Gestalt therapy focuses on here-and-now experience and personal responsibility. It was develped by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls, and Paul Goodman. The objective, in addition to overcoming symptoms, is to become more alive, creative, and free from the blocks of unfinished issues which may diminish optimum satisfaction, fulfillment, and growth. Gestalt therapy relies heavily on the interpersonal relationship between client and therapist that is developed and nurtured over the course of therapy. This technique is also classified as an experiential approach to psychotherapy because it involves actions that are both intentional and experimental to facilitate change.
Gestalt therapy has at its core two key principals. The first maintains that experiencing the present moment in its entirety is at the heart of psychology, unlike techniques that give significance to the unknown or imagined. Second, each and every person is linked and connected to all things. Without acknowledging that we are in relationship with all things, we can never truly understand who we are. These two principals of present state and relational theory form the foundation of Gestalt therapy. By using a formation of ideas that outline the premise of life in a relational way, this therapy provides a unique and profound perspective on life as we experience it with its peaks and valleys. This technique provides insight into ways in which we can alleviate our current distress and also aspire to our maximum potential.
Gestalt therapy places emphasis on the current content of a situation in addition to the process of the circumstance as it unfolds. Rather than forming conjectures or assumptions as to the unknown, this method involves staying in the present and becoming aware of the feelings and emotions associated with the moment. Gestalt therapy teaches the client how to define what is truly being experienced versus what is merely an interpretation of the events. When the client becomes fully aware of this difference, he or she is able to identify the patterns and behaviors that need to be changed.
Gestalt therapy helps clients gain a better understanding of how their emotional and physical bodies are connected. Understanding the internal self is the key to understanding actions, reactions and behaviors. Gestalt therapy helps a client take the first step into this awareness so that they can acknowledge and accept these patterns. Through a journey of self-discovery, this form of therapy also empowers a client with the skills necessary to face stressful situations. The answers lie within us all, and this wisdom helps each of us become more accepting of ourselves and others, which carries over into our communication, decisions and relationships. People who participate in Gestalt therapy feel more self-confident, calm and at peace. Gestalt therapy is an effective approach for managing tension, depression, anxiety, addiction, post-traumatic stress and other psychological challenges that prevent people from achieving a free and fulfilling life.
Last updated: 05-14-2013
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