WHAT IS GESTALT
“Our mind has a need for completion. We have a need for completion. That completion is the closure, the closure is of the whole and the whole is GESTALT.”
What is Gestalt?
Gestalt in Germany means "Whole" its the idea that views the individual as a whole of mind, body, emotion & soul with their different experience and realities.
Gestalt is a form of psycho therapy which teaches you skills & provides you with therapeutic skills for awareness acceptance and self direction.
It focuses on influencing people and helps you as an individual to work & achieve skills and tools for counseling and therapy.
It uses empathy and unconditional acceptance, thus helping the client to get rid of limiting belief by learning how to trust and accept what you feel.
It brings clients new prospective and positive change into their lives by increasing self awareness & clear understanding of thoughts, emotions & behavior.
There are a number of key principle ideas that come into play with Gestalt therapy
Person-centered Awareness- To focus on the future and imagine it divorced from the present past which is essential.
Respect- A gestalt therapist has to always remember to treat a client with respect. A client will open up to a therapist when the client feels comfortable and is provided with a balance of support and also a challenge.
Emphasis on Experience- An individual's emotions, experiences, physical sensations etc alike every other type of therapy Gestalt has also attracted people who seek shortcuts and quick fixes but it has also attracted people who are experienced clinicians who have found Gestalt therapy to not only be a powerful type of psychotherapy but also a viable way of life.
Creative Experiment and Discovery- To test their client's experience, therapists use a range of experimental methodology that involve creative and flexible techniques to help their client open up.
Social Responsibility- According to the gestalt approach humans have a social responsibility towards others and themselves.
Relationship- When an individual has a good relationship with themselves and others around them, that individual is considered as "whole" according to gestalt therapy.
Below are common exercises used in Gestalt therapy:
Role-play- To help individuals experience different feelings and emotions role-play is a powerful method.
The 'Open Chair' Technique- This technique makes use of role-play. In this method the client sits on one chair and one chair is placed opposite the client. The chair is empty. In this way through role-play the client faces emotional scenes and helps them accept conflicts in their lives.
Dialogue- Dialogue helps to engage the client in meaningful and authentic conversations with the therapist. It helps to guide them in a particular way of behaving and thinking.
Dreams- Dreams help individuals to understand aspects of themselves that are spontaneous.
Body Language- A subtle indicator of intense emotions is body language which a gestalt therapist concentrates on through therapy.
HOW IT HELPS
Gestalt therapy believes that, despite some of these setbacks, people are still wired for this sense of wholeness and feel distressed when we are not able to achieve it. Our distress might look like physical illness, emotional reactivity, isolation, and more.
There are a variety of conditions that Gestalt therapy may be used to treat, including:
As Perls suggests, becoming aware of ourselves is healing. During our process of therapy, we can uncover and heal parts of self that have been lost for some time, discover parts of self that have not yet had an opportunity to thrive and gain a greater sense of self along the way. As we work to heal and integrate these parts of self, we can become healthy and whole individuals.