What is Gestalt therapy?
Gestalt therapy is a type of psychotherapy, first developed in the 1940s, based on the theory that every individual is a whole where everything (mind, body and soul) is connected rather than individual parts. Essentially, that people are best understood in relation to their current situation as they experience it.
Gestalt combines this theory with what’s happening here and now – focusing on self-awareness – which is key to personal growth and development. But sometimes, self-awareness can be blocked by negative thoughts and behaviours that can leave people unhappy.
A gestalt therapist can help promote self-awareness, helping clients develop their own perspective on life. By becoming more aware of how you think, feel, and act right now, gestalt therapy can give you an understanding of how you might relieve any stress or anxiety you’re feeling to help you reach your full potential.
The key concepts behind gestalt therapy
Gestalt therapy works through the interconnection of key human concepts, giving valuable insight into the processes used in therapy sessions. Here are six of those concepts.
Gestalt focuses on the present rather than the past or the future. The process follows someone’s awareness of the here and now without reaching into the unconscious.
All clients – individuals, couples, groups, or families – are treated with deep respect by a gestalt therapist. Balancing support and challenge is key to helping people feel comfortable opening up and working on resistance areas.
Gestalt focuses on the experience of someone’s feelings, emotions, perceptions, behaviours, physical sensations, ideas, and memories. A gestalt therapist will encourage the person to vividly experience all of these in the present moment.
Experiment and discovery
A gestalt therapist can use a range of creative experiments and flexible techniques to ‘test’ their client’s experience. This collaboration can help the client open up, discover, and acknowledge hidden feelings.
The gestalt approach recognises that everyone has a social responsibility for themselves and others. While everyone is different, gestalt supports and encourages everyone to live a social life where everyone is equal.
Relating to others is crucial to our experiences. Gestalt therapy sees each person as a ‘whole’ when they have a good interpersonal relationship with themselves and the people around them. And relationship-building between client and therapist during sessions is a key therapy process.
Gestalt therapy for you
As experienced gestalt therapists, Devon Therapy Services can integrate the gestalt concepts into other counselling or therapy treatments for various mental health issues, including addiction, grief, trauma, and anxiety, to help you.
Our counselling and therapy sessions can cover:
Abuse counselling Addiction counsellingADHD counselling Anger Management counselling Anxiety counselling Autism counselling Bereavement counselling Child and adolescent counselling Depression counselling Eating Disorder counselling LGBTIQ+ counselling Low Self-Esteem counselling OCD counselling Personality Disorder counselling Panic attack counselling Phobia counselling PTSD counsellingRelationship counselling Self-Development counselling Stress counsellingStudent counsellingSuicidal Thoughts CounsellingTrauma counselling Work and Career counsellingCognitive Behaviour therapyCounsellingGestalt therapyLife coaching Mindfulness therapyNeuroLinguistic therapyPerson Centred therapy Psychotherapy Transactional Analysis (TA)DBTVideo and Telephone Therapy