Gestalt is a humanistic therapy which believes that people are born with the resources and ability to be in rewarding contact with other human beings and to lead a satisfying and creative life. However sometimes in childhood healthy learning patterns are interrupted and a person gets stuck in fixed beliefs or patterns.
Gestalt aims to uncover these patterns and allows them to be examined so that individuals can be empowered to resolve problems with a deeper knowledge of themselves.
Gestalt describes the pattern, the whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. Its about nurturing healing impulses, letting them breathe, finding the way to bring about change.
Some people think of it the other way around - as removing the blocks that prevent us from accessing our inherently natural, simple and healthy ways of experiencing and being in the world.
Aliveness and Excitement:
Gestalt is interested in aliveness and excitement - the energy we have and can use to change our habitual ways of experiencing and of being.
Here and Now
In Gestalt we talk of the "here and now". We want to know what we're doing with ourselves in this moment - how we are making contact with others and how we can have rich, deep and real dialogue with them.
Gestalt Psychotherapy helps people finish their "unfinished business" from the past. Our experience of the past is present in the way we live today and if we become aware of our actions, thoughts and feelings and accept them, change occurs.
Because Gestalt is relational each person is seen as a unique individual with the potential for growth, mature self-expression and the capacity and resources to heal and learn to solve their own problems given support and time.True meeting requires us to share with each other our experiences, feelings and thoughts in the here and now as authentically as possible in order to increase self awareness and understanding. In this way one is allowed to develop a greater relationship with self.
Fritz Perls - believed that gestalt allowed individuals to recover their lost potential and to integrate conflicting polarities,. He believed that people beome accustomed to playing certain games when communicating or when in relationship with others and that the self awareness developed through therapy gave an individual the opportunity to 'put down' the games and start communicating more clearly and directly with others, thereby improving relationships.
He also believed that much truth is offered up by the client in their non-verbal actions and behaviours in sessions and those moments were worth exploring to find authenticity and the truth.