What is Gestalt Therapy?
The Gestalt method is an holistic approach to therapy which treats the person as a whole human being encouraging growth, responsibility, integration of the different parts of the personality and increased awarenees. Gestalt theray embraces the following aspects of experience:
Physical: Our relationship with our body and illnesses.
Emotional: Our relationship with our emotions
Relational: Our interpersonal relationships (partners, family,friends,)
Rational: Our thoughts; their forms, qualities, distortions and how their influence on the self
Social: The formation of our character and how it contructs (or destructs) our reality
Spiritual: Our relationship with the universe
Gestalt Principles and Techniques
Gestalt therapy emphasises what is currently happening, being felt and thoughts over what was, what could have been, what could be or what should be happening.
Mindful awareness is used to focus our attention on our perception, feelings and actions. The client learns to become more conscious of what he or she is doing thereby developing self-acceptance through the experience of the “here and now” rather than interference from the reflex reactions of the past.
The Objectives of Gestalt Therapy
The objectives of Gestalt therapy are to help the client overcome the symptoms that are making life difficult and then to free ourselves from the blockages and unresolved issues which reduce the quality of life. Gestalt Therapy promotes the idea of self-awareness and self-mastery, it teaches one to become the expert of our own lives and become familiar with our "blind spots", to conquer how we get in the way of our own needs being met.
Who can benefit from Gestalt Therapy?
What is the work of the Gestalt Therapist?
In Gestalt therapy, it’s the patient who cures him/herself, the therapist guides and helps where necessary and gives support to that which is genuine for the client and paying close attention to that which is consistent between the thoughts, feelings and actions.
How long does therapy last?
The sessions last between 60-75 minutes and are usually weekly. The therapuetic process doesn’t have a fixed duration as it depends on the reasons for therapy, the depths to which the client wishes to reach, the pace of the work and the rate of progress. Some people who want to resolve one specific issue may need less therapy than others who come to therapy for personal growth or significant life changes.
My Personal Approach
From the first interview is very important that the client feels comfortable, safe and as natural as possible. I know how difficult it can be to open up to someone you don’t know so I try to create a relaxed atmosphere whenever possible and my clients especially appreciate feeling accepted without any kind of judgment. This fosters a greater understanding of the problem and brings out the internal strength that each one of us has inside.
When does therapy end?
Therapy ends when the client no longer needs my support. Some choose to gradually reduce frequency of sessions, others simply continue treatment replacing accomplished goals with higher goals. Yes... my professional success is dependant on you not needing me. A Chinese Proverb says if one teaches another to fish,one feeds him for a lifetime. I tend to think of Gestalt Therapy as a Culinary Art School of Life.