What is Gestalt?

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What is Gestalt Therapy?

Gestalt is a therapy in which experience is of prime importance. Because you are a unique individual, your experience of Gestalt therapy would be unique to you. To talk about what it is, or give a clear explanation therefore, is extremely difficult.

Nevertheless, we have given it some thought and come up with a few sentences that we believe might whet your appetite and begin your understanding of what Gestalt is...

Gestalt is a German word meaning ‘pattern,’ ‘shape’ or ‘form.’ It also means the ‘whole is greater than the sum of the parts’
Each of us has the potential to be more than we imagine or feel we can be. In taking the courageous step towards ‘self’ exploration through therapy lies the exciting possibility of discovering we are so much more than ‘the sum of our parts.’

Gestalt is a dynamic therapy that works in the here and now, through which you can find your own power.
We all tend to spend much of our lives in the past - gossiping, remembering, telling stories about what happened, feeling guilt, joy, sorrow about something in the past: or in the future - planning, assuming, predicting, hoping for, wary of, and so on: or out of time, discussing ideas, principles etc.  We do all of this in the PRESENT (aka the ‘Here and Now).’

Gestalt is a humanistic therapy, which emphasizes a holistic view of the individual as a mind/body unit.
A Gestalt therapist will pay attention to the body, which often speaks more truly than speech. Included in the term 'body' are the breath, posture, gestures, aches and pains and illness.

Gestalt brings awareness: awareness brings choice.
Much of what goes on in sessions encourages awareness and taking responsibility for actions. Understanding what is happening and how it is happening can open up the choices available.

Gestalt explores the quality of relationship between the self and others.
The relationship that develops between client and therapist is crucial. A good reason for making sure that you find the therapist that you can work with.

Gestalt says that with acceptance of the self comes the beginning of change.
How often have you  ‘tried’ to change? To stop smoking or overeating... and it hasn’t worked. Only when you are truly able to accept who you are... at that point real change is possible.
(Trying to change just doesn't work).

Gestalt helps to make sense of the patterns in your life.
For example a common experience can be entering a certain type of unsatisfactory relationship over and over again. Exploration of such a relationship can help discover and make meaning out of that pattern.

What to expect when visiting a Gestalt therapist.

You can look forward to be being listened to, to experiencing the freedom to do whatever will help, to events going at your speed. Much of therapy is dialogue. Working with dreams is a valuable possibility in Gestalt, and totally different from looking the dream up in a dictionary of dreams. How the work goes will vary from client to client, therapist to therapist, session to session, and will depend on interest, imagination, readiness, appropriateness, bravery and achievement.

You may encounter Gestalt in a different way from our explanation of what Gestalt is. This is what makes it such an interesting and exciting experience and one that can open up your life for you.

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