About gestalt

Gestalt therapy aims to explore how we live and relate in the world. It is a holistic, flexible, creative and experimental way of working, where the therapeutic relationship is integral to growth and healing. The approach values and includes all aspects of human potential, needs, experience and existence: social, cognitive, bodily, spiritual, emotional and environmental. Gestalt therapy works with the lived therapeutic encounter, building a ‘here-and-now’ felt sense of what is real and significant. Together we explore how your present capabilities, enjoyment and fulfilment are affected by your life situation, past relationships, traumas or loss, and repeating patterns of being. Awareness and meaning are developed collaboratively, creating possibilities for choice and change. Underpinning the above are core practitioner values of compassion, respect, authenticity and appreciation of the need to create safe-enough and challenging-enough therapeutic holding.

Gestalt therapy is an existential approach, which emphasises personal responsibility and choice, and equally, recognises inevitable and deep interconnection and interdependence. Gestalt includes a long-established method of awareness practice (similar to ‘mindfulness’ in other clinical domains). Gestalt therapy aims to support people to become more fully and creatively alive. Gestalt practitioners work on a short or long term basis, with individuals, couples, groups, families and organisations.

‘Gestalt’ is a German word meaning both ‘the whole’ (as being more than the sum of its parts) and ‘the pattern’. The gestalt approach draws on both these meanings, seeing people as inextricably linked with their social, political and ecological environments, both affecting and being affected by all of these. Philosophical and biological, including neuropsychological, concepts of how people function in the world are woven into this dynamic and innovative approach to human growth and development.

Gestalt therapy: theoretical overview

Contemporary gestalt psychotherapy is an integrative humanistic approach, with a unique philosophical and clinical synthesis informed by:

© egi 2017