What is Gestalt Therapy?
Gestalt is a therapy in which experience is of prime importance. Because you are a unique individual, your experience of Gestalt therapy would be unique to you. To talk about what it is, or give a clear explanation therefore, is extremely difficult.
Nevertheless, we have given it some thought and come up with a few sentences that we believe might whet your appetite and begin your understanding of what Gestalt is...
Gestalt is a German word meaning ‘pattern,’ ‘shape’ or ‘form.’
It also means the whole of (something) is greater than the sum of its (separate) parts. (Like a house…made up of bricks, cement, wood and other materials)
We all have the potential to be more than we imagine or feel we can be. In taking the courageous step towards understanding our ‘self’ through therapy we can open up to the exciting possibility of discovering more ‘parts’ of ourselves. In a Gestalt therapy session, what we have come to believe about ourselves is explored in a supportive safe space.
Gestalt is a dynamic therapy that works in the here and now
We all tend to spend much of our lives in the past - gossiping, remembering, telling stories about what happened, feeling guilt, joy, sorrow about something in the past
Or in the future – planning, assuming, predicting, hoping for, wary of and so on.
Or out of time – discussing ideas, principles etc.
In Gestalt therapy we pay attention to the fact that we do all of this in the PRESENT (aka the ‘Here and Now’).
Gestalt is a humanistic therapy
What we mean by this is that it’s simply a therapy about being human. It emphasises a view of the individual as an inseparable mind/body/soul unit. Attention is brought to how the client breaths, hold themselves makes gestures or speaks. A great deal can be discovered this way.
Gestalt brings awareness: awareness brings choice.
Awareness is key. Becoming aware of what is happening right now and how it is happening can open up a world of choices. The relationship that develops between the client and therapist is crucial in exploring the relationship between the client’s ‘self’ and others.
Making it a good reason that you come and meet me. We can then discover together whether we are a good fit and I am the therapist you want to work with.
Gestalt says that with acceptance of the self comes the beginning of change.
How often have you ‘tried’ to change? To stop smoking or overeating…and it hasn’t worked. Only when you are truly able to accept and love who you are do you get to the point where real change is possible.
Gestalt can also help you to make sense of patterns in your life. For example, a common experience can be entering a certain kind of unsatisfactory relationship over and over again. Looking at such a relationship can help discover the deep meaning of that pattern.
What to expect in a session with me?
You can look forward to being listened to, to experiencing the freedom to do whatever will help and all at your pace. How the session goes will vary from individual to individual, session to session. There will be talking or perhaps working with a dream and many other possibilities coming from your curiosity, interest, imagination, readiness, appropriateness, willingness and goals.