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How the controversial Gloria therapy tapes might point to focusing

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

I discovered through my reading of Robert Kegan the iconic video tapes of comparative therapy approaches that Carl Rogers, Frederick (Fritz) Perls and Albert Ellis, with real client Gloria.

The contrasts in the therapists' approaches are fascinating.

The most controversial session was with Perls, who was seen to have almost bullied and demeaned Gloria. However, there is one interestingly unique aspect of Perls' intervention - how he pointed out the specific moment of when he felt Gloria was speaking a deep and direct truth, on the basis of her energy and transmission (54 min point).

Is there a common quality to the energy that we are seeking in the witnessing filming and editing process? How might this connect to Gendlin's Focusing method?

After these three consulting sessions, Gloria (to my surprise) chose Perls as her therapist. However, after being his client for years, she interestingly said she felt retraumatized.

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