What is Gestalt Therapy?

Gestalt is a German word for a complete pattern or whole; the term cannot be translated into English with a single word or phrase. Three phenomena must be considered: a thing, its context or environment and the relationship between them.

In Gestalt therapy therefore, the whole of a person’s experience is considered important:
  • thoughts, feelings, body sensations, fantasies.
  • the environment or “other”.
  • the relationship between them.
The approach focuses on the ‘here and now’ – what is happening moment by moment.

Staying with present experience allows you to become more aware of who you are. ‘Unfinished business’ from the past that causes fixed ways of being can emerge and be completed. Different aspects of the self come into awareness, allowing more fulfilling relationships and a freer way of functioning in the world.

A Gestalt therapist will often suggest creative ‘experiments’ to enhance awareness. You may choose to move, to draw, to say a phrase with more energy, whatever is appropriate in the moment. You may be helped to attend to all aspects of your dreams and discover what they mean to you.

The Gestalt therapist works in dialogue with you, sharing perceptions and feelings if it helps to further your awareness.
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