were involved in a majorconstruction project. She continued in therapy with the therapist sheworked with in this study, not returning to her original therapist whoreferred her to the project.Table 6Undecided/decided scores before and after therapy with decision reached.Before After Elaboration DecisionCase Study two: Beverley 2 6 No change SeparateElaboration Interview DataBeverley stated that she could relate much more to the Q-Sortitems after therapy:a better understanding of myself and what I had been doing to myself. Sothat helped me realize then. I guess for me what happened in the therapy whichwas most meaningful was that I have allowed myself to be able to listen tomyself so that I can make a decision. Before the therapy I wasn’t allowed tolisten.As she looked at her initial Qsort during the elaborationinterview Beverley spontaneously reported that she has come torealize through the course of therapy how stifled she has been by herstandards and values.Beverley: “This one [item] ‘I feel stifled by my standards and values’. Now Irealize that, in fact, I was stifled by my standards and values.”86Researcher: “How would you account for your being clearer about that now?”Beverley: “Well, through the therapy. We worked a lot on what- the side of methat’s saying (points finger and says in a singsong voice) You’re supposed to dothis, and you’re supposed to do that - and how it was terrorizing me and to nothearing myself and all sorts of other things that I shouldn’t —well not should orshouldn’t— wasn’t doing, wasn’t listening.”She states that initially she did not sort the items according toany decision because she said, “I had no idea what I was going to do”.She also explained:Couldn’t allow myself to. I don’t think I could have sorted them according toresolution. I think when I’m terrorizing myself like that I can’t make a decision.She reported that she found the first sort very difficult becauseshe could not relate to the items.When I left I thought, you know, it didn’t touch anything in me, not a thing.There was just nothing. No. None of them really seemed to say (pause) whatwas going on for me, so it was really really hard to identify with any ofthem What I thought that I had done when I left was anything that had adecision in it urn wasn’t put anywhere.About the second sort she saidIt was much easier to do it. Much easier. It’s still a lot of work (laughs) but-but you could relate to the items better the second time. ...[the second Q-sort] Ididn’t avoid the items that had decision in them. (laugh) I didn’t put them in thecenter. Certainly the decision has not moved right up into the very strong itemsbut at least I’m allowing myself the right to think about whether or not that’swhat I want to do.87The part of therapy that stood out most for Beverley was a shiftin the critical part of her.Yeah its- I think that the most dramatic time was when I gave myself permissionto explore. So it’s still a ‘should’ urn, but but I’m pushing it away and saying -Just stay out of there for awhile. Just will you please stay away for a little whileand let me explore. Let me be and when I allow myself to do that then I canstart to develop and grow. And for me I think that was the biggest step in thetherapy.She reported that working in the two chairs led up to obtainingthis permission to explore. Once permission was obtained sheexperienced a sense of growth in herself.....We were just working on the two chairs and [therapist] said, ‘Is it importantfor you to get permission to be able to do something?’ I said ‘Yes it is.’ Shesaid Well then sit in the other chair - well ask yourself for permission - now sitin the other chair and then I gave permission to explore and I think- I can’tremember now whether that happened the week before and then I had the dreamor I had the dream and talked about it and then did those sessions but that theywere all very close together. So it was those two things that allowed me to beable to do that and then the wonderful feeling the week afterwards when thesilver dust [ from the dream] began....started growing little spikes and becamestars.At the elaboration interview Beverley reported that her hair hasstopped falling out and that she has received feedback from severalfriends that she looked better.Beverley was asked to account for how she sorted the items#62-#69 (Merging stage items):• #62 My deeper feelings are clear to me. shifted from a score of 1 beforetherapy to 7 after therapy.88Before, nothing was clear so my deeper feelings certainly could not be clear. Ididn’t know what they were so they before could not have been clear at all.They are much cl-they’re not really clear, but they’re much clearer now urn inthat I know I have them (laugh); they’re there and they’re meaningful andthey’re importanL..I guess also that in a sense there’s a bit of faith there toobecause although they’re not really clear they’re going to be clear and each dayanother one becomes more clear.• #65 I can ease up on myself. shifted from a score of 2 before therapy to 7after therapy.there was the shoulds before- I have to do this and I have to do that and Ican’t ease up on myself because if I’m not hard on myself I could do somethingreally foolish and ruin and destroy my children’s life and my husbands’ life andthe whole world’s going to fall apaa Infact - it’s OK. I don’t have to hold theweight of the world....There’s also enough people around me shaking theirfinger at me and saying ‘You should be doing this and you should be doing that’that I don’t need to be doing it too. (laughter)...Beverley said she would have chosen items #64 I’m not as bad as Ithought I was. and #66 What I want and need is worth fighting for, to describe whatshe was like after therapy if they had been worded slightlydifferently. She did not like the words ‘bad’ and ‘fighting’.Events Occurring While Involved in the ProjectTherapy proceeded as expected and there were no unusualextraneous events or circumstances while Beverley underwenttherapy.Discussion of ResultsThe results of the ANOVA were interpreted to indicate that, aspredicted by theory, the combined factors of Conflict Resolution andthe Gestalt concept of Contact were present in Beverley’s decision-89making process after therapy but not before. The significant 2-wayinteraction results after therapy, but not before, were interpreted tomean that the Q-Sort task was meaningful to Beverley after therapybut not before. This was supported by her words regarding the initialQ-Sort “it didn’t touch anything in me, not a thing”. The theory does notaccount for the lack interaction between Conflict Resolution andContact before therapy. This suggested that before therapy somethingwas interfering or bloking the interaction of the factors or that otherfactors may be involved. After therapy it seemed that Beverley wasresolved and in contact. That she responded to a joint relationship toConflict Resolution and Contact as predicted after therapy wasinterpreted to mean that therapy was successful as defined by themodel.The patterns of Beverley’s Q-Sorts showed that she sorted aspredicted for a person who was conflicted about remaining marriedbefore therapy and decided after therapy. She chose mostly itemsfrom the stage of Opposition to describe what she was like and someitems from the stages of Merging and Integration to describe what shewas not like. After therapy she chose mostly items from the stages ofMerging and Integration to describe what she was like and items fromthe stage of Opposition to describe what she was not like.It seemed that before therapy Beverley was in the stage ofOpposition. After therapy she appeared to shift to the Integrationstage having passed though the Merging stage. This was supported byBeverley’s description of her experience. This also suggested thattherapy was successful.Beverley’s words support the theory put forth by Greenberg(1979; 1983) that the opposed aspects of the self represent a conflict90between an individual’s standards and values with his or her warnsand needs. This is supported by her spontaneous words, “Now Irealize that, in fact, I is stifled by my standards and values”.Beverley’s case demonstrated a partial literal replication of themodel. The patterns of her Q-Sorts before and after therapy matchedtheoretical expectation and as predicted by theory after therapy shesorted according to an interaction of the factors of Conflict Resolutionand Contact. Contrary to theoretical expectations she did not sortaccording to an interaction of Conflict Resolution and Contact beforetherapy. This was interpreted to mean that the three stage model andthe theory underlying it can be useful to partially describe thedecision-making process of individuals who successfully resolve theirconflict about whether or not to remain married.91Case Study Three: GailDemographic dataGail was a 45-year-old female Caucasian. She completed two yearsof post secondary education and worked full time in a clerical capacityfor a large corporation. She had been married for 24 years with oneseparation of three months which occurred four years ago. Her husbandhad completed a community college program and worked for the samecorporation. She reported her family income in the $20-40,000 range.Gail had given up on the marriage and had retained a lawyer.When she informed her husband that she wanted a divorce he imploredher to give him another chance. They then entered conjoint counsellingwith the goal of reconciliation. At first this seemed successful but aftertwo months Gail became very ambivalent again. At this point thetherapist referred her to this study.ANOVA Results of the 0-Sorts (see Table 7)Before therapy, Gail did not sort the Q-sort items according totheoretical expectation for a person who was undecided about remainingmarried. The non-significant two-way interaction results of Gail’s Q-Sortsshowed that she could not be categorized successfully according to a jointrelationship of Conflict Resolution (CR) and Contact (C). implying thatperforming the Q-Sort was not a meaningful task for her.After therapy Gail did sort the items as predicted by theory. Thesignificant two-way interaction results of Gail’s Q-Sorts showed that shecould be categorized successfully according to a joint relationship of thetwo factors indicating that it was a meaningful task for her.(Interpretation of these results follow in the discussion section.)92Table 7ANOVA Results of the Q-Sort: Case study three: Gail.Source of Variation Before TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 2.238 1 2.238 .516 .475Contact (B) 9.179 1 9.179 2.116 .1502-Way interaction 7.070 1 7.070 1.629 .205Source of Variation After TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 59.404 1 59.404 17.320 .000*Contact (B) 2.47 1 1 2.47 1 .720 .3992-Way interaction 25.099 1 25.099 7.3 18 .008*n = 85 items*p=<100-sort Oualitative Results (see Figures 10 and 11)Before therapy, the pattern of Gail’s Q-Sort was as predicted by thetheory for an individual who was conflicted (See Figure 10). Althoughshe could not be categorized according to an interaction of ConflictResolution and Contact, as indicated by the ANOVA results, she did chooseitems mostly from the stage of Opposition to describe what she is like. Ofthe 28 items she chose to describe herself 25 of them were from theOpposition stage, that is, from Cells 1, 2, and 3. Seven of these items wereitems from Cell 3 (resolved with interruption of contact). To describewhat she was not like she chose two items from the Merging stage, #63 Irealize my self-criticisms are based on my fears. and #69 I’m more afraid than condemning ofmyself. and three from the Integration stage, all items from Cell 4. Hersorting pattern indicated conflict.93B. After TherapyFigure 10 Pattern of Q-Sort for Case Study three with neutral items omitted.Theory underlying the three stage model of the two-chair technique.(P) Pink Stage 1. Opposition(Y) Yellow Stage 1. Opposition(0) Orange Stage 1. Opposition(B) Blue Stage 2. Merging(V) Violet Stage 3. IntegrationCR = Conflict Resolution (factor A)1=level 1. 2=level2.= Grid showing interaction of levels of Conflict Resolution and Contact.Note. In main figure each rectangle represents a Q-Sort item.Most like meGailLeast like meP P P YP P Y 00p y yY- Y OP P P P P‘ Y 0 P P P0 P Y P0 Y P0 Y YY Y0 0CR B 011 7 V7 1+2 VA.Most like meY Y y p pV V B P PUIY 0 BY00BVBefore Therapy0VV rRt6 98 2+3V B Y PB B YLeast like meV BYp p P Y 0p p p - 0p p yVCR0P Y YOIV 0V VY Y 05 26 5+10000VVV00V CRt9 116 0+2A1B1 Unresolved with interruption of contact.A1B2 Unresolved with contact..A2B 1 Resolved with interruption of contact.A2B2 Resolved with contactA2B2 Resolved with contactC = Contact (factor B)94After therapy Gall’s sorting pattern indicated she had shifted agreat deal but was still in conflict. As the theory predicted, her patternshowed an individual who was in the Merging and Integration stages.She now chose five of the eight items from the Merging stage to describeherself. Like Beverley, Gail said she probably would have chosen moreitems from this stage if they had been worded slightly differently. Shechose ten of the sixteen items from the Integration stage to describeherself. The conflict she still felt was demonstrated by the choice of twoitems from Cell 3 (Resolved with interruption of contact) to describeherself, # I’ll stay because I’m too afraid to stay alone, and # I’m not sure I’ll find anotherpartner so I’ll stay. It was also demonstrated by her choice of #81. I’m clear onwhat I’m going to do. and #82 I feel at peace with myself. to describe what she is notlike. She did not chose any items from the Merging stage to describewhat she is not like.Stagel Stage2 Stage3Opposition Merging IntegrationBefore TherapyCell 1* Cell 2 Cell 3 Cell 4a Cell 4b111161 17181 17191 Ii 1211213]After Therapy____________________________l 191 16161 121111 15101110121Figure 11. Results of placement of items before and after therapy with for CaseStudy three: Gail.*Left box = number of items used to describe what participant is like.Right box = number of items used to describe what participant is not like.95Outcome of the Decision (see Table 8)On the undecided/decided scale Gail shifted from a score of 6 to 8.She decided to remain separated. She began negotiations with herhusband toward a permanent separation. She continued in therapy.Table 8Undecided/decided scores before and after therapy with decision reached.Before After Elaboration DecisionCase Study three: Gail 6 8 No change SeparateElaboration Interview DataPerforming the initial Q-sort had a strong effect on Gail asevidenced by her moving out of the home shortly after doing the sort.I really feel that the sort itself- the statements that were made, being a veryvisual or very written or word written person, to see it out there, to- to see these-it just blew me away. And I’m quite sure that the decision was made the nightthat I went through the first Q-sort, just seeing where I was torn. Everything I- Iput out here was well, yes and no. I’m just not sure, and it was very just a- amishmash and! couldn’t see that when I sorted it. Go home, think about it.Filter it through and realize that I don’t want to be like this.Researcher: What was the therapy about then, for you?It clarified my feelings, a lot if- [therapist] worked with me a lot on how Ifelt..., focusing in on specific areas of my feelings and my life in general. Ittakes somebody who’s trained to do that, otherwise you just kind of blahh allover the place and you can’t focus in on anything at all and of course nothingmakes sense. The therapy sessions would focus in on certain things and theywere all almost spontaneous things to me. It was just how the conversationcame about and then we’d focus in on whatever it was, or my buzz-word or my96buzz-phrase for the week type of thing. and we’d go from there. But having afocus and things like that- feelings sliding off and that kind of thing. Once I seeit, once I hear it, then I can relate to it. But again I’ve spent so many yearseverywhere at once, not being able to focus in or not knowing how to focus in,that to me was very important in these sessions.At the beginning of the Elaboration interview Gail described howthe therapy had clarified her feelings:I tended to go round and round in circles, and- and couldn’t decide the shouldand the want, which one was more clear. And actually that’s really what ithelped me see- is that there was a should and a want, and until I realized that Ididn’t know, or I couldn’t see what was making me go round in circles all thetime, and fighting myself. But understanding the should and the want, then itfreed me up to, sort of, get out of the circle and to see, sort of, a panorama view,but without circling myself, so that was what really helped me.This is confirmed by the shift in item #51 don’t know what to do.from 1to8.Before therapy Ijust was going around in circles. I couldn’t make a choice. Icouldn’t make a decision. Urn Having spent years of supposedly having madethe wrong decision of everything, you know, being told I’d made the wrongdecision never having had any feedback that I was doing well or I was doingright. Uh- it feels so right to me to be doing what I’m doing right now. WishI’d done it 10 years ago. [After therapy] I don’t know what to do in terms offuture. Urn You know, my-my- future is very very clouded uh. I still don’tentirely agree with what I’ve done or that I’m doing the right thing in the longrun. But it certainly isn’t that the negative side of it is definitely moved over[referred to Q-sort] and I feel very much more positive, I have to say now,although I don’t know what my long term plans may be for right now, I doknow that this [separation] is what I want to do.When asked what stood out for her in the therapy Gail responded:97To me the whole thing was just one great big evolution and every week it wassomething new that I discovered, and every week was some more informationthat helped me see where I was going or what I was doing, so there was- therewas nothing that light bulbs, except every session was light bulbs somewherealong the line.Yeah maybe I will go back and recant what I said about not having anything,light bulbs going on in the therapy, because now that you say that, yes the- the-there was one thing that really clearly came out, probably the second to the lastsession, when she showed me how every time I had to feel my feelings I’d slideoff and I’d go talk about (husband] and I’d talk about the kids, and she’d bringme back- well how do you feel and I’d slide off again and every time shecornered me to make me state what my feelings were I would cry.• Item #81 feel anxious a lot of the time, shifted from a score of 8 to 4.Before [therapy] anxiety attacks were a part of my life. Headaches, urn generalevery step I took was- Am I doing the right thing? uh How would [husband] feelabout this? uh Should I do this?, Those kind of questions were continually goingthrough my mind. Having been through this whole session, I see myself, I seeme more clearly and have taken on the acceptance of- so what if I make amistake. This is what I’m doing because it’s the best I have in the way of-thelesser of two evils or the better way to go or whatever you want to say, it seemsmore clear and I’m less, less afraid of making decisions that are- whetherthey’re right or wrong... I’m less anxious about making a mistake.• Item #53 I’ll stay because I’m too afraid to be alone, shifted from 9 to 6.I’ve spent 5 years trying to stay at home because I’m terrified of not having a??of companionship, particularly male companionship. urn When I came to thedecision to actually move out it was basically the thinking of- I’m more alonebeing in a relationship with a man who doesn’t care about me or love me, than Iam being by myself. Because at least when I’m by myself I don’t always havethat reminder of that man whose there- whose putting me down and I’m not everquite good enough. I still feel that way. I’m still very afraid to be alone.98• Item #54 I’ll stay for the children’s sake. shifted from 9 to 1. VUh, I would feel that the- well I know for a fact, because I came from a home,when I was 16 my parents split up and it was very difficult even at 16 to adjustto the new lifestyle. Urn I felt that keeping them protected from the upheavalof-of- both of us leaving or the family splitting up, I would- I guess you wouldsay I was willing to sacrifice myself for the sake of the kids. Uh, at some pointin time I guess I’ve discovered that the kids are far happier without the tensionin the home of the two parents being there, and although I don’t like thearrangement right now of the kids being away from me, urn they are muchhappier. I see a lot less fighting. I see a lot more talking back and forth withthem. At the ages of 12 and 14, to me that’s a miracle that they even spend 30seconds of the day being decent to each other. Urn Perhaps I was using the kidsas a-a- crutch for myself. Uh I’ll stay for them rather than I’ll leave for myself.Urn plus I- even though I see them every day, it’s still probably the hardest thingthat I’ll ever have to face. I would say that is harder than being by myself forthe rest of my life- is not having my kids ???with me???• Item #60 I’m not sure I’ll find another partner so I’ll stay. Shifted from 8 - 6.We live in hope.. .WeIl before [therapy], I thought that anybody anyhow wouldbe better than nobody. Urn Having gone through it, and being on my own now,it’s not so important to have a body next to you, or with you, as it is to be happywith yourself..Researcher, Is that the result of moving out or is it the result of therapy, or boththose, maybe you don’t even know which?I-it’s a- it’s a- it’s a combination of both, because having been through therapy,it’s-it’s shown me that I’m an OK person, and that I can value myself and I canstand on my own two feet, I don’t have to have a partner to be a crutch with ???,urn , it seemed, before it seemed that being a couple was more important thanbeing happy. Since I’ve been through this whole thing, it seems to me to be -tobe more important to be happy than to be a couple.99• Item #61 I’ve decided to live a separate life within the marriage. Shifted from 8 to 5(neutral).I thought that I could be myself and technically- technically be married and yetstill just do things that I wanted to do, or live my own life. Urn It just -it justdoesn’t work like that, ...it’s just that kind of an idea does not relate to reality.It’s a wonderful idea if you think you can do it, but in reality you cannot do it.You have to make a choice, you can’t sit on the fence for the rest of your life.The critic softening items, which shifted the most before and aftertherapy, were ones relating to fear and criticism, #63 I realize my self-criticismsare based on my fears, and #69 I’m more afraid than condemning of myself.• Item #63 I realize my self-criticisms are based on my fears.Before therapy, I blamed myself for most of the problems within the marriage,that it was, if I had only been this, or I’d only done that, or if I’d only thoughtsomething, or what if I had- that whole scenario. Uh, coming through thiswhole thing, it wasn’t the self-criticism that was the problem, it was the fear ofleaving, the fear of being on my own, the fear of not having anybody for the restof my life. Those were what was actually causing me to stay there and tocriticize myself.• Item #69 I’m more afraid than condemning of myself.Again, I think that relates to self-criticism as opposed to fear. Uh you condemnyourself because you- it’s easier to blame yourself. It’s easier to self-criticizeyourself. And well, what if- uh going through this whole thing you can- I cansee of myself that I’m afraid of some of the things I feel- urn but I don’tcondemn myself anymore for what I have done or the steps I have taken overthe past 5 years to get to today. In real time today- urn it’s - it’s a process thatyou have to work your way through and you’re not going to do it until you’reready.100Gail’s feelings changed over the course of therapy as indicated bythe shift in items #62 and #67.• Item #62 My deeper feelings are clear to me. shifted from 4 - 7.Before therapy I was so muddled, so in a vicious circle of-of- self-criticismreally and fear and all those things. Worry about my kids and what I was gonnado, and how I was going to handle the rest of my life. Urn Working my waythrough this whole thing, even just going from self-criticism to fear- uh- it’s-it’smore clear exactly where my feelings are, what my feelings are, and you tend tocover up your fear with criticism so that you don’t have to deal with the fear.And once you allow the fear to come to light, it’s not so bad, the fear isn’t sohard to take, It’s just confronting that fear first of all.•Item #67 What I feel is important. shifted from 5 (neutral) to 7.Before [therapy] is definitely that old feeling of-of- sacrificing myself foreverybody else, urn After, [therapy] kind of self-evident that-that I must feelthat-that my feelings are more important than- if I can’t- if I can’t like myselfthen I can’t be liked by anybody and I can’t like anybody else. Urn So it’simportant to identify or to-to know what my feelings are and to acknowledgethose feelings as being important to my well-being cause obviously when I wasdenying them they were certainly not doing me a hell of a lot of good.• Items #64, #65 #66, and #68 remained neutral to Gail before and after.#64 I’m not as bad as I thought I was.I don’t relate to that because I’ve never felt myself to be a bad person.#65 I can ease up on myself.I don’t think I’ve been all that hard on my self.#66. What I want and need is worth fighting for.I guess it’s-it’s partly the wording.. .I’m not a fighter. I will slide aroundand and-and- urn try and find the least obtrusive method of doing things...#68 I feel very tender toward myself.101I didn’t-possibly wording- semantics- urn .. .no, I don’t relate to that at all.A strong indicator that Gail has entered the integration stage isindicated by the marked shift in item #73 I have wants and needs that stem from anew sense of myself. from 5 (neutral) to 10.Before therapy I had no sense of myself. Urn I was just a piece of garbage thathung around my husband kind of thing. And that’s honestly how I felt. I hadno self-esteem. I had no sense of being- I had no sense of being a respectedperson within the marriage. Outside of the marriage I have those feelings. I amrespected. I’m well-liked. I have a totally almost different personality. I comehome and I’m this piece of garbage at home that gets shat upon all the time.Having taken this step- urn I- I- again at 3 o’clock in the morning I think-oh Ishould just pack it all in and go home and forget it. It’s too hard to live on myown and I just put [husband’s] face in this picture in my mind and say ‘Do youwant to live with this?’, and- OK there you have it. I can’t go back to him..1 still don’t have a sense of myself. But I am at least- over these last sessions-have- I’m starting to flow in that direction, if not actually getting there. I’mstarting to make the first little steps towards that.Events Occurring While Involved in the ProjectPerforming the initial Q-sort had a strong effect on Gail. A few daysfollowing the first Q-sort Gail moved out of her home and into atownhouse with a womanfriend. She stated that this was a temporarydecision intended to give her some distance from her husband while sheconsidered her decision. She continued to live there while sheparticipated in the remainder of the project. Therapy proceeded asexpected and other than moving out of the family home there were noextraneous events or circumstances while Gall underwent therapy.102Discussion of ResultsThe results of the ANOVA table were interpreted to indicate thatthe combined factors of Conflict and Resolution and Contact were notpresent in Gail’s decision-making before therapy but they wereafterwards. The significant 2-way interaction results after therapy, butnot before, were interpreted to mean that the Q-Sort task was meaningfulto Beverley after therapy but not before. This was supported by herwords regarding the pre therapy Q-Sort “It was very- just a- a mishmash.”. Thetheory does not account for the lack interaction between ConflictResolution and Contact before therapy. This suggested that beforetherapy something was interfering or blocking the interaction of thefactors or that other factors may be involved. Evidently, after therapyGail was resolved and in contact. That Gall responded to a jointconsideration of Conflict Resolution and Contact after therapy suggestedtherapy was successful as defined by the model.The patterns of Gail’s QSorts showed that she sorted as predictedfor a person who was conflicted about remaining married before therapyand decided after therapy. She chose mostly items from the stage ofOpposition to describe what she is like. At the end of therapy sheapparently had shifted into the Merging and Integration as she chosemostly items from these stages to describe herself. Her final Q-sortshowed that she was still conflicted but much less so. She retained twoitems from Cell 3 (Resolved with interruption of contact) #531’ll staybecause I’m too afraid to be alone, and #60. I’m not sure I’ll find another partner so I’ll stay.However, she did not place them in as strong a position as she did in thefirst Q-sort. Another indicator of her conflict was her choice of two items,#81 I’m clear on what I’m going to do. and #82 I feel at peace with myselL, used to103describe what she was not like. She was in the Integration stage but notsolidly in it. This was supported by her words “I’m not where I need to be butI’m where I need to start to get to where I need to be”. The shifts also suggested thattherapy was successful.It seemed that Gail’s decision to move out after the initial Q-sortwas a reactive decision made from a conflicted, not integrated, sense ofself. After therapy Gail came to a decision that she reported she felt goodabout. Evidently her decision to remain separated after therapy wasmade from a newly integrated sense of self.Gail’s words support the theory put forth by Greenberg (1979;1983). that the opposed aspects of the self represent a conflict betweenan individual’s standards and values with his or her wants and needs.She reported “actually that’s really what [therapy] helped me see - that there was a ‘should’and a ‘want’”.Gail’s case demonstrated a partial literal replication of the model.This was interpreted to mean that the three stage model and the theoryunderlying it can be useful to partially describe the decision-makingprocess of individuals who successfully resolve their conflict aboutwhether or not to remain married.104Case Study Four: EdwardDemographic dataEdward was a 46-year-old male Caucasian. He had a graduatedegree but did not work in the field in which he graduated. He wasself employed in an outdoor business. He had been married for fiveand a half years and had two preschool children. He and his wife hadnever been separated. Previous to his marriage he had two commonlaw relationships each lasting five years. He had a teenage son fromthe first of these relationships. He reported the family income in the$60-80,000 range.Edward was the husband of Case Study Amy. Amy entered theproject before Edward and at the end of her participation came to aresolution to remain married. When Amy approached Edward withher decision to reconcile the differences in their marriage Edward thenbecame ambivalent about the marriage himself, whereas previouslyhe had not expressed any ambivalence. His wife told him about thisproject and he consulted with his wife’s therapist who referred him.Edward’s wife was completely finished with her participation in thestudy before Edward began to participate.ANOVA Results of the 0-sort (see Table 9Before therapy, Edward did not sort the Q-sort items accordingto theoretical expectation for a person who was undecided aboutremaining married. The two-way interaction results of Edward’s QSorts showed that he could not be categorized successfully according toa joint relationship of Conflict Resolution (CR) and Contact (C).105After therapy Edward did sort the items as predicted bytheory. The two-way interaction results of Edward’s OSorts showedthat he could be categorized successfully according to a jointrelationship of the two factors. (Interpretation of these results followin the discussion section.)Table 9Statistical Analysis of the 0-Sort: Case study one: Edward.Source of Variation Before TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 11.740 1 11.740 3.010 .087Contact (B) 36.673 1 36.673 9.401 .003*2-Way interaction 5.269 1 5.269 1.35 1 .249Source of Variation After TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 51.845 1 51.845 17.169 .000*Contact (B) 12.509 1 12.509 4.142 .045*2-Way interaction 61.466 1 61.466 20.355 .000*n =85 itemsp=<.100-sort Oualitative Results (see Figures 12 and 13)Before therapy Edward sorted the Q-sort items as predicted bytheory for an individual who was conflicted (See Figure 12). Of thetwenty-eight items he chose to describe himself, 25 were from Cells 1,2, and 3, (Opposition). Four items were from Cell 3. (Resolved withinterruption of contact), # 51. I’ll continue as I am because I’m too afraid to make achange., #54. I’ll stay for the children’s sake., #59. I’U stay because I’ll feel too guilty if Ileave., and #61. I’ve decided to live a separate life within the marriage. He placed106#54 in the strongest position. He chose eight items from Cell 4 todescribe what he was not like. Two of these items #65.1 can ease up onmyself and #68.1 feel very tender towards myself. are from the Merging stage.His sort showed a great deal of conflict.After therapy Edward also sorted according to theoreticalexpectations for an individual who was resolved. His second Q-sortshowed he was in the Merging stage but not through it. This wasdemonstrated by his choice of four Merging stage items #64 I’m not as badas I thought I was., #66 What I want and need is worth fighting for., #67 What I feel isimportant., and #69 I’m more afraid than condemning of myself, to describe himself.Two of these, #66 and #67, shifted dramatically, from scores of 5(neutral) to 10. To describe himself he chose ten of the 16 items fromthe stage of Integration and none from Cell 3 (Resolved withinterruption of contact). The four remaining Merging items werediscarded in the neutral category. He still did not have a new sense ofhimself or awareness of his deeper underlying feelings as he did notchoose #62 My deeper feelings are clear to me. or #73 I have wants and needs that stemfrom a new sense of myself. to describe what he was like. He was onlybeginning to realize that his fear gave rise to self criticism as he chose#69 I’m more afraid than condemning of myself. to describe himself but onlyplaced ft in the weakest position (score of 6) and he left #631 realize myself criticisms are based upon my fears. in the neutral category. Although hedid not choose #65 I can ease up on myself.or #68 I feel very tender toward myself.to describe himself these items shifted from being used to describewhat he is not like to being discarded into the neutral category. Hedid not chose any items from the Integration stage to describe what beis not like.A. Before TherapyB. After TherapyFigure 12 Pattern of Q.Sort for Case Study four with neutral items omitted.Theory underlying the three stage model of the two-chair technique.(P) Pink Stage 1. Opposition(Y) Yellow Stage 1. Opposition(0) Orange Stage 1. Opposition(B) Blue Stage 2. Merging(V) Violet Stage 3. IntegrationCR Conflict Resolution (factor A)1 = level 1. 2 = level 2.= Grid showing interaction of levels of Conflict Resolution and Contact.Note. In main figure each rectangle represents a Q-Sort item.Most like meEdwardP P P P P(0 P P P PP107Y P pU P Y0 Y YLeast like meP Y Y Y PP 0 0 B 0P 0Y(RtYBY U VVY YV 013 48 0+3Y V0 00 V9 VVVMost like me(3 C 4 115 2+6I B P P Y PB Y P Y YY P YPYVYBLeast like meVP P Y Y 0Y P Y 0 0BY P 0VCRtVY 0 00900V VV V6 08 4+10U U0 00 0VV00CRt4 186 0+0AjBi Unresolved with interruption of contact.A1B2 Unresolved with contact.A2B 1 Resolved with interruption of contact.A2B2 Resolved with contactA2B2 Resolved with contactC = Contact (factor B)108Stagel Stage2 Stage3Opposition Merging IntegrationBefore TherapyCell 1 * Cell 2 Cell 3 Cell 4a Cell 4b113141 18151 14111] 10 J2 I I 161After Therapy________________________________16141 18161 101181 14 fo 1110101Figure 13. Results of placement of items before and after therapy for Case Studyfour: Edward.*Left box = number of items used to describe what participant is like.Right box = number of items used to describe what participant is not like.Outcome of the decision (see Table 10)Before therapy, Edward was living with his wife, sleeping in adifferent bedroom. After therapy he came to a decision which hereported finding difficult but felt it was appropriate for him. On theundecided/decided scale Edward shifted from a score of 5 to 7. Hedecided to separate. Five days before the elaboration interviewEdward moved out of the home. A few weeks later the home was upfor sale.Table 10Undecided/decided scores before and after therapy with decision reached.Before After Elaboration DecisionCase Study four: Edward 5 7 No change Separate109Elaboration Interview DataEdward explained how therapy had affected his decision:I think the-for me- the therapy got me in touch with-with a lot of stuff that wasreally not, you know, like really not directly related to-to the relationship stuff,but it was related to how I was, kinda stuff. And it was really deep deep stuff. Imean, I’d never really thought about it before. So somehow, like it-it-it was justlike little little blocks were in there or something and it enabled me to then dealwith a lot of the grief I was feeling around my kids. It was like that- that was ahuge huge part of it- was -was- grief, and it allowed me to feel a lot of that forsome reason... .it (therapy] did-it did affect it, you know. It didn’t affect it fromwhat I thought but it was sort of came in from over here and allowed me moreto relate the the situation, and understand what was going on in the world of -present world definitely.In the therapy two instances stood out for Edward:Two that just came completely out of the blue. And one was how, when I was alittle boy, how I never really, I- I- It was the first instance that I thought aboutthat I would use my head to get out of pain- thinking to get out of pain, and thenso- so- therefore I wasn’t really- I- I would, sort of, try to intellectualize feelingsand so that that- was going-so I didn’t feel them. And the other one was -waswhen I was a teenager around the pain of-of-of- around my father had a nervousbreakdown. And it hadn’t even really occurred to me that- that- was a big- andcaused me like- I had to work for my mom and help my little brother and I, sortof like, grew up really quickly and had to become like a man really quickly.• . .and those -those two instances like sort of stood out and really causedme to get in touch with some pretty deep-seated whatever, grief orwhatever, around doing that. And- and- urn, it was very powerful. and likeI- I felt like, I mean it was really deep stuff going on. It was- I mean- Iwas, sort of, you know- an hour would go by like it was 10 minutes. I wasreally into it.110As a result of exploring these two instances Edward was able totaik to his wife more openly.What followed from that was-was being able to talk to [wife]. Really, youknow, and- and- just sort of- like- allow me to- to-,you know, open up. And,you know, to open and let her know, you know, how I was feeling in a certainsituation. Whether it was good or whether it was and instead of trying to sugarcoat it or whateverResearcher: You were able to be more honest with your wife?Yeah Yeah. or put out what was going on for me. Like and then I think that’s,you know, that’s the sort of important thing, that I really want to continueactually working on, to tell you the truth, it-it- was,you know, I’ve never movedso far so fast for me. I- and I think it was only that last time, it was just like itseemed- it seemed like some- some really amazing things were happening.Edward had some difficulty with items that contained a slash, forexample, #41 I’m so fed up going around in circles that I’ve decided to stay/leave.These items were designed to cover a context with which participantscould relate.Sometimes I have I- I- I have a lot of trouble with the ones that are slash andthey’re like stay/leave ... like on some of the cards I really had to think, you, itwasn’t like a real gut thing where, you know, I’ve decided to take care of myselfboom. I mean there was some that and I tried to get more-I started to think- wellif I had to think about it- forget it.In the first Q-sort Edward chose four items, #51, #54, #59, #61,from Cell 3 (Resolved with interruption of contact) to describe himself.After therapy these items were used to describe what he is not like.111Item #51 I’ll continue as I am because I’m too afraid to make a change. shifted froma score of 8 to 3.Well I think back then at the stan, that was accurate, because I- I think I was justlike really too afraid, And it moved over here because -it didn’t movecompletely-.. .so but I- but I can deal- I- I- I feel- I- I- I- can deal with it a littlebit more.• Item #54 I’ll stay for the children’s sake, shifted from a score of 10 to 4.Well it-wa-....I think the-the-absolutely the reason I was around there was forthe children. No question about it.Researcher: So before therapy you were in the marriage for the children.Huge. Huge. And after therapy, you know-urn, if it ever, if we ever got backtogether, no I should not say that, that’s -that’s in fact is not true. What I wasgoing to say, I was going to say, well, if we ever got back together it would bethrough the children, but that- that is not true actually. And I just came to thatrealization just recently too. ... It’s still- it’s still- I mean, I still think about it, Imean I must admit, witness Ijust said it, but Ijust, you know, it’s not as big anissue for me.So I- I- all the-all these-there seems to be the same basis for what’sgoing on- on all these three cards, as I- I- I- it- it- it would have toI’d just say ditto as far as that. I mean I still feel a little bit guilty, but it’s lessguilty than I started that I felt• Item #61 I’ve decided to live a separate life within the marriage, shifted from ascore of 8 to 4.Yeah. I think basically [before therapy] I just- I was just like- I mean I was just-just, I mean I was just shell-shocked from morning to night, Just like takingmortar, taking.. .1 just-I just-,you know, I was just holding on essentially. And[after therapy] I’ve ... it’s a little bit not like me. Right. So that’s- that’s112probably very accurate actually.. .Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s improved a lot. Yeah,Yeah.Most of the critic softening items shifted significantly.#66 What I want and need is worth fighting. and #67 What I feel is importantshifted from a score of 5 (neutral) to 10.Well, I think before therapy, I was really discounting myself so that’s why theywere here. And after therapy, I think it’s I- I think that I was - or not I was- I-well yeah-I was- feeling better about myself and- and- and so they became-they became really important for me, you know, like it was really like- let’s findout about the things that I’m- that I’m- it seems sort of selfish, but in a way, Ithink if you understand those things you’re healthier in a certain respect.• Item #65 I can ease up on myselL shifted from a score of 2 to 5 (neutral).The shift with this item showed a new perspective for Edward.Before therapy, I didn’t take it easy on myself at all. I was very very very hardon myself. And-and then after, it says I can ease up on myself, I guess I- I justIt- it- it just wasn’t an issue, I can ease up on myself, it wasn’t like I was toohard on myself or not. I- I- It’s sort of like it be-gone into a whole different levelofjust being truthful.• Item #64 I’m not as bad as I thought I was. shifted from a score of 5(neutral) to 6.So it was a non-issue at the start, and it became- it became OK. Well, OK. I’mnot as bad as I thought I was, which was-which I’m acknowledging to myself.I’m not as bad as I thought I was, and before I thought I was bad.• Items #62 My deeper feelings are clear to me. and #63 I realize my self-criticismsare based on my fears. Edward did not relate to these items before or aftertherapy.113Item #81 I’m clear on what I’m going to do. shifted from 1 to 6.I’m clear on what I’m gonna do, yeah, went from, I- I wasn’t clear beforetherapy. I’m clear. OK that was -that’s easy and those two I can reconcile thedifferences within myself and I have wants and needs that stem from a newsense of myself, well I just didn’t have any new sense of myself and I canreconcile the difference within myself, urn went from being least like me to, sortof, like a non-issue, urn cause I haven’t -I haven’t fully integrated the new- thenew thing in terms of wants and needs, I mean I sort of get a glimpse of it. Imean that-you know, that one there- I have wants and needs that stem from anew sense of myself, I- I mean it- it- it’s a shade into here OK I can reconcilethe differences within myself urn I guess it’s just a move to a non-issue becauseI- I don’t think I can move it and say I can reconcile the differences betweenmyself. I- I’m not quite there.Events Occurring While Involved in the ProjectTherapy proceeded as expected and there were no unusualextraneous events or circumstances while Edward underwent therapyIt is worth noting that during the course of therapy it emerged that hecontinued to be involved in the same extra-marital affair that hadcaused a crisis in his marriage the previous summer.Discussion of resultsThe results of the ANOVA were interpreted to indicate that, aspredicted by theory, the combined factors of Conflict Resolution andthe Gestalt concept of Contact were present in Edward’s decision-making process after therapy but not before. The theory does notaccount for the lack interaction between Conflict Resolution andContact before therapy. This suggested that something was interfering114or blocking the interaction of the factors or that other factors may beinvolved. Apparently, after therapy Edward was resolved and incontact. That he responded to joint relationship of Conifict Resolutionand Contact after therapy was interpreted to mean that therapy wassuccessful as defined by the model.The patterns of Edward’s Q-Sorts showed that he sorted aspredicted for a person who was conflicted about remaining marriedbefore therapy and decided after therapy. Before therapy he chosemostly items from the stage of Opposition to describe himself as wellas several items from the stages of Merging and Integration todescribe what he is not like. Apparently after therapy he appeared tohave shifted into the Merging and Integration stages as he chosemostly items from these stages to describe himself. As well, he choseall items from the stage of Opposition to describe what he is not like.It seemed that he was in the early part of the Integration stage. Thiswas supported by his words; “well, I just didn’t have any new sense of myself’, “Ihaven’t -I haven’t fully integrated the new- the new thing in terms of wants and needs”and “I’m not there yet”. Also indicating that he was in the Merging stageand had entered the Integration stage was his new perception ofhimself. This is supported by his words; “it wasn’t like I was too hard onmyself or not. I- I- It’s sort of like it be-gone into a whole different level of just beingtruthful”. Having a new perception of himself but not having a newsense of himself matches with his report that he learned tointellectualize his feelings at an early age. It seemed that Edward hadmade a decision based upon a partially integrated position. In spite ofthe fact that he had only entered the Integration stage his post-therapy Qsort showed no conflict.115After therapy be responded to a joint relationship betweenConflict Resolution and Contact, appeared to have passed through theMerging stage and be in the Integration stage. This was supported byhis description of his experience. This also suggested that therapy wassuccessful.Edward’s case demonstrated a partial literal replication of themodel. This was interpreted to mean that the three stage model andthe theory underlying it can be useful to partially describe thedecision-maldng process of individuals who successfully resolve theirconflict about whether or not to remain married.116Case Study Five: AmyDemographic DataAmy was a 34-year-old Caucasian. She was born in Europe andhas a Canadian equivalency of Grade 10 plus some training in practicalnursing. She met her husband while traveling and came to Canadawhen she married. She was primarily a homemaker, caring for hertwo preschool children. She had a teenage stepson who does not livewith the family. She worked only a few hours a week as a salesclerk,more for an outside interest than for the income. This was her firstmarriage, her husband’s second. He was ten years older and had agraduate degree. They had been married for five and a half years andhad never been separated. She reported their family income levelbetween $20-40,000.Last summer Amy discovered her husband was having an affair.She became very distressed and ambivalent about remaining in themarriage. She was in therapy dealing with this issue when hertherapist referred her to this project.ANOVA Results of the 0-sort (see Table 11)Both before and after therapy the two-way interaction results ofAmy’s Q-Sorts showed that she could be categorized successfullyaccording to a joint relationship of the factors of Conflict Resolution(CR) and Contact (C). (Interpretation of these results foilow in thediscussion section.)117Table 11Statistical Analysis of the Q-Sort: Case study one: Amy.Source of Variation Dfore TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 21.340 1 21.340 5.252 .024*Contact (B) 1.201 1 1.201 .296 .5882-Way interaction 13.064 1 13.064 3.215 .077*Source of Variation After TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 71.431 1 71.431 21.155 .000*Contact (B) 71.431 1 71.431 2.247 .1382-Way interaction 17.091 1 17.091 5.062 .027*n =85 items*p=<.100-sort Qualitative Results (see Figures 14 and 15)Before therapy, Amy mostly sorted the Q-sort items as predictedby the theory for an individual who was conflicted. She chose manyitems from the stage of Integration to describe herself, placing most ofthem in strong positions. These were items from Cell 4 (Resolved andin contact). This was somewhat unusual for an individual who wasundecided. Of the eight Merging items she chose two to describeherself; #62 My deeper feelings are clear to me. and #63 I realize niy self criticismsare base on my fears. From Cell 3 Geso1ved with interruption of contact)she chose #61 I’ve decided to live a separate life within the marriage indicating herconflict about her marriage.IVrptA. Before TherapyB. After Therapy118(P) Pink Stage 1. Opposition(Y) Yellow Stage 1. Opposition(0) Orange Stage 1. Opposition(B) Blue Stage 2. Merging(V) Violet Stage 3. IntegrationCR = Conflict Resolution (factorA1B1 Unresolved with interruption of contact.A1B2 Unresolved with contact.A2B 1 Resolved with interruption of contact.A2B2 Resolved with contactA2B2 Resolved with contactA) C = Contact (factor B)Most like meAmyV Y P P P‘ V B Y P YV PVYYLeast like meYV Y YP Y P Pp y y p y’Y YY B0 0B VI0 VV V5 18 2+12V00 V0 0000VVMost like me0VCRt5 126 1÷4IV B Y P YV y Y P YV V YVYY 0Least like meV Y -YY P P P PY P P) oBY0CRtBYYUIYV BV B0002 28 5+110 00 0B VVVVVCRt6 117 1+3Figure 14. Pattern of Q-Sort for Case Study five with neutral items omitted.Theory underlvin2 the three sta2e model of the two-chair technique.i=level 1. 2=level2.Grid showing interaction of levels of Conflict Resolution and Contact.Note. In main figure each rectangle represents a Q-Sort item.119Stagel Stage2 Stage3Opposition Merging IntegrationBefore TherapyCell 1* Cell 2 Cell 3 Cell 4a Cell 4b15151 18161 Ii 1121 12 Iii 11214 IAfter Therapy________________________________12161 18171 121111 15111 I’’l1Figure 15. Results of placement of items before and after therapy for Case Studyfive: Amy.*Left box = number of items used to describe what participant is like.Right box number of items used to describe what participant is not like.To describe what she was not like, Amy chose a Merging stageitem #65 I can ease up on myself. She used several other Cell 4 items todescribe what she was not like, #79 It’s OK to do what is right for me., #80 I canreconcile the differences within myself., #81 I’m clear on what I’m going to do., and #83 Ifeel relief. These clearly show her indecision and conflict.In the second Q-sort Amy showed some changes. She related tomore Merging stage items #64 I’m not as bad as I thought I was., #67 What I feelis important., and #68 I feel very tender toward myself. From Cell 3 (Resolvedwith interruption of contact) she no longer used #61 to describe herselfbut now used #55 I’ll stay, with the hope that my spouse will change., and #57Financially I can’t afford to leave/stay. This indicated her shift in attitudeabout the marriage and showed she was still conflicted. The Mergingstage item that she now viewed as not descriptive of her was #69 I’mmore afraid than condemning of myself. Even though she did not chose #65 I canease up on myself. she described herself as easier on herself aftertherapy.120Outcome of the Decision (see Table 12)On the undecided/decided scale Amy shifted from a score of 5 to7. She decided to remain married.Table 12Undecided/decided scores before and after therapy with decision reached.Before After Elaboration DecisionCase Study five: Amy 5 7 No change Remain marriedElaboration Interview DataThe part of the therapy that stood out most for Amy occurredduring a piece of two-chair work.I remember once when we were doing the duality conversations where I wastalking to myself and [therapist] was just really sensitive toward my feelings.She said (Amy put her hand on her chest as she reported this) Try to get in touchwith your heart. And I think that- that really-like getting in touch with my heartand actually talking about how much of what my heart thinks and what I’mdoing to myself- that kind of comes up in my daily life... .That was thestrongest.Amy also said she found the two-chair work important to her.All the conversations of course I found really-sometimes I had to switch so fastand I just wanted to talk and talk and then all of a sudden I had to kind of switchinto another person, you know, and- but it made it clearer and made it kind ofclearer for me and I didn’t just bubble out with something, you know, what was121up here (she motions to her head.) It was like-hey look at yourself from this sideand look at yourself from this side and then see-look at yourself.Amy explained her thinking about item #65 I can ease up on myself.before and after therapy. It shifted from a score of 2 to 5 (neutral):I was hard on myself in that I didn’t allow any feelings, any positive or beautifulfeelings to come - to allow to come up, I had all negative feelings towards[husband] and urn I think I’m easier now with myself. I allow feelings to come-to show them -to express them.Amy sorted item #81 I’m clear on what I’m going to do. at a score of 1before therapy and 6 after therapy indicating decisiveness. She states:I think I was very confused when I came in here the first time and I did this [theQ-sort] the first time. I was very exhausted. I had no idea what I’m going to do.All I know I feel terrible. I couldn’t make up a decision because a lot of thingsweren’t clear enough in my mind and what I said before- this therapy helpedme become really clear and I think that’s why I shifted it [the item] over there.Events Occurring While Involved in the ProjectOver the course of the 6 therapy sessions Amy went on a shorttrip by herself. While on this trip she had a liaison with a man whichresulted in her realizing that she still had loving feelings toward herhusband. As well, while on the trip she read a book by J. Gray (1992)Men are from Mars Women are from Venus which she said affectedher decision-making process. When she returned from the trip she122approached her husband with renewed hope for keeping the marriageintact.During the therapy Amy disclosed that she had had bulimia formany years but was not currently experiencing this disorder. Whenher husband informed her that he was going to separate she becamebulimic again.Discussion of ResultsThe results of the ANOVA table were interpreted to indicate thatas predicted by theory, the combined factors of Conflict Resolution andthe Gestalt concept of Contact were present in Amy’s decision-maldngprocess before and after therapy. This was an indicator that therapywas a success.A major factor in the change in her ambivalence toward herhusband was from an extraneous event, not the therapy.Nevertheless, there were indications that therapy was successful asdefined by the model.The pattern of Amy’s Q-Sorts was somewhat unusual for aperson who was conflicted about remaining married before therapy.Although she sortedinitially using many items from Cell 4 (Resolvedand in contact) she chose only two items from the Merging stageindicating her critic had not softened. Her words supported this inthat she did not allow herself to feel “I was hard on myself in that I didn’t allowany feelings, any positive or beautiful feelings to come- to allow to come up”. It wassomewhat unusual for an individual who was undecided to choose somany items showing resolved and in contact to describe herself.There are two possible explanations for this. One is an intrapersonalprocess that she became aware of during the therapy. Through the123two-chair work she discovered that she would interrupt any negativefeelings she began to experience. The interruptive process involvedtelling herself that she has so many things to feel good about so sheshould feel good and had no right to feel bad. She would then focus onpositive aspects of her life and dismiss, deflect or avoid her pain. Thisprocess developed as a child. When she approached her mother withany pain or difficulties her mother would shame her and tell her sheshould feel good because so many people are worse off than herself.Apparently, as a result of this interruptive process she learned to beless aware of herself and probably only imagined how she felt whichwas more positive than she actually did feel. The other possibleexplanation is the bulimia disorder from which she suffers. Lack ofawareness of how one feels and feeling out of control of one’s own lifeis characteristic of this disorder (Doane, 1983). This is anotherindicator that her initial Q-sort might be a result of how she imaginesshe feels, rather than how she actually does feel.There are several indicators that she did not have a sense ofintegration before or after therapy. First, for the pre-therapy Q-sortshe chose only two of the eight Merging stage items to describeherself. The Merging stage items and the several Integration stageitems that she used to describe what she was not like was anotherindicator that she had not reached integration and was still conflicted.As well, the items from Cell 3 (Resolved with interruption of contact)that she chose to describe what she was like, both before and aftertherapy, although they have changed, showed she was still conflictedthus still in the Opposition stage.124It was not possible to tell to what extent if any Amy has enteredthe Integration stage because of how she sorted initially. She didchoose more Merging stage items to describe herself after therapy,suggesting her critic had begun to soften. Her choice of more Mergingstage items to describe what she is like indicated that therapy wasstarting to be effective. She was still conflicted as indicated by herchoice of two items from Cell 3, #55 I’ll stay with the hope that my spouse willchange. and # 57 Financially I can’t afford to leave/stay. Another indicator thatshe was still conflicted was her choice of one Merging stage item andthree Integration items to describe what she is not like. She found thetwo-chair technique productive and meaningful. This was supportedby her own words “It made things clearer for me...It was like-hey look at yourselffrom this side and look at yourself from this side and then see-look at yourself”.Due to the extraneous events it was unclear to what extent herdecision to change was as a result of the therapy. There werecertainly indications that she made an interim decision based upon herrenewed feelings of love for her spouse.The model and the theory underlying of the two-chair techniqueis somewhat supported by this case study. She seemed to haveentered the Merging stage but was not completely through it. She wasdecided but still in the opposition stage therefore she appeared to beresolved with interruption-of-contact.Amy’s case suggested a partial literal replication of the modeland the theory underlying it. This was interpreted to mean that themodel and the theory underlying it as put forth by Greenberg (1979;1983) can be useful to partially describe the decision-making process125of individuals who were conflicted about whether or not to remainmarried.126Case Study Six: CarolDemographic dataCarol was a 44-year-old female Caucasian. She had a universitydegree and worked full time at a local college as a lecturer. She hadbeen married for eighteen years and had never been separated. Thiswas her first marriage and her husband’s second. She had three adultstepdaughters, none of whom were living at borne. Her husband was10 years older and had a grade 12 education. She reported theirfamily income level in the $60-80,000 range.Carol was in therapy dealing with her issue of whether or not toremain married when her therapist referred her to this project.ANOVA Results of the 0-Sort (see Table 13)Both before and after therapy the two-way interaction results ofCarol’s Q-Sorts showed that she could not be categorized successfullyaccording to a joint relationship of the factors of Conflict Resolution(CR) and Contact (C). (Interpretation of these results follow in thediscussion section.)127Table 13ANOVA Results of the Q-Sort: Case study six: Carol.Source of Variation Before TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 7.687 1 7.687 1.942 .167Contact (B) 39.420 1 39.420 9.958 .002*2-Way interaction 1.959 1 1.959 .495 .484Source of Variation After TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 57.494 1 57.494 17.022 .000*Contact (B) 18.452 1 18.452 5.683 .019*2-Way interaction.032 1 .032 .039 .845n =85 items*p=<.100-Sort Qualitative Results (see Figures 16 and 17)In the first Q-Sort of the 28 items Carol chose to describe herself,22 were from the stage of Opposition; 17 of these were from Cell 1(Unresolved with interruption of contact). She also chose three itemsfrom Cell 3 (Resolved with interruption of contact) #47 I’ve decided tosettle for what I’ve got., #50 I’ve decided it’s better the devil I know than the devil I don’tknow, and #52 I’ll maintain the status quo because I don’t know what else to do.To describe what she was not like Carol used many items fromCell 4 (Resolved and in contact); four of these were Merging stageitems. The remaining four Merging stage items she discarded in theneutral category.Carol’s initial Q.Sort supports her description of herself when sheentered therapy. She was in a great deal of confusion. She was very128unhappy in her marriage and unsure about whether or not to remainin it. As well, she was conflicted about her field of work and whetheror not to shift careers.After therapy Carol’s Q-sort showed she was still confused andunclear but much less so. Her sorting pattern indicated that she waseven more conflicted than before. She now chose only 17 items fromthe stage of Opposition to describe herself and only three of thesewere from Cell 1 (unresolved with interruption of contact). Sheshifted from being very unclear about what she was going to do tobeing somewhat clear that she was ‘going to pursue some process’. Ofthe Merging stage items she chose four to describe herself #64 I’m not asbad as I thought I was., #65 I can ease up on myself., #67 What I feel is important, and#69 I’m more afraid than condemning of myself. Three of these were placed inthe strongest positions. She shifted a great deal in her attitude towardherself as indicated by the shift in items #64 and #70-7Z afterwards sheviewed herself as worthy and motivated to protect and care forherself.Her post therapy Q-sort indicated in two ways that she was stillconflicted about her marriage. First, to describe what she was like shechose 17 items from the stage of Opposition. Of these, five items werefrom Cell 3 (Resolved with interruption of contact), in particular, #61I’ve decided to lead a separate life within the marriage. Secondly, to describe whatshe was not like she chose one item from the Merging stage,#62 Mydeeper feelings are clear to me., and one item from the stage of Integration#81 I’m clear on what I’m going to do. Although Carol was still conflictedabout her marriage she reported that she no longer felt blocked orstuck in her decision-making.CRtj) F;P PP 0Y 00 VCarol0 U0BBVVA. Before TherapyYp0129B. After Therapy(P) Pink Stag 1. Oppositioii(Y) Yellow Stage 1. Opposition(0) Orange Stage 1. Opposition(B) Blue Stage 2. Merging(V) Violet Stage 3. IntegrationCR = Conflict Resolution (factor= level 1. 2= level 2.A lB 1 Unresolved with interruption of contact.A1B2 Unresolved with contact.A2B 1 Resolved with interruption of contact.A2B2 Resolved with contactA2B2 Resolved with contactA) C = Contact (factor B)Most like meY P P P PIV VIv 1YLeast like meY P YY P Y P 0y y y BY I-) V VI14 35 0+6V0 0 VBVVVVMost like meB B Y Y P‘ B V Y Y PVCRt2 75 4+10Least like me0 Y PV Y YV - YP P P P YP P P 0 0VP P PCRYP Y P0IV 0V 0P Y B3 59 4+7PPY0VUBCR15 65 1+1Figure 16. Pattern of Q-Sort for Case Study six with neutral items omitted.Theory underlvin2 the three stage model of the two-chair technique.= Grid showing interaction of levels of Conflict Resolution and Contact.Note. In main figure each rectangle represents a Q-Sort item.130Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3Opposition Merging IntegrationBefore TherapyCell 1* Cell 2 Cell 3 Cell 4a Cell 4b114121 (sf5 I f3 (7J 1014f (6 (‘0]After Therapy________________________________131151 (9(5( 15161 (4 (11(7(11Figure 17. Results of placement of items before and after therapy for Case Studysix: Carol.*Left box = number of items used to describe what participant is like.Right box = number of items used to describe what participant is not like.Outcome of the decision. (see Table 14)Carol was living with her husband when she entered this projectand continued to live with him throughout. On the undecided/decidedscale she moved from a score of 2 to 6. She decided to remainmarried. Carol stated she would not make a decision about hermarriage at this time because she wanted to continue finding out andgetting clear about herself. She continued in therapy.Table 14Undecided/decided scores before and after therapy with decision reached.Before After Elaboration DecisionCase Study six: Carol 2 6 No change Remain married131Elaboration Interview DataCarol sorted differently before and after therapy. She could notbe categorized according to the combined relationship of ConflictResolution and Contact either before or after therapy. After therapyshe could be categorized according to both factors althoughindependently of each other. This demonstrated a lack of interactionof Conflict Resolution and Contact as she sorted the items. When askedabout the difference in her sorting pattern before and after therapyshe explained:I wasn’t even sure at the beginning when I first went in whether I was going togo back to school or anything. I just didn’t know what the answers to any of thequestions were, any of them that were floating around in my mind because itwasn’t just that question. At the end I was thinking of the question because I’dstarted to think a lot about that during therapy. So I don’t think when I cameinto it I probably wasn’t thinking about my marriage that much. I was thinkingof my own state of confusion probably more than anything else.For Carol three areas of the therapy stood out for her. Firstly,she was surprised at her own behaviors in therapy:Well, first of all I was really surprised that I talked about, you know, I reallyreally felt strange when I talked about the -urn - the picking (self-mutilationbehavior), because I’ve never talked to anybody about that before except formy doctor.Researcher: So that was such a secret and so a surprise that you talked aboutthat.Yeah. To someone besides my doctor whom I’ve- didn’t really get a very goodanswer from and I’d always felt that I just wasn’t gonna talk about that again.132And the other thing was that I don’t usually ciy very much, except for maybecruelty to animals or something like that. But I don’t usually feel sorry formyself and cry, but I felt quite comfortable in experiencing feelings that I felt inthe therapy sessions.Secondly, she was surprised by the realization of the split withinherself:I was surprised by- oh- I realized that I didn’t really- that I really had this otherperson, I was. I knew that my negative talk was there, I knew it was there, and Iheard enough seminars and things to know that you’re supposed to say nicethings to yourself, but I never really thought of it as a separate entity or aspossibly being something in my past or, I hadn’t really thought of that. And Ihadn’t thought of trying to make a bargain with that person to try and help you,and thought of that as a separate issue.I think well, you know, why am I being so mean to myself? And then that mademe very sad. I’ve wasted so many years on this and I just would just like tohave a life.Carol acknowledges that she is still working through her issues;that she has not completely resolved her conflict regarding hermarriage.So there still is a little bit of confusion and still is a little bit of unresolveddilemma.I still would like to know why I am the way I am. Why I am sort of looking forsomething, and is that normal or.. .1 still have a little bit of that should in me thatsays that you should be healthy and you should have all these aspects of yourlife organized and then because some of them aren’t, then you should dosomething about them, you know.‘I still feel like this therapy is somehow resolving some things for me and I feellike I’m on a positive roll, so I don’t really want to be—I don’t feel like I’m133totally undecided right now, because I’m, I really look forward to thesesessions and to what I’m learning and finding out.Carol explained some the item changes she made from the firstto the second sort.• Items #84 I have new feelings and sensations, and #85 I see things differently.make dramatic shifts. They both shifted from a score of 2 to 9.Well, I definitely see things differently, and I did have some new feelings afterthat- those sessions, just in really working- on working with my feelings insteadof with logic or some kind of convoluted logic or old ten commandments oreleven commandments or whatever they are. That old stuff that comes in, youknow, all the time why you should and shouldn’t and everything and I’m reallytrying to work with my feelings, and that’s why I’m starting to see thingsdifferently.• Item #67 What I feel is important. shifted from a score of 4 to 9.Well, the thing that caine out every time was that [therapist] would say ‘Wellwhat you feel is important’ and ‘Thank you for sharing your feelings’ and that,and I never really thought of that, even though my husband always asks me toshow my feelings and what I really want and everything, and so that wassomething I had thought about as being more important afterwards.It was the way he questioned me too. I would talk in the third person, and hewould say well, talk about what you feel, not about what you think.• Item #14 Sometimes I feel suicidal, shifted from a score of 6 to 3 and#16 I feel like running away. shifted from a score of 7 to 2.I do remember those two, I just of remember those two... that really came to acrescendo when I was in [City] in October, and I don’t know, I just didn’t wantto go home, you know.134Yeah. I don’t feel like it anymore, as a matter of fact I’ve made a couple ofweekenders that I don’t even really want to go on anymore. I used to wish Iwould get cancer or something so I could just refuse treatment, just go away,you know.• Item #81 I’m clear on what I’m going to do. shifted from a score of 1 to 4.Well yeah. It’s getting a little bit more clear, because I guess I’m getting a littlebit clear that I’m going to pursue some process.•Item #62 My deeper feelings are clear to me. shifted from a score of 0 to 2.They’re starting to get a little closer, but I still feel that mydeeper- deeper feelings are not clear, and yet that does really relieve me. I wantto find out what they are, like of couple of little things that I’d really like toclarify.• Items #64 and #65 shifted from a score of 5 to 10; that is, from theneutral category to the highest score. She explained the shift this way:Well, I really, - they just didn’t mean anything to me, I guess, before, but after, Ikept thinking of when we did therapy, the voices, you know, and the other chairand just that, you know, how ridiculous it was, it really, it really did apply tome.• Items #70-72 shifted a great deal as well. #701 feel very protective towardmyself, moved from a score of 2 to 8. $71 I’ve decided to take care of myself.from 4 to 7. #72 I am worthy, from 4 to 8.135Events Occurring While Involved in the ProjectTherapy proceeded thout any unusual occurrences and therewere no unusual extraneous events or circumstances while therapytook place.Discussion of ResultsThe results of the ANOVA table were interpreted to indicatethat, contrary to theory, the combined factors of Conflict Resolution(CR) and the Gestalt concept of Contact (C) were not present in Carol’sdecision-making process before or after therapy. The theory does notaccount for the lack interaction between Conflict Resolution andContact. This suggested that something was interfering or blocking theinteraction of Conflict Resolution and Contact or that other factors maybe involved. This was an indicator that therapy was not successful asdefined by the model.The pattern of her Q-Sorts showed that Carol sorted according totheoretical expectations for a person was conflicted about remainingmarried both before and after therapy. Before therapy she chosemostly items from the stage of Opposition to describe herself. She didnot chose any items from the Merging stage to describe herself. Aswell, she chose half (14) of the items from of Cell 4 (Merging andIntegration) to describe what she was not like. After therapy shesorted quite differently. To describe herself she still chose mostlyitems from the stage of Opposition and she also chose four Mergingstage items. She chose only two items from the stages of Merging andIntegration to describe what she was not like. It seemed that beforetherapy Carol was in the stage of Opposition. After therapy she136apparently had shifted into the Merging stage but had not entered thestage of Integration. This was interpreted to mean that therapy washaving an effect.Carol’s case demonstrated a partial theoretical replication of themodel. This was interpreted to mean that the model and the theoryunderlying it can be useful to partially describe the decision-makingprocess of individuals who have not successfully resolved as definedby the model (that is, from an integrated sense of self) their conflictabout whether or not to remain married.137Case Study Seven: FredDemographic dataFred was a 35 year old male Caucasian. He had completed hisGrade 12 and worked as a salesman. He had been married for sixyears and had two preschool children. He had never been separated.Fred became romantically involved with a woman who had beena long term friend. He sought out marital therapy with his wife.When the therapist told him he would have to give up his girlfriend herefused. The therapist then referred him to this project. Although bewas clear about wanting a relationship with his girlfriend more thanhe wanted his marriage, the pressure from his family and friendsresulted in his feeling ambivalent about his decision.Although Fred scored 8 on the decided/undecided scale he wasnot dropped from the study. He also marked yes to the question ‘Areyou undecided about remaining married or separating?’. Thediscrepancy between these two answers indicates his ambivalenceregarding remaining married or separating. As well, in theory testingusing Q-methodology participants are chosen with the intent tosupport theory. In this case according to the model Fred was still instage 1 (Opposition) his standards and values were still opposed to hiswants and needs. If the therapy was successful, as defined by themodel, in facilitating movement through the Merging stage then hewould shift to a resolution from an integrated rather than conflictedsense of self. For these reasons he remained in the project.138ANOVA Results of the 0-sort (see Table 151Both before and after therapy the two-way interaction results ofFred’s Qsorts showed that he could not be categorized successfullyaccording to a joint relationship of the factors of Conflict Resolution(CR) and Contact (C). (Interpretation of these results follow in thediscussion section.)Table 15ANOVA Results of the 0-Sort: Case study seven: Fred.Source of Variation Before TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 37.3 12 1 37.3 12 9.308 .003*Contact (B) 8.270 1 8.270 2.063 .1552-Way interaction .001 1 .001 .000 .989Source of Variation After TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 68.733 1 68.733 19.724 .000*Contact (B) 15.844 1 15.844 4.547 .036*2-Way interaction 3.705 1 3.705 1.063 .306n=85 items*p=<.100-sort Oualitative Results (see Figures 18 and 191Before therapy Fred chose 15 of the 28 items from the stage ofOpposition to describe what he is like. The items were from Cells 1, 2,and 3. The two items from Cell 3 (Resolved with interruption ofcontact) were #48 I have no choice, and #54 I’ll stay for the children’s sake. Healso chose two Merging stage items and 11 Integration stage itemsfrom stage 3, placing these in the weakest positions.A. Before TherapyB. After TherapyFigure 18. Pattern of Q-Sort for Case Study seven with neutral items omitted.Theory underlying the three stage model of the two-chair technique.(P) Pink Stage 1. Opposition(Y) Yellow Stage 1. Opposition(0) Orange Stage 1. Opposition(B) Blue Stage 2. Merging(V) Violet Stage 3. IntegrationCR = Conflict Resolution (factor1=level 1. 2=level2.= Grid showing interaction of levels of Conflict Resolution and Contact.Note. In main figure each rectangle represents a Q-Sort item.Most like meFred. Y P Y P P- Y P Y Y Y0139Y B 0Y B VLeast like meY VP P Y PP0 P B 0P 0 YV V(‘1?t0B0V VV VP 0 VP 04 29 2+11Most like meP 0Y 0VV00rpt10 123 2+1. Y Y Y P YV B Y Y YV B Y YB Y YLeast like meV YP P P 0 0P Y 0 0 0Y Y VY BY 0 V0CR1 113 5+8B VV V00 V0 00 BB BVVVVcRt4 124 3+5A lB 1 Unresolved with interruption of contact.A1B2 Unresolved with contact.A2B 1 Resolved with interruption of contact.A2B2 Resolved with contactA2B2 Resolved with contactA) C = Contact (factor B)140To describe what he was not like he chose two items from stage2 (Merging) #65 I can ease up on myself. and #67 What I feel is important to me.and one item from stage 3. (Integration) #79 It’s OK for me to do what is rightfor me. He left four Merging stage items in the neutral category.After therapy Fred performed the Q-sort differently. He hadshifted into the Merging stage somewhat shown by his choice of fiveMerging stage items to describe himself but he was still conflictedabout his decision. The two Merging stage items he chose in the firstQ-sort he placed in stronger positions. The other three Merging stageitems he chose to describe himself were #63 I realize my self criticisms arebased on my fears, #67 What I feel is important, and #68. I feel very tender towardmyself. He chose one item from Cell 3 (Resolved with interruption ofcontact)#41 I’m so fed up with going around in circles that I’ve decided to stay/leave.To describe what he is not like he chose the remainder of theMerging stage items and several more items from Integration stagethan he had for the first sort.Stagel IStage2 Stage3Opposition Merging IiatioiiBefore TherapyCell 1 * Cell 2 Cell 3 Cell 4a Cell 4b14 1101 19 f3 I 12 Ii1 1212111111 IAfter Therapy________ ________________ ________11141 l’I4 I 111121 1513118151Figure 19. Results of placement of items before and after therapy for Case Studyseven: Fred.*Left box = number of items used to describe what participant is like.Right box = number of items used to describe what participant is not like.141Outcome of the decision (see Table 16)On the undecided/decided scale Fred’s score remained the sameat 8. He bad separated during the course of his involvement in thestudy and he decided to remain separated.Table 16Undecided/decided scores before and after therapy with decision reached.Before After Elaboration DecisionCase Study seven: Fred 8 8 No change SeparateElaboration Interview DataFred talked about the lack of change regarding his decisionbefore and after therapy:Before I came here the decision was made to leave the marriage. I just didn’tknow why I was feeling like I was feeling, why I was torn and confused. Ididn’t understand why I was breaking down like I did today. I haven’t done thatin weeks... .1 did feel good about what I was doing but something was holdingme by the scruff of the neck and wouldn’t let me turn around and go back, sothat means the decision was made and I just had to understand why I was doingit.What stood out in the therapy for Fred was issues around hisparents:It [therapy] was really good, and I think the effect was learning about myselfand about worrying and pleasing other people. Before I kind of put myself infront of other people.The first two [sessions] were kind of passive. Nothing struck me. I think it wasthe third one where we got into my mom- my parents- the fear of losing them.Understanding their age now. Their age never made a difference to me. Like Isaid, this July when we had the birthday party for my dad and my T? brother???142happy 70th birthday. I was shocked. I just stood there and I said to somebody,he’s not 70 years old. He’s still 50, age, where did those last 20 years-30 yearsgo. Like it was, you know, and it scared the hell out of me. It really reallyscared me, And then he had a heart attack awhile ago. And seeing him in thehospital bed- I’ve never seen my dad like that. I’ve seen this guy that never gotsick for as long as I can remember. I mean I’ve seen him have a cold. But I’venever seen him stop. And all of a sudden you see this guy hooked up tomachines and tubes and you realize that, yes, they’re parents but they’re notinvincible..but no one, you see, no one understands that side [of me] which means no onecan understand the dilemma I’m in.... But they see this guy that raced cars,raced motorcycles, earned a black-belt in Tai Kwan Do, fought full-contact TaiKwan Do, did all my other business. They just saw this guy that could just go,and but they don’t see the warm loving side [of me]. No no They just see thisside that was -can take it, you know.... I don’t know why I get so emotionalabout it. We start talking about my parents Ijust get emotional. I don’t knowwhy. I do know why, Because that side I just talked about never told them Iloved them. For all those years. It’s just go go go go go. They’re always gonnabe there.Fred reported that after the therapy session that focused uponhis parents he went and talked to them and succeeded in getting themto understand him In the way he had never been able to do before.Fred explained shifts he made in the critic softening items.• Item #67 My feelings are important to me. shifted from a score of 1 to 8.[Before therapy] what I feel is important didn’t matter because I was thinkingabout this thing about thinking about everybody else, worrying about what otherpeople think or do or what is something as simple as worrying about the• neighbors. That they have little kids like we have little kids and they had thiswhatever when we came to the neighborhood, saying Oh great! more little kids143in the neighborhood and now I’m going to take the little kids away. So I felt,you know, what I’m saying here is, what I feel inside or for me isn’t important.[After therapy] when I learned that I have to start doing stuff for myselfrather than other people, yeah, it- it [the Q-sort card]was put over therebecause that was something I learned in the therapy- I can’t- and I’ve saidthat- I can’t worry about what other people think because it’s gonna be acrisis ??? for 10 or 15 minutes, maybe one hour and then after that they’renot gonna give a damn, get on with their lives, so I can’t worry what theythink.• Item #65 I can ease up on myself. shifted from 1 to 4.I guess what I’m trying to say, what I’m trying to say is, urn when I had it overhere [before therapy] I was trying to say, I can’t ease up on myself cause it’s theleast like me to do it. And I guess when I moved it to this pile [after therapy] Istill feel I can’t ease up on myself but urn I guess what I’m sort of saying is, it’s-it’s the least like me because I’m not gonna do it- I’m not gonna stop easing upon myself.• Item #68 I feel very tender toward myself, shifted from 5 (neutral) to 7.Because-because I’ve started to put myself in the thinking of myselfposition rather than put me at the end of the pile and put everybody infront of me.• Item #62 My deeper feelings are clear to me. and #66 What I want and need is worthfighting for. shifted slightly. #62 from a score of 7 to 9. #66 from a scoreof7 to 8.Both those items refer to [lover] and how much she means to me. It’simportant. She’s worth hanging on to, so that’ why they progressed up.• Item #29 I want a better life for myself. demonstrated a shift in perceptionof his circumstances. It shifted from a score to 10 to 6.144It’s still important to me but to make it that strong, powerful, urn oh I still wantto put other stuff in front of me, as in, like the kids and [wife]. I’m still puttingthem in front of me, so I do want a better life. I’m willing to sacrifice some ofthat better life to give them a good life too... .In the beginning I came in herethinking I- you know- I want this all, not thinking, but I guess I had- I had, sortof, the inside attitude that, yeah, I want this better life, but then I realize now, Iguess, I have to give some to have some.Fred’s conflict is clearly demonstrated by the placement of items#71 and #79. #71 I’ve decided to take care of myself. shifts from a score of 5(neutral) to 10 showing a strong shift within himself after therapy yet#79 It’s OK for me to do what is right for me. does not move. It remains at ascore of 2 on the Least-like-me side. At the Elaboration interview theonly changes that he made were in the post Q-sort. He switched #401hold myself back from taking action to resolve my decision. (score 8) with #76 I canmake a difference in my life. (score 6) indicating he was stronger in acting onhis decision. Although Fred had decided to take care of himself he stilldid not believe it was OK for him to do so.After therapy Fred was actually more conflicted than before asindicated by the shift in items just previously mentioned as well as#80 I can reconcile the differences within myself. from 6 to 4, #82 I feel at peace withmyself, from 5 (neutral) to 4, and #83 I feel relief, from 5 (neutral) to 2.His self esteem was lower as indicated by the shift in items #72 Iam worthy., #74 I am trustworthy., and #77 I value myself, from a score of 6 to 5(neutral).One item, #48 I’ve decided that I have no choice, Fred conceptualizeddifferently before and after therapy. It shifted from 9 to 5. For thefirst Q-sort he felt he had no choice but to leave the marriage. For thesecond Q-sort he felt:145It’s, after last night, it’s not leave the marriage, but I have no choice, I can’t do it(separate) in a soft helping way. I have to be cold and blunt now. I have nochoice.... I’ve tried to do it and be as helpful and- and- and work through thebest I can to try to help the pain and suffering for everybody else but, I just gotto be blunt now. There’s no doubt about it.After therapy Fred came to a new decision regarding hischildren as shown by the shift in item #54 I’ll stay for the children’s sake.from a score of 6 to 3.I realize that I can’t stay for the children’s sake because I won’t be happy and itwon’t do them any good.... Now I can see that I just wouldn’t be happy and itwouldn’t do the kids any good not to see love in the house, and I wouldn’t showit, not- I’d show it to them. They wouldn’t see love.I kept having- I kept having to sort out why I would go back and- and it- theanswer always came that if you’re gonna go back to the marriage it has to be for[wife], it can’t be for the kids. It can’t be for the house. It can’t be financially.To have a good marriage I have to want and love [wife] and that’s the onlyreason to go back to, and everything else will fall in place and that’s what I keptsorting and sorting and sorting and the answer always came out the same.There’s nothing that I want to go back to this person for, so that’s probably whyit moved over there [Least-Like-Me side] Putting it there means I still havefeelings and thoughts about the kids. I’d like to be there, that’s why I didn’tdiscard it 100%. 1 had to put t- I had to keep it in the picture showing that I’mstill thinking about the kids.At the Elaboration interview Fred commented on his reaction toseeing the Q-sorts.But today when I sat down and read it I saw- well, like I said to you- I see aperson that knows what he wants to do, but I see a person that’s having troubledoing it. Like some of the cards. I saw it. It was black and white. I could see it.146Yeah. And then when I looked at the first [Q-sort], remember, I said I see aperson that’s determined and strong, and now I see a person that’s not so strongand weak, or torn or tied. I don’t know what word to use. But, yeah, I see twodifferent people.... I came in with the attitude I can deal with it. I’ll deal with itmy way and I can do it. I’ve done it all the time. Now I see a person that’shaving trouble dealing with it, and it’s hurting, big!Events Occurring While Involved in the ProjectTherapy proceeded as expected and there were no unusualextraneous events or circumstances while Fred underwent therapyHowever, it was worth noting that Fred moved out of his home andinto a place with friends the first day of therapy.Discussion of resultsThe results of the ANOVA were interpreted to indicate that,contrary to theory, the combined factors of Conflict Resolution and theGestalt concept of Contact were not present in Fred’s decision-makingprocess before or after therapy. The theory does not account for thelack of interaction between these two factors. This suggested thatsomething was interfering or blocking the interaction of the factors orthat other factors may be involved. This suggested that therapy wasnot successful as defined by the model.The pattern of Fred’s Q-Sorts showed he sorted as predicted for aperson who was conflicted about remaining married before and aftertherapy. His pre-Q-sort showed that be was conflicted and that hisdecisiveness did not stem from an integrated sense of self. He choseonly two Merging stage items to describe himself which indicated thathis critic had not softened. His choice of two items from Cell 3147(Resolved with interruption of contact) to describe himself alsoindicated his decision was not from an integrated sense of self. Aftertherapy he had shifted somewhat but, as predicted by theory, he felteven more conflicted than before therapy. He chose more Mergingstage items to describe himself, suggesting his critic had begun tosoften. This was supported by the description of his experience; thathe had more compassion for himself and was acting on this by puttinghimseLf first instead of other people. He seemed more aware of hisfeelings but apparently he still felt strongly that he did not havepermission to do what he felt was right for him. He chose more itemsfrom stage 3 (Integration) to describe what he was not like. His choiceof item #41 I’m so fed up with going around in circles that I’ve decided to stay/leave.to describe himself also demonstrated that his post therapy decisionstemmed from conflict, not from an integrated sense of himself. Thiswas more indication that therapy was not successful.Fred’s case demonstrated a partial theoretical replication of themodel. This was interpreted to mean that the model and the theoryunderlying it as put forth by Greenberg (1979; 1983) can be useful topartially describe the decision-making process of individuals who areunable to successfully resolve as defined by the model (that is, froman integrated sense of self) their conflict about whether or not toremain married.148Case Study Eight: DonaldDemographic dataDonald was a 51-year-old male Caucasian. He had completedGrade 12 and worked full time at a local university in a technicalcapacity. He reported the family income in the $40-60,000 range. Hiswife also had completed Grade 12. He had been for married 29 yearsand had never been separated. He had two adult children, one ofwhom lives at home.Donald sought out therapy to help him resolve his dilemmaregarding whether or not to give up his marriage for his lover of twoyears. His therapist referred him to this project.A}JOVA Results of the 0-sort (see Table 17)Before therapy, Donald sorted the Q-sort items according totheoretical expectation for a person who was undecided aboutremaining married. The two-way interaction results of his Q-Sortsshowed that he could be categorized successfully according to a jointrelationship of Conflict Resolution (CR) and Contact (C)After therapy, Donald sorted differently. The two-wayinteraction results of his Q-Sorts showed that he could not becategorized successfully according to a joint relationship of the twofactors. According to theoretical expectations he should sort theitems according to an interaction of Conflict Resolution and Contactafter therapy as well as before regardless of whether therapy wassuccessful or not, as defined by the model. (Interpretation of theseresults follow in the discussion section.)149Table 17ANOVA Results of the Q-Sort: Case study one: Donald.Source of Variation Before TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 3.273 1 3.273 .966 .329Contact (B) 72.076 1 72.076 2 1.275 .000*2-Way interaction 20.487 1 20.487 6.047 .016*Source of Variation After TherapySum of Sq. DF Mean Sq. F-ratio p-ValueConflict Resolution (A) 42.574 1 42.574 10.556 .002*Contact (B) .499 1 .499 .124 .7262-Way interaction .311 1 .311 .077 .782n =85 items*p<100-sort Qualitative Results ( see Figures 20 and 21)In the pre-Q-sort Donald used mostly items from the Oppositionstage to describe himself. Of the 28 items used to describe what hewas like 22 of them were from Cells 1, 2, and 3. The item #61 I’vedecided to live a separate life within the marriage, gave a strong indication of hisconflicted state regarding his marriage.To describe what he is not like Donald used eight items from theIntegration stage. These were items from Cell 4 (Resolved and incontact); three of these were Merging stage items; #62 My deeper feelingsare clear to me., #65 I can ease up on myself, and #68 I feel very tender toward myself.A. Before TherapyB. After TherapyFigure 20. Pattern of Q-Sort for Case Study eight with neutral items omitted.Theory underlying the three stage model of the twochair technique.(P) Pink Stage 1. Opposition(Y) Yellow Stage 1. Opposition(0) Orange Stage 1. Opposition(B) Blue Stage 2. Merging(V) Violet Stage 3. IntegrationCR = Conflict Resolution (factor1 = level 1. 2 = level 2.= Grid showing interaction of levels of Conflict Resolution and Contact.Note. In main figure each rectangle represents a Q-Sort item.Most like meDonald• P P P P PP P P Y YP P150YPYY YP Y 0Least like me()P P P P PY 0090Y00(‘RtV00-u-i0Y VV V0 0 V12 19 0+60 BVVBVVVBVMost like meCRt5 - 141 3+5Y Y P P P‘ V V P Y PV P YPYY YLeast like meV Y Yj)P P P P Pp 9 PYYYCRBP00YY 0 VY VV V‘7 10Iii 11+90000BVVBVV CR11 84 2+3AiBi Unresolved with interruption of contact.A1B2 Unresolved with contact.A2B 1 Resolved with interruption of contact.A2B2 Resolved with contactA2B2 Resolved with contactA) C = Contact (factor B)151StagelStage2 Stage3OppositionMerging IntegrationBefore TherapyCell 1 * Cell 2Cell 3 Cell 4a Cell4b112151 19111 flfl4j lOl1 16151After Therapy________________________________171111 11114 I 101811112119131Figure 21. Results of placement of items before and after therapy for Case Studyeight: Donald.*Left box = number of items used to describe what participant is like.Right box = number of items used to describe what participant isnot like.After therapy, Donald’s Q-sort showed that he was no clearerabout his decision and was still conflicted; he remained intheOpposition stage. There were some changes. He chose fewer itemsfrom Cell 1 (Unresolved with interruption of contact) and more itemsfrom Cell 4 (Resolved and in contact) to describe himself. He no longerchose #61 or any other itemsfrom Cell 3 (Resolved with interruption ofcontact). There was very little indication that he had entered theMerging stage in that he chose only one of the eight Merging stageitems to describe himself, #67What I feel is important. He still chose twoMerging stage items to describe what he is not like, #62 Mydeeper feelingsare clear to me. and #68 I feel very tender toward myself. The remaining Mergingstage items were discarded into the neutral category.152Outcome of the Decision (see Table 18)On the undecided/decided scale Donald moved from a score of 1to 7. He decided to remain married. At the Elaboration interview oneweek later he reported returning to feeling very ambivalent andrevised his score to 5.Table 18Undecidedldecided scores before and after therapy with decision reached.Before After Elaboration DecisionCase Study eight: Donald 1 7 5 Remain marriedDonald performed the post-Qsort not based upon how he feltbut upon what he assumed vas going to happen. Because certaininteractions had occurred between him and his lover since therapyhad ended, he assumed that she was going to end the relationship.This then precipitated his decision for him—to remain married, nolonger living a separate life within the marriage. However, not onlyhad his lover not ended the relationship but instead had renewed herinvestment in it.In fact, my dilemma now right today, is probably in a worse situation thanI was when I first came in, because I’ve- now find her saying that she’sshe can’t live without me being with her, and that- which is I findridiculous, but then again that’s her feelings.At the Elaboration Interview Donald revised his score to 5. Hestill decided to remain married. He expressed surprise at this turn ofevents and stated he felt back to where he started at the beginning.153Elaboration Interview DataWhat stood out in thetherapy for Donald wasexperiencing andexpressing his feelingsin a way he had neverdone before.I guess the most meaningful thing, or what first came to my mind when you saidthat is being- finding myself expressing myself the way I have never expressedmyself. Like, I mean, likeeven crying for instance in expressing my feelings. 1mean I never do that.Researcher, “Do you have any idea what made that possible for you to do?”Well, I think it was [Therapist]more or less making mego-feeling that way. Like wanting to feel my inner feelings or that kind ofthing. That’s what I thinkwhat brought it on.Although Donald experienced himself in a newway he still didnot trust what he felt.One thing that I did feel out that though- even if I feel my inner feelings, I stillfelt questionable about those.What also stood out for Donald was his difficultywith the two-chair experiment.Just to get used to the two chair thing. I found that difficult to get into.• Items #5, #62 and #67 also indicated Donald’sstruggle with hisfeelings. Donald misunderstood item #5.1 don’t knowwhat I feel anymore. Heshifted it from a score of 0 to 4. Donald responded to the item as if itsaid ‘I know what I feel.’Before therapy he did not at all know howhe felt s he put that item at the extreme of Least-like-me. After154therapy, he was somewhat aware of what he felt so shifted it to ascore of 4. At the elaboration interview he states;Because I’m- I still don’t know what I feel anymore, but it’s not as strong... .1felt like I was mixed up, very, but I don’t feel that way as much anymore, but Istill feel it.• Item #67 What I feel is important. shifted from a score of 5 (neutral) to 6.This indicates Donald was beginning to value his feelings. It showedonly a slight shift in the critic softening.That’s through therapy because my feelings were brought out and it made merealize more about my feelings and when I read that [Item #67] I related to it.•Item #62 My deeper feelings are clear to me. shifted from a score of 3 to 4.Well, my deeper feelings are not, and they’re not clear to me, and this isprobably where the ‘crutch’ of the whole thing is- is where I-you know- where Iam, and I’m still not really clear on it.Donald’s explanations of his sorting of items #18, #19, #24, #64, and#70 showed how he conceptuaiized the Qsort and the purpose of hisinvolvement in the project. He was asked to explain the change in theway he sorted these items before and after therapy:• Item #18 I’m torn, shifted from a score of 9 to 3. Because he feels lesstorn than before, he sorted this item on the Least-like-me side in spiteof the fact that this item still described him.Over there [pre-Q-sort] I was torn apart over there cause I didn’t know what thehell was going on, and over here [post-Q..sort] now I realize more what theheck’s going on. I still am probably torn, but I’m not, it’s not something thatsticks out anymore.155• Item #19 I’m afraid. shifted from a scoreof 10 to 4.Donald focused agreat deal on his decision and the pressure to decide rather than onthe process he had of frightening himself.-I’m-it’s not like me anymore cause I’m not afraid. Ithink that probably helpedme out a lot in the therapy because afraid, meaning what’s gonna happen aroundmy decision. Now I know more about- I guess in time and in therapy, that,youknow, I know more about what I have to face so I’m reallynot afraid. I’m moreor less built some confidence up that- so that doesn’t bother me now.• Item # 241 expect/demand a lot of myself. shifted from ascore of 5(neutral) to 10. He viewed this item as referring to the pressure ofdeciding over the course of this project rather than relating itto hishigh standards and values.It came to my mind right away because at the state that I’m innow, goingthrough therapy, you know, I- I expected something for me to make a decision.That’s, you know, to come up with something, and so I put a lotof demand onmyself to make the decision Because I felt that kind of pressure withinmyself and my partners as welLItem # 701 feel very protective towards myself, shifted from a score of 7 to 2.Because he had a lover, he related this item to his need to lie and thenremember what he had said to whom. Again, aswith Item #18, hesorted this item on the Least-like-me side in spite ofthe fact that itstill described what he was like. He did not conceptualize this item asa new sense of protectiveness that occurs as a result of the criticsoftening.I was very very protective towards myself at the beginning because of what washappening around me, I had to be, I still have to be total aware... .1 felt-I felt thatvery strong at the beginning, but I-I still feel it, but it’s not as strong.156• Item #64 I’m not as bad as I thought I was, remained in the neutral category,scoring 5. Donald related to this item but did not use to describehimself. When asked about this item and the fact he didn’t move it heresponded:Well, I still think I’m bad. You know what I mean.Donald’s self esteem improved in spite of the fact that his criticsoftened only slightly. This was indicated by the shift in items #72,#74, #75.•Item #72 I feel worthy. shifted from a score of 6 to 9.Yeah. I remember putting that [item] there because I just-I just feel that- I feelwhatever decision I make I just feel more worthy of myself, whatever I’m gonnado, and I still felt worthy of myself before but not as strong. I feel stronger now.• Item #74 I am trustworthy. shifted from a score of 5 (neutral) to 9. Eventhough Donald knew his dishonest behavior with both his wife andlover was not trustworthy behavior he felt more trustworthy withinhimself.Yeah. Because- that’s funny, you know, it’s like a double negative again too,because I’m not trustworthy at all really, but I am feeling more trustworthy. I- Ifelt strongly about that because I am, whatever I’m- decision that I make to do,I’m- I honestly believe that I’ll be very trustful. Do be honest with myself. Inspite of, you know, the lies you’re living in your life, that’s not what it’s about.It’s about what you think of yourself.• Item #75 I am responsible shifted from a score of 6 to 10.157Well, I am damn responsible. I feel, yeah, strong. Yeah, it [therapy] broughtthat out, I guess, my inner feelings brought that out.• Item #36 I can’t accept myself as I am. shifted from a score of 7 to 4. Thisshowed that Donald felt even worse about himself after therapy thanbefore.Donald explained his state of mind when he performed the postQ-Sort; be was convinced his lover was going to end the relationshipwhich would mean he would remain in his marriage:“Because as of last Thursday, I honestly felt that things were going to change ina - with the lady that I’m seeing- and I just thought that she had had enough andshe didn’t want to go on anymore. In other words she was going to make adecision and I felt that I would, with that decision, would be - would beobviously not to be with me anymore, and I was building up in myself to livewith that decision, so I was looking for all the good things in my marriage thatwould help me stay and help me forget about that.His lover did not end the relationship as he expected and hereturned to conflicted position regarding whether or not to remainmarried.In fact, my dilemma now right today is probably in a worse situation than I waswhen I first came in, because I’ve now find her saying that she’s-she can’t livewithout me being with her and (that which is I find ridiculous) but then againthat’s her feelings, that how she feels.158Events Occurring While Involved in the ProjectTherapy proceeded as expected and there were no unusualextraneous events or circumstances while Donald underwent therapy.However, he did not have a clear grasp on how to perform the Q-sort.Donald misunderstood some of the items or placed them on the Least-like-me side when he meant to show they described him, but less so.Just before Donald performed the post therapy Q-Sortcircumstances had occurred between him and his lover that convincedhim she would end the relationship.Discussion of resultsThe results of the ANOVA table were interpreted to indicate thatas predicted by theory, the combined factors of Conflict Resolution andthe Gestalt concept of Contact were present in Donald’s decisionmaldng process before therapy. This would suggest that ConflictResolution and Contact were interrelated as expected on theoreticalgrounds. After therapy results of the ANOVA table were interpretedto indicate that the combined factors of Conflict Resolution and Contactwere not present in his decision-making. The theory does not accountfor the lack interaction between Conflict Resolution and Contact aftertherapy. This suggested that after therapy something was interferingor blocking the interaction of the factors or that other factors may beinvolved. This was supported by Donald’s explanation of his state ofmind when he performed the Q-Sort after therapy; that he respondedto the items according to what he believed would happen. Thissuggested that therapy was not successful as defmed by the model.159The pattern of Donald’s Q-Sorts showed that he sorted aspredicted for a person who was conflicted about remaining marriedbefore therapy and decided after therapy. However, the decision aftertherapy appeared to be from a conflicted rather than integrated senseof self. Before therapy he chose mostly items from the stage ofOpposition to describe himself. He chose no items from the Mergingstage to describe himself. As well, he chose three Merging stage itemsand five Integration stage items to describe what he was not like.After therapy he still chose mostly items from the stage of Oppositionto describe himself. He still chose items from the stages of Mergingand Integration to describe what he was not like but fewer of them.Evidently he was not able to reach a decision through integration ofthe opposed aspects of himself. One of the major reasons for this washis apparent reluctance to experience his feelings. This was supportedby his words that even when he experienced the value of accessingand expressing his feelings he still resisted it by doubting what he felt.As a result, he appeared unable to access his deeper feelings whicheven he described as the ‘crutch’ of the matter. Secondly, it seemedthat he found the two-chair-technique difficult and was able toexperience its effectiveness only slightly. This was further evidencethat therapy was unsuccessful.Donald’s case demonstrated a partial theoretical replication ofthe model and the theory underlying it. It came very close todemonstrating a complete theoretical replication. This was interpretedto mean that the model and the theory underlying it can be useful tomostly describe the decision-making process of individuals who areunable to successfully resolve (that is, from an integrated sense ofself) their conflict about whether or not to remain married.160161CHAPTER VCONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSIONIntroductionIn order to facilitate discussion of the results in this chapter theoperational definition of the two-chair technique, given at the end ofChapter I, is reiterated. The results are then discussed according to thetype of replication of theory that the cases produced. This is followed bylimitations of the study, recommendations for future research and a finalsummary.This study considered whether or not it could be demonstrated thatthe three stage model of the two-chair technique illuminated the theoryand practice of the technique. In the two-chair experiment, two opposingsides of an intrapsychic conflict are separated and brought into contactwith each other, verbally and non-verbally. One side, named the critic,evolves into an aspect of the self that is usually harsh toward and criticalof the other aspect of the self. It embodies the standards and values of theindividual. The other side, named the experiencing self, evolves into anaspect of the self that usually is rebellious, devious and/or acts like aweakling in relationship to the critic. It embodies the wants and needs ofthe individual. It is the differences between an individual’s standards andvalues and his or her wants and needs that create the conflict. Each sidetakes responsibility for its side of the conflict. Resolution of the conflictoccurs when the critic softens into compassion toward or fear for theexperiencing self, allowing the experiencing self to express itself fully andclearly to the critic; the critic then embraces the experiencing self in atender loving manner. Resolution is either precipitated by a newperception of each side and/or reached through negotiation. Standardsand values are revised and integrated with legitimate wants and needs.162Discussion of ReplicationsAccording to replication logic, if similar results are obtained fromseveral cases replication is said to have taken place (Yin, 1989). Casesare carefully selected so that they offer the best chance of producing aliteral or theoretical replications. Literal replications are ones thatproduce predictable results according to the theory under investigation.Theoretical replications are ones that produce contrary results but forpredictable reasons (Yin). Replications that are neither literal ortheoretical are considered to demonstrate areas where the theory isinadequate. These replications may be partially literal or partiallytheoretical.Literal ReplicationOf the eight single case studies presented, one, Hector, produced aliteral replication. On the basis of his ANOVA results, as predicted bytheory, before and after therapy he could be categorized according to ajoint relationship of the factors Conflict Resolution and Contact. Thepattern of his Q-Sorts showed movement through all three stages of themodel, Opposition, Merging and Integration. His final Q-sort showed noconflict. His descriptions of his experience matched the pattern of his Qsorts. He reported that he found the two-chair method very effective.He moved from unresolved to resolved regarding his marriage, andwhether or not to stay in it. He came to a decision that he reportedfeeling very good about and acted upon it. The decision was still in effecttwo months after therapy ended.From a theoretical view Hector’s results are interpreted to meanthat therapy was successful and that the joint relationship of Conflict163Resolution and Contact could be used to describe his decision-makingprocess through the three stage model. Specifically, it meant that as hecame into contact with himself, resolution of his conflict issue was-facilitated. He began in a state of conflict, experiencing interruption ofcontact and a sense of being unresolved with aspects of himself opposed(Opposition). Over the course of therapy he came more into contact withself. His critic softened, allowing his experiencing self to achieve clearexpression (Merging). As a result he came to feel more accepting of andtender toward himself which enabled him to develop a new sense ofhimself as an integrated whole (Integration). This precipitated resolutionof his conflict issue.Theoretical ReplicationsThe study did not generate theoretical replications. However, theresults from Donald’s Q-Sorts demonstrated a nearly perfect theoreticalreplication of the three stage model. Based upon the ANOVA results fromDonald’s Q-Sorts, before therapy he could be categorized according to ajoint relationship of Conflict Resolution and Contact. After therapy,however, contrary to theory, he could be categorized only according toConflict Resolution. This meant that before therapy he was unresolvedand experiencing interruption of contact. After therapy, his sortindicated that he was resolved, with some items showing resolved withcontact and some items indicating resolved with interruption of contact.He began in the Opposition stage and the pattern of his Q-Sorts showedno movement through the stages of Merging and Integration. His final Qsort shdwed conflict. His descriptions of his experience matched thepattern of his Q-Sorts. In spite of the fact that he had difficulty relatingto the two-chair technique, Q-Sort items he chose to describe himself164indicated that he was able to access some of his feelings and experiencesbut not on a deep level. His critic did not soften and he did not achievean integrated sense of self. He did not come to a new sense of himself orperceive his situation or himself any differently. He came to a decisionthat was short-lived, less than a week. He returned to his initial state ofconflict and confusion. Without contact he did not get a sustainedresolution.From a theoretical view these results were interpreted to mean thattherapy was not successful as defined by the model. He came somewhatmore into contact with self but not enough to enable his critic to soften.Thus, at the end of the six sessions of therapy he felt resolved but notfrom a sense of being in contact with himself and not from a sense ofintegration of the opposed aspects of himself. At the elaborationinterview he stated that he made the decision based upon what heassumed his lover was going to do; that is, upon his cognitions not hissense of self. He was still conflicted, still in the Opposition stage, resultingin a decision that was forced. His words “In fact, my dilemma now, righttoday, is probably in a worse situation than I was when I first came in...”are confirmation that therapy was not successful for Donald.For a perfect theoretical replication to have been produced theANOVA results from Donald’s Q-Sorts would have demonstrated aninteraction between the factors of Conflict Resolution and Contact bothbefore and after unsuccessful treatment. According to the theory,decision-making occurs due to an integration of the factors of ConflictResolution and Contact whether or not therapy is successful. In Donald’scase Conflict Resolution and Contact interacted in his decision-makingbefore therapy but not after. This indicated that he responded165differently to these factors before and after therapy. The theory does notaccount for this change in his decision-making process.Qther ReplicationsThe remaining case studies are neither literal nor theoreticalreplications. They are partial replications that also gave some support tothe three stage model.The case studies of Beverley, Gail and Edward produced partialliteral replications. After therapy, like Hector, Beverley and Gail sortedas predicted. They chose items indicating they were resolved andexperienced being in contact. They went through the Merging stage andwere solidly in the Integration stage at the end of therapy. They hadshifted to choosing items mostly from Cell 4 (resolved and in contact)after therapy. At the end of therapy, Edward also sorted as predicted.He appeared to be in the Merging stage, but not completely through it,and had entered the Integration stage. Evidently, after therapy, they allresponded to a joint relationship of Conflict Resolution and Contact. Thedifference between Hector and these three cases showed in the Q-Sortsbefore therapy. In his Q-Sorts, Hector chose items mostly from Cell 1(unresolved and interruption of contact) before therapy and Cell 4 aftertherapy. Beverley, Gail and Edward were in Opposition stage beforetherapy but did not choose items mostly from Cell 1. It seemed thatinitially they did not respond to a joint relationship of Conflict Resolutionand Contact. This suggested that something unpredicted was occurringbefore therapy in regard to these two factors or that they wereresponding to some other factor(s) not targeted by this study. Thechange in how they sorted before and after therapy was interpreted tomean that therapy had an effect on their decision-making process. It166was also interpreted to mean that a joint relationship of ConflictResolution and Contact was involved in successful outcomes of therapyusing the two-chair technique with the decision of whether to remainmarried or separate.The case studies of Amy, Carol and Fred were partial theoreticalreplications. Before and after therapy, Amy responded according to ajoint relationship of Conflict Resolution and Contact but did not chooseitems predominantly from Cell 1 to describe herself before therapy asexpected. Neither Carol nor Fred responded according to a jointrelationship to Conflict Resolution and Contact before or after therapy.After therapy all chose more Merging stage items to describe themselvesindicating they had entered the Merging stage but were not completelythrough it. This was interpreted to mean that their critics were in theearly part of the softening process. Their own words supported thisinterpretation. At the end of therapy they all made decisions thatshowed they were still in the Opposition stage. They experienced beingsomewhat more in contact than before therapy. This demonstrated somesupport for the theory, specifically that going through the Merging stageis necessary for therapy using two-chair technique to be successful.From a theoretical viewpoint, although the participants did notalways respond according to a joint relationship of Conflict Resolution andContact, the patterns of the Q-Sorts, along with participants’ own words,support the stages of the model. As predicted by the theory, to describewhat they are like before therapy, almost all participants chose mostlyitems from the stage of Opposition, indicating that they experienced partsof the self opposed to each other. There were indications of conflict inthe initial sorts. After therapy, Beverley and Gail, who went through allthree stages of the model and showed no conflict in their sorts, chose167mostly items from Merging and Integration stages to describethemselves. They chose very few items from the Merging andIntegration stages to describe what they are not like. The participantswho did not go through the Merging stage still chose items mostly fromthe stage of Opposition to describe themselves after therapy.Also, although the case studies of Beverley, Gail and Edward are notcomplete literal replications they still gave some support to the threestage model and the theory underlying it. They demonstrated support ofthe stages of Opposition, Merging and Integration. They indicated that ajoint relationship of Conflict Resolution and Contact was involved insuccessful outcome using two-chair technique. The effect of these factorswas not always as predicted or expected and this suggested areas of thetheory that need further development.Discussion of ResultsThe cases of Hector and Donald showed that the theory underlyingthe model of the two-chair technique can be useful for describing andexplaining individuals’ processes through successful and unsuccessfulresolution of conflict using the two-chair technique for the decision ofwhether or not to remain married. According to the three stage model asuccessful resolution is one in which the critic softens, allowing clearexpression of the experiencing self, which leads to an integrated sense ofself that is new. An unsuccessful resolution is one in which the criticdoes not soften and the conflicted aspects of the self remain opposed toeach other. These two replications show the interactive relationshipbetween the factors of Conflict Resolution and Contact involved in thetwo-chair technique. That is, individuals who are unresolved regarding adecision experience interruption of contact and as a result of therapy168using two-chair technique they experience increased contact with self,which facilitates resolution.The theory predicted that before and after therapy all participantswould be able to be categorized according to an interactive relationshipbetween the factors of Conflict Resolution and Contact. Each item wasconstructed of a combination of one level of Conflict Resolution, forexample, unresolved, and one level of Contact, for example, interruption-of-contact. It was predicted that all participants would respond to thecombination of the factors in the items, that is, they would choose mostlyitems from Cell 1 to describe themselves before therapy and mostlyitems from Cell 4 to describe themselves after successful therapy. Infact, they did not. Before therapy, only three participants respondedaccording to the joint relationship of Conflict Resolution and Contact.After therapy five participants responded according to the jointrelationship of both factors. This added additional support for theinteractive nature of these factors in successful therapy.There are two reasons embedded in the theory that account forparticipants sorting other than as predicted. One is the concept ofconfluence from the stage of Opposition. Due to a lack of clear boundariesindividuals do not have a sense of the split within themselves(Greenberg, 1979). Before therapy, the lack of awareness of self couldexplain why individuals do not respond to the joint relationship of thefactors Conflict Resolution and Contact. Individuals experiencing a greatdeal of interruption-of-contact may be unaware of the split withinthemselves; they may be aware of only one side of the split or not beable to focus in on either side. Gail’s words support this, “But again I’ve spentso many years everywhere at once, not being able to focus in or not knowing how to focus in”.Her sort (Figure 10) showed that she chose items from each Cell to169describe both what she is like and what she is not like in such a mannerthat they balanced each other, indicating that she could not becategorized into any of the cells making up the stages of the model. Theother reason, also from the stage of Opposition, stems from the concept ofsplits, particularly the subject/object split (Greenberg, 1979). Individualsinterrupt or block their own awareness of self often by scaring anddoubting themselves. “The person is usually fully invested in one side ofthe self in this situation” (Greenberg, 1979, p. 318). Beverley supportedthis with her comment, “I think when I’m terrorizing myself like that I can’t make adecision.” Carol stated; “I wasn’t even sure at the beginning when I first went in whether Iwas going to go back to school or anything. I was thinking of my own state of confusionprobably more than anything else”. As these participants performed the initial Qsort they chose items which indicated they were both resolvedexperiencing interruption of contact and resolved experiencing being incontact. It is possible that some unknown factors, or combinations offactors, were involved. This demonstrated that even though someindividuals may think they are working on decision-making, other factorsmay be influencing their process. Possible factors are negative feelings,such as fear and anxiety, as well as negative cognkions such as doubtingor dismissing one’s experience. Excessive fear or lack of trust in one’s selfappear to block decision-making. Lack of clear awareness of one’scognitions and feelings and the interaction of the two appears to result inlack of action in decision-making.The theory underlying the model does not explain or allow for thelack of response to the joint relationship of both factors before or aftertherapy. According to theory these two factors cannot be responded toseparately in the decision-making process; the more interruption ofcontact individuals experience the more unresolved they are, and as170individuals come more into contact with themselves the more able theyare to resolve.A possible explanation is that there is a pre-stage to the model, astage that clients need to go through in order to get to a point where theyrespond to a combination of the two major factors underlying the model.As the therapy using the two-chair technique takes effect, individualsappear to shift from a pre-therapy state of confluence in which theyrespond to neither factor, or only one factor, either Conflict Resolution orContact to responding to a joint relationship of the factors in theirdecision-making after therapy. This was supported by the change insorting considerations of Beverley, Gail and Edward. On the other hand,Carol and Fred appeared to shift from responding to only one factorbefore therapy to responding to both factors after therapy butindependently of each other. This suggests that they were approachingthis pre-condition or state and needed more sessions of therapy to reachthe stage where they would respond to both factors in a joint manner.The pre-stage suggested here is not the same as the pre-dialogue stage towhich Greenberg et al. (1993) refer. The pre-dialogue stage they refer toaddresses the interaction between therapist and client in preparation forimplementing the two-chair technique. The pre-stage suggested as aresult of this study refers to an emotional state or condition in whichindividuals are not able to respond to both factors, Conflict Resolution andContact, in a joint manner because they are experiencing so muchinterruption of contact or because other factors may be involved. Thissuggests that therapy during this stage should focus on bringingindividuals more into contact with self, which would enable them toreach a point where they could consider both factors jointly.171There appears to be a sequential aspect to decision-making for thedecision of whether to remain married or to separate. Amy and Carolmade interim decisions at the end of therapy. They appeared to haveentered the Merging stage but were still experiencing conflict. They bothmade decisions to stay in the marriage as they continued to work on theirintrapsychic conflicts. This speaks to a sequential nature of effectivedecision-making. It is important to remember that Amy’s decision wasalso influenced by extraneous events. It also indicated that someindividuals require more than six sessions of therapy to resolve theirdecision of whether to remain married or separate.LimitationsIn this study, each of the eight case studies was a test of how welltheory underlying the model of the Gestalt two-chair techniqueaccounted for the individual’s experience of successful and unsuccessfulresolution of his or her conflict regarding whether or not to remainmarried. The two-chair technique was taken out of the general Gestalttherapy theory and applied in a way that was somewhat artificial.Usually a therapist waits for a marker that indicates a splitspontaneously emerging in the moment before engaging the client intwo-chair work (Greenberg, 1979). In this study, participants enteredthe project with a specific split and the therapists did not wait for a splitto emerge; instead, they actively invited its exploration. Generalizabilityof the theory to Gestalt therapy theory as a whole needs further research.There were only eight out of 85 items representing the Mergingstage. Statistically, the Merging stage could not be detected because thisnumber was too small and because these items were combined with the16 items representing the stage of Integration in Cell 4. The small172number of items representing the Merging stage gave an indication of thepresence or absence of the Merging stage through patterns in the sorting.This was then verified by participants’ own words.An additional limiting factor may be that as a result of clientsadopting the framework and language of their therapists they learn toframe the problems in the same way.Theoretical ImplicationsThe two-chair techniqueThe three stage model received moderate support. The interactiverelationship between Conflict Resolution and Contact received somesupport. While Conflict Resolution and Contact did interact they did notalways interact as the theory predicted they would. For example, thetheory does not explain how the factors of Conflict Resolution and Contactare involved when individuals are very frightened or confused. Thetheory needs to be expanded to explain what affects the interaction ofthese two factors. Also, it needs to address whether or not there are anyother factors involved in this decision-maldng process and, if so, howthese factors relate to Conflict Resolution and Contact.The three stage model and the theory underlying it is a sub-theoryof the more global theory of Gestalt therapy theory. For example,Passons (1975) states that the major goals of Gestalt therapy are teachingindividuals to assume responsibility and facffitating integration of aspectsof self into a unified whole. How the model is embedded within thelarger theoretical framework of Gestalt therapy needs to be madeexplicit.173Practical ImplicationsNot all participants engaged in the two-chair dialogue procedurereadily and easily. Participants who reached resolution from anintegrated position were able to readily engage in the procedure andfound it very effective. The two participants who had difficulty engagingin the two-chair dialogue, Donald and Fred, reached decisions still in astate of Opposition. They both had great difficulty shifting from talkingabout their feelings to experiencing their feelings. At the end of therapythey entered the Merging stage only slightly and they still used someMerging stage items to describe what they were not like. Greenberg et al.(1993) address this factor. They state, “In our experience, not all clientsenter treatment with this ability to focus in on and search out the edgesof their own experience. In fact much of the challenge and art of theProcess-Experiential approach comes in adapting the treatment to meetthe needs of a variety of clients with various processing styles” (p. 286).Some individuals have difficulty relating to the two-chair techniqueand either may find another method of therapy more productive entirelyor may need to go much more slowly and take more time before theyexperience the two-chair as a safe and productive way of working intherapy. The individuals who are able to relate to it and use it areindividuals who are willing to access all levels of feelings, even thoughthese feelings may be very frightening, shameful or unknown. They arealso willing to face and experience a deep sense of vulnerability. Thisspeaks to the importance of the therapeutic relationship and the supportnecessary from the therapist as clients experience deep feelings andsensations.It is important to practitioners in the field to be aware of and beclinically prepared for clients whose words and intentions are not174matching their emotional state. Practitioners would benefit from a moreexplicit description of clients in the Opposition stage to prepare them forworking effectively using the two-chair technique. Practitioners shouldbe aware that many clients seeking therapeutic help for decision-makingare experiencing such confusion and fear that their capacity for decision-making is blocked or seriously impaired. It is very important forclinicians to be aware of and knowledgeable about working withsubject/object splits. Under the umbrella of the Process-Experientialapproach to therapy, the recent manual by Greenberg et al. (1993)provides in-depth task analysis for clinicians working with splits.Although they acknowledge their “approach involves a combination and abalance between client-centered empathic responding and the processdirectiveness of experiential and Gestalt therapies,” they do not relatetheir methodological directives to the more global Gestalt therapy theory(p. 15). In Gestalt therapy theory, the concept of subject/object splits isderived from the concept of organismic functioning in that the organisminterrupts itself, blocking healthy homeostatic functioning.Recommendations for Future ResearchThe two chair techniqueFurther research needs to investigate other possible factorsinfluencing individuals upon entering therapy and how these factors arerelated to the factors of Conflict Resolution and Contact. Further researchis needed to investigate what influences individuals to shift fromresponding to only one factor to both factors, and from responding toboth factors independently to responding to both factors jointly. Whyindividuals give up responding to both factors jointly when they are stillconflicted also requires study.175This study found support for the three stage of model of the two-chair technique as put forth by Greenberg (1979; 1983) and the theoryunderlying it for some individuals. The participants in this study wereCaucasian, well-educated, and employed outside the home on a full orpart-time basis. Further research is needed to determine if the modeland theory underlying it is useful to describe the process of otherindividuals who experience the two-chair technique.The 0-sortFor further research, some of the Q-Sort items need to be revised.Some participants did not relate to some Merging stage items. Revisingand/or adding some items would help to better detect the Mergingstage. Participants Beverley and Gail stated that they would havechosen items #64 and #66 to describe themselves if they had beenphrased differently. While other participants related well to theseitems as stated (for example, some participants did perceive themselvesas bad).Some examples are:Current items Suggestions for Revision#64 I am not as bad as I thought I was. I am not as messed up as I thought I was.#66 What I want and need is worth What I want and need is worthfighting for, striving for.#69 I am more afraid than I am more afraid than bad.condemning of myselfDivorce decision-makingThis study raised some important ideas for future research in thisarea. It suggested that there is a sequential process leading to effective176decision-making regarding remaining married or divorcing. Whenindividuals are able to resolve the conflicted aspects of themselves theyare then able to make an active, versus reactive, decision aboutremaining married or separating. It also suggested that the part of theindividual that embodies his or her standards and values conificts withthe part of the individual that embodies his or her wants and needs. Itindicated that it is the rigid standards and values, which will not reviseto accommodate the legitimate wants and needs of the individual, thatcause the indecision. The purpose of this study was to find empiricalsupport for the theory underlying the three stage model of the Gestalttwo-chair technique. To support these findings regarding divorcedecision-making requires further research.For reasons of manageability this study did not consider the factorof attachment in divorce decision-making. None of the 85 Q-sort itemshave the word “love” in them. To further knowledge of the divorcedecision-making process it is recommended that the factor of attachmentbe incorporated into the Q-sort in future research.Some examples are:I don’t know whether I love my spouse anymore. (Cell 1)I hold myself back from loving my spouse. (Cell 2)The bond between my spouse and myself is too strong to break. (Cell 3)Salts (1985) states that people who feel stuck with regard to thedecision to stay married or get divorced really want to dissolve theirmarriages but have been unable to do so. The fmdings in this studyindicated that something more complex was going on. As mentionedpreviously there appears to be a sequential process to effective decision-making in which an intrapsychic conflict requires resolution before an177individual attempts to resolve the issue regarding remaining married.This indicates that individuals who do not know themselves on a deeplevel do not make decisions regarding their marriages from an integratedsense of self. That is, individuals who deny their beliefs, feelings, andactions on a deep level are more likely to get blocked in their decision-making. Further research is necessary to support these findings.Kalb (1983) believes that “the key variable affecting the decision todivorce can best be understood through an exploration of the individual’sconception of the alternative” (p. 354). This study indicated that a keyvariable affecting the decision to divorce is an intrapsychic conflictbetween an individual’s standards and values with his or her wants andneeds. Further research is needed to determine if there is a connectionbetween these two variables. It may be that when individuals areconsidering the alternative, they are actually considering whether or notthey can get their wants and needs met. This ties in with Cuber andHarroff (1966) who believe that the one reason most frequentlymentioned for the dissolution of marriages was “finding a mate whoseemed better to fit the man’s or woman’s needs and wants” (p. 92).Donovan and Jackson (1990) criticize social exchange theory asfailing to “specifically include a variable which ‘tips the balance of thescales’ in favor of marital attractions and marital preservation” (p. 27).They view attachment as one of the rewards of the relationship. Theyput forward attachment theory and cognitive dissonance theory to beconsidered in guiding the decision to divorce. This study suggested thatwhat tips the balance may be related to the opposition of standards andvalues to wants and needs. One thing this study pointed to is anintrapsychic resolution of one spouse’s standards and values with his/herwants and needs. Another reason may be that a spouse comes to be178convinced by partner’s behavior that his or her wants and needs willnever get met in this relationship.This study showed that research on the decision of whether or notto remain married can be other than retrospective in nature. Futurestudies should consider the divorce decision-making process while it is inprocess.SummaryThe results of this study gave moderate support to the three stagemodel of the two-chair technique, in particular the Merging stage inwhich the critic softens, and it gave some support to the factors ofConflict Resolution and the Gestalt concept of Contact and their interactivenature during decision-making for the decision of whether or not toremain married. The results also bring to light shortcomings in thetheory in that it doesn’t explain why Conflict Resolution and Contact donot interact as predicted throughout the decision-making process for allindividuals. There is a possibility of other factors influencing the process.The concept of subject/object splits, embedded within the theory, shedssome light on how the factors of Conflict Resolution and Contact areobstructed in the decision-making process. This suggests that a possiblepre-stage exists in which subject/objects splits influence the factors ofConflict Resolution and Contact and perhaps other factors as well. Theconcept of subject/object splits also relates to the more global theory ofGestalt therapy in which the major goal involves facilitating integration ofaspects of self into a unified whole Further extrapolation of the theoryand the model would benefit practitioners.While the focus of this study was an investigation of empiricalsupport for the theory underlying the three stage model of the two-chair179technique, the fmdings raised some important considerations for divorcedecision-making which require further research.180REFERENCESAlbrecht, S. L., & Kunz, P. R. (1980). The decision to divorce: A socialexchange perspective. Journal ofDivorce, 3(4), 319-337.Aliport, G. Vernon, P. and Lindzey, (1951) Study of Values. RevisedEdition, Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Becker, G. S. (1974). A theory on marriage, in T. W. Schultz (Ed.),Economies of the family. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Becker, G. S. (1981). A Treatise on the Family. Cambridge: HarvardUniversity Press.Bergin, A. E., & Lambert, M. J. (1982). The evaluations of therapeuticoutcomes. In S. L. Garfield & A. B. Bergin (Eds.), Handbook ofpsychotherapy and behavior change (2nd ed.) (pp. 179-181).Bohannon, P. (1970). The six stations of divorce. In P. Bohannon (Ed.),Divorce and after (pp. 3 3-62). Garden City, NY: Doubleday.Bohart, Arthur C. (1977). Role playing and interpersonal-conflictreduction. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 24(1), 15-24.Bromley, D. B. (1986). The case-study method in psychology andrelated disciplines. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.Bronowski, J. (1973). The ascent ofman. Boston: Little, Brown, andCompany.Brown, E. M. (1976). Divorce counseling. In D. H. L. Olson (Ed.),Treating relationships. Lake Mills, I. A.: Graphic PublishingCompany.Byrnes, R. (1975). An examination of Gestalt therapy personaLity theoryusing Qmethodology. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, KentState University.181Campbell, D. T. (1979). “Degrees of freedom” and the case study. In T.D. Cook & C. S. Reichardt (Eds.), Qualitative and quantitativemethods in evaluation research (pp. 49-67). Beverly Hills: SagePublications Inc.Campbell, D. T. (1989). Forward. In R. K. Yin Case study research:Designs and methods (pp. 7-9). Newbury Park, CA: SagePublications Inc.Clarke, K. M. (1977). The differential effects of two treatments at aconflict marker in therapy. Unpublished master’s thesis,University of British Columbia.Clarke, K. M. (1981). The differential effects of the Gestalt two-chairexperiment and cognitive problem solving on career decision-making. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Loyola University ofChicago.Cochran, L. (1987). Framing career decisions. In R. A. Neimeyer, & G. J.Neimeyer (Eds.), A casebook in personal construct therapy. (pp.26 1-276). New York: Springer.Cuber, J. F. & Harroff, P. B. (1966). Sex and the significant Americans.Baltimore: Penguin Books.Dompierre, L. M. (1980). Differential effects of Gestalt two-chairdialogue and empathic reflection at a split in therapy.Unpublished master’s thesis, University of British Columbia.Donovan, R. & Jackson, B. (1990). Deciding to divorce: A process guidedby social exchange, attachment, and cognitive dissonance theories.Journal ofDivorce, Vol 13(4), 23-3 5.Doane H. M. (1983) Famine at the feast. Ann Arbor, Michigan: EricCounseling and Personnel Services Clearinghouse.182Duck, S. W. (1982). ‘A topography of relationship disengagement anddissolution’. In S. W. Duck (Ed.). Personal relationships 4:Dissolving personal relationships. Academic Press: New York.Enright, J. (1970). Awareness training in the mental health profession.In J. Pagan and I. Shepherd (Eds.), Gestalt therapynow.(pp. 263-27 3). Palo Alto: Science and Behavior Books.Everett, C.A., & Volgy, S. S. (1983) Family assessment in child custodydisputes. Journal ofMarital and Family Therapy, 9, 342-35 2.Everett, C.A., & Volgy, S. S. (1991). Treating divorce in family-therapypractice. In A. S. Gurman & D. P. Kniskern (Eds.), Handbook offamily therapy, Vol. 2, pp. 508-524. New York: Brunner/Mazel.Fairweather, J. R. (1981). Reliability and validity of Q-Method results:Some empirical evidence. Operant Subjectivity, 5, 2-16.Frank, G. H. (1956). Note on the reliability of Q-Sort data. PsychologicalReports, 2, 182.Froiland, D. J. & Hozman, T. L. (1977). ‘Counseling for constructivedivorce’. Personnel and Guidance Journal, 55, S 25-9.Greenberg, L. S. (1976). A task analytic approach to the study ofpsychotherapeutic events. Unpublished doctoral dissertation,York University, North York.Greenberg, L. S. (1979). Resolving splits: Use of the two chair technique.Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice, 16(3), 316-324.Greenberg, L. S. (1980). Training counselors in gestalt methods.Canadian Counselor, 3, 174-180.Greenberg, L. S. (1983). Toward a task analysis of conflict resolution inGestalt therapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice,20(2), 190-201.183Greenberg, L. S., & Clarke, K. M. (1979). Differential effects of the two-chair experiment and empathic reflections at a conflict marker.Journal of Counseling Psychology, 26 (1), 1-8.Greenberg, L. S., & Dompierre, L. M. (1981). Specific effects of Gestalttwo-chair dialogue on intrapsychic conflict in counseling. Journalof Counseling Psychology, 28(4), 288-294.Greenberg, L. S., & Higgins, H. (1980). Effects of two-chair dialogue andFocusing on conflict resolution. Journal of Counseling Psychology,27(3), 221-224.Greenberg, L. S., & Rice, L. N. (1981). The specific effects of a Gestaltintervention. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice,18(1), 31-37.Greenberg, L. S., Rice, L. N., & Effiott, R. (1993). Facilitating emotionalchange: A process experiential approach. N. Y. : Guilford.Greenberg, L. S., & Webster, M.. (1982). Resolving decisional conflict byGestalt two-chair dialogue: Relating process to outcome. Journal ofCounseling Psychology, 29(5), 468-47 7.Heligren, R. K. (1983). Construct validation of the Gestalt Q-Sort: An RMethod approach. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Kent StateUniversity.Herman, S. J. (1974). Divorce: A grief process. Perspective inpsychiatric care, 12, 108 - 112.Higgins, H. (1979). The effects of the two-chair dialogue and focusing onconflict resolution. Unpublished master’s thesis, University ofBritish Columbia.Janis, I. L. & Mann, L. (1977). Decision making: A psychological analysisof conflict, choice, and con2mitrnent. New York: The Free Press.184Kahle, R. & Lee, L. (1974). A Q-Methodological study of attitudes towardresources and implications for using mass media in disseminationof water research results. (Completion report, U S. Department ofInterior, Project No. X-127-MO). Columbia, MO: Missouri WaterResources Research Center, University of Missouri.Kalb, M. (1983). The conception of the alternative and the decision todivorce. American Journal ofPsychotherapy, Vol. 37(3), 346-356.Kaslow, F. W. (1981). Divorce and divorce therapy. In A. S. Gurman &D. P. Kniskern (Eds.). Handbook offamily therapy. (pp. 662-696).New York: Brunner/Mazel.Kerlinger, F. N. (1972). Q-Methodology in behavioral research. In S. R.Brown & D. J. Brenner (Eds.), Science, psychology, andcommunication: Essays honoring William Stephenson (pp. 3-38).New York: Teachers College Press.Kerlinger, F. N. (1973). Foundations of behavioral research (2nd ed.).New York: Rinehart & Winston.Kessler, S. (1975). The American way of divorce: Prescription forchange. Chicago: Nelson-Hall.Korb, M. B, Gorrell, J., Van De Riet, V. (1989). Gestalt therapy: Practiceand theory (2nd ed.) New York: Pergamon Press.Kraus, S. (1979). The crisis of divorce: Growth promoting or pathogenic.Journal of Divorce, 3(2), 107-119.Kressel, K. & Deutsch, M. (1977). Divorce therapy: An in-depth surveyof therapists’ views. Family Process, 16(4), 413-444.Ladd, G. (1992). The pattern of career transition. Unpublished doctoraldissertation, University of British Columbia.185Lamer, J. (1973). The Gestalt therapy book. New York: The Julian Press,Inc.Levinger, G. (1965). Marital cohesiveness and dissolution: Anintegrative review. Journal ofMarriage and the Family, 27, 19-28.Levinger, G. (1979). A social psychological perspective on maritaldissolution. In G. Levinger & 0. C. Moles (Eds.) Divorce andseparation: Context, causes, consequences. New York: SagePublications, Inc.Lewis, R. A. and Spanier, G. B. (1979). Theorizing about the quality andstability of marriage. In W. R. Burr et al. (Eds.). Contemporarytheories about the family. New York: Free Press.Lyon, E., Silverman, M. Howe, G. W., Bishop G., & Armstrong, B.. (1985).Stages of divorce: Implications for service delivery. SocialCasework, Vol. 66(5), 259-267.McKeown B., Thomas, D. (1988) QMethodology. New York: SagePublications, Inc.O’Grady, 1). F. (1986). The effects of adding a somatic intervention to theGestalt two-chair technique on career decision-making.Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Loyola University of Chicago.Oz, S. (1994). Decision making in divorce therapy: Cost-costcomparisons. Journal Marital and Family Therapy, Vol. 20, No. 1,77-81.Passons, W. R. (1975). Gestalt approaches in counseling. New York: Holt,Rinehart and Winston.Pens, F. (1969). Ego, hunger, and aggression. New York: Random House.(first published in 1947, London: Allen and Unwin).186Pens, F. (1970). Four lectures. In J. Fagan and I. Shepherd (Eds.),Gestalt therapy now. Palo Alto: Science and Behavior BooksPens. F. S., Hefferline, R., & Goodman, P. (1951). Gestalt therapy. NewYork: Dell Books.Poister, E. & Poister, M. (1973). Gestalt therapy integrated. New York:Brunner/Mazel.Price, S. J. and McKendry, P. C. (1988). Divorce. New York: SagePublications, Inc.Rinn, J. L. (1961) QMethodology: An application to group phenomena.Educational and Psychological Measurement, Vol. 21(2), 3 15-329.Salts, C. J. (1985). Divorce stage theory and therapy: Therapeuticimplications throughout the divorcing process. Journal ofPsychotherapy& the Family, 1(3), 13-23.Scanzoni, J. and Szinovacz, M. (1980). Family decision making: Adevelopmental sex role model. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage PublicationsInc.Stephenson, W. (1953). The study of behavior: Q technique and itsmethodology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Stephenson, W. (1963). Independency and operationism in Q-Sorting.The Psychological Record, 13, 269-272.Stephenson, W. (1985). Perspectives in psychology: Integration inclinical psychology. The Psychological Record, 35, 31-48.Storm, C. L. & Sprenkle, D. H. (1982). Individual treatment in divorcetherapy: A critique of an assumption. Journal of Divorce, Vol 5,87-97.187Strube, M. J., & Barbour, L. S. (1984). Factors related to the decision toleave an abusive relationship. Journal ofMarriage and the Family,46, 837-844.Thibaut, J. W. and Kelley, H. H. (1959). The Social psychology ofgroups.New York: John Wiley.Thweatt, R. W. (1980). Divorce: Crisis intervention guided byattachment theory. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 34, 240-245.Turner, N. W. (1985). Divorce: Dynamics of decision therapy. Journal ofPsychotherapy & the Family, 1(3),27-38.Webster, M. (1981). Resolving decisional conflict by Gestalt two-chairdialogue: Relating process to outcome. Unpublished doctoraldissertation, University of British Columbia.Weiss, R. S. (1975). Marital separation. New York: Basic Books.Wiseman, R. S. (1975). Crisis theory and the process of divorce. SocialCasework, 56, 205-212.Yin, R. A. (1989). Case study research: Designs and methods. NewburyPark, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.188APPENDIX AInitial Letter of ContactHello,I am conducting a study which involves marital decision-making,specifically the decision of whether or not to remain married. Thepurpose of the study is to obtain experiences of the decision-makingprocess that occurs while undergoing Gestalt therapy which has anemphasis on the two-chair technique. The Gestalt two-chair techniquehas been found to be effective in facilitating decision-making.The study is being conducted for my doctoral dissertationresearch project under the supervision of Dr. W. Borgan (822-5259) atthe University of British Columbia.Participation will require approximately 10- 12 hours. It willinvolve 10 sessions which will include interviews, 6 sessions of therapywith an experienced therapist, and a sorting of items that describe yourdecision-making process. Involvement in the study will provideparticipants with an opportunity in a therapeutic environment toexplore and resolve a personal dilemma regarding whether or not toremain married. We hope that being involved in the study will be aninteresting and useful experience.AU identifying information will be deleted in order to insureconfidentiality and to protect participants’ privacy. Participation in thestudy is completely voluntary and participants are free to ask questionsat any time, and are able to withdraw from the study at any timewithout jeopardy of any kind.If you have any questions about the study, please feel free tocall me at 224-7252.Thank you.Sincerely,Bea Mackay, M.A.Doctoral Student189APPENDIX BStudy Participants Consent FormResearch Project:Decision-making regarding whether or not to remainmarried using the Gestalt two-chair technique.This study is being completed as a doctoral research project byBetty [Bea] A. Mackay (phone 224-7252) under the supervision ofDr. W. Borgen (phone 822-5259), U.B.C. Department of CounsellingPsychology. The study is about the experiences people go throughwhen they undergo therapy for decision-making using a specifictherapeutic technique called the Gestalt two-chair technique. Thistechnique has been found to facilitate decision-making.All interviews will be video-taped and the tapes will be erasedat the end of the project. Interview material will be transcribed andall identifying information will be deleted to insure confidentialityand protect your privacy. You are free to ask questions concerningthe project. You may refuse to participate and withdraw from thestudy at any time without jeopardy of any kind.By signing this document you are agreeing to participate in thestudy and are acknowledging you have been given a copy of thisconsent form.Date Signature of Participant190APPENDIX CDegree of Resolution Scale - SplitsReceived from Greenberg, L S. in 1992.Short form of Degree of Resolution Scale on Page 193 inGreenberg, L S., Rice, L N., & Elliot, R. (1993). Facilitating emotional change: Aprocess experiential approach. N. Y. : Guilford.The client describes a conflict with which he or she is currentlystruggling in which one aspect of the self is not in harmony withanother aspect and is unaccepting or coercive toward the other part ofthe self. The two aspects may not be clearly delineated and theopposition between the two parts may not be the focus of the client’sattention.2. The client begins to actively criticize or coerce the self in a negativefashion. The two aspects of the self are clearly delineated and arebrought into contact with each other highlighting the nature of theopposition between the two sides. The criticisms expectations orjudgment of the self are clearly expressed in a concrete and specificmanner and the self reactions begin to be explored and expressed.3. The client’s underlying feelings in response to the criticisms emergeand are differentiated until a new feeling is arrived at.4. The needs or wants associated with the newly experienced sense of selfare expressed clearly and challenge or throw into doubt the guidingstandards and ideals that underlie the criticisms.5. For the first time greater consideration is given to the expressedfeelings and needs. Compassion, concern, or respect for the self may beshown. The self is recognized and accepted as a trustworthy andresponsible agent in the process of self determination. The clientgenuinely accepts his or her experience. The client expresses either acaring or comforting type of self-embracement or describes a clearerstronger sense of self and freedom to be.6. There is a clear understanding of how various needs and desires may beaccommodated and how previously antagonistic sides of the self may bereconciled in a working relationships. The discourse may involvedsome negotiation between the aspects and may involve planning how tofunction in greater harmony. The client may experience a sense ofwholeness or inner hannony as aspects of self previously in conflictare felt to be more in unison. There is sense of real inner listening andcontact and openness to the self as it most fundamentally is.

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0053980/manifest

Comment

Related Items