Gestalt therapy is guided by the relational theory principle, that every individual is whole (mind, body, and soul), and that they are best understood in relation to their current situation. The approach combines this relational theory with the present state, focusing strongly on self-awareness and the ‘here and now’.
In Gestalt therapy, self-awareness is the key to personal growth and developing one’s full potential. Gestalt therapy recognises that this self-awareness can become blocked by negative thought patterns and behaviours that can leave you feeling unhappy and dissatisfied. The Gestalt therapist aims to promote a non-judgemental self-awareness that enables you to develop your unique perspective on life.
Gestalt therapy aims to help you become more aware of how you think, feel, and act in the present moment, and to help you find ways to alleviate any current issues that you are experiencing to reach your full potential.
Gestalt therapy operates through six key concepts and the interconnectedness of these concepts.
- Person-centred awareness: In gestalt therapy, focusing on the present and imagining it divorced from the future and past is essential. Gestalt therapy doesn’t seek out the unconscious, it stays with what is present.
- Respect: Whether an individual, group, or family, clients are treated with profound respect by the therapist. The therapist will provide a balance of support and challenge, helping you to feel comfortable opening up, and acknowledging areas of resistance.
- Emphasis on experience: The gestalt approach focuses on how a person experiences their emotions, perceptions, behaviours, body sensations, ideas, and memories.
- Creative Experiment and Discovery: A Gestalt therapist will use a range of experimental methods to test your experiences. These are often highly creative and flexible techniques to help you to open up and acknowledge hidden feelings.
- Social responsibility: This approach recognises that humans have a social responsibility for themselves and others. It demands respect for all people, recognising that everyone is different and unique.
- Relationship: This is considered central to the human experience. Gestalt therapy considered humans as ‘whole’ when they have a good relationship with themselves and those around them.Gestalt therapy can help you to gain a better understanding of how your emotional and physical needs are connected, and that your internal self is key to understanding your reactions and behaviours.