Gestalt Masterclass with Chantelle Wyley

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Working with Resistance: A Gestalt masterclass for coaches, consultants and leaders

In today's world of seemingly unrelenting change, a frequent topic of coaching sessions and organisational life is resistance to change. This workshop will use approaches from Gestalt psychology, therapy and GestaltOD to work with resistance from the perspective of a leader or intervener (consultant, coach, trusted advisor). 

It will explore the psychology of resistance, associated behaviours, and provide insights on how to effectively respond to resistance in individuals and teams. Participants will be energized rather than disabled when working with resistance.

Do the following statements sound familiar?

"My client sounds keen when we meet but doesn't get around to scheduling the time to do the work"

"My coaching client is too busy to make regular time for coaching"

"It took months of planning for the session and only half of the managers pitched up. On day 2 a group had to leave to urgently meet with the Minister"

"The top manager laughs and changes the subject every time I mention the urgency of a team building session"

"She's stopped returning my calls"

"In the team sessions there's always at least half the group who don't say anything at all"

"Everyone agrees with the boss at meetings and then grumbles in the corridors and does as little as possible"

GestaltOD has developed a distinctive approach to working with resistance and the topics below will be covered in the workshop:

  • Resistance is part of change, not separate from it.
  • When a force for change manifests, an equal and opposite force for sameness will manifest; a law of organisational physics.
  • Resistance represents forces for sameness when forces for change appear in a human system.
  • Resistance is indicative of multiple realities at play in a system.
  • Resistance is like gold! It's a rich source of data about dynamics in an organisation system.

This workshop has these learning objectives:

  1. Revisiting the Gestalt approach as applied to coaching and organisation development (organism/environment, Cycle of Experience, paradoxical theory of change)
  2. Explorating the features of Gestalt-defined resistances (e.g. projection, deflection, introjection etc) as ways of responding to one's environment
  3. Practical identification of resistances in clients and offering interventions that offer possibilities for awareness and change
  4. Support with working on own / client examples in ways that value resistance                               

Chantelle Wyley is a South African coach, OD consultant and facilitator with a background in development project / program management. For 20 years she has focused on leadership development using emotional intelligence and the Gestalt approach to organisation and systems development. Chantelle teaches internationally in these areas on the faculty of the iGOLD Program (see , and works with leaders around personal development, diversity, and how to cultivate powerful personal presence and resonant relationships.


Day 1: 8h30-17h00 

Day 2: 8h30-15h30

Please bring a notebook or journal for personal reflections. Handouts will be provided during the workshop or as email attachments afterwards.

ICF Continuing Coach Education (CCEU) units for this event: 

Core Competencies - 8  

Resource Development - 4

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