At its heart, Gestalt therapy is a creative and holistic approach to psychotherapy.
Gestalt therapists emphasise the inter-connectedness of human existence and the importance of our environment, social relationships and embodied experience. In the therapy room, these are all are seen as essential supports for healing and growth. We do not become sick – or learn how to flourish – in a bubble.
A Therapy of Awareness and Connection
In practice, Gestalt therapy is focused on raising our awareness of the ways we have become stuck and disconnected in our lives. It allows us to experiment with new ways of being.
Through sharing our life and struggles with another person, in a space which feels non-judgemental and welcoming, we gain awareness of the fixed patterns of behaving and relating which limit us and cause pain.
In the context of a secure therapeutic relationship, we can be adventurous and try new ways of doing things. We rediscover and reclaim parts of ourselves we’ve become alienated from, because they no longer feel too risky to express. We find creative ways to resolve our unfinished business, allowing the wounds from our past to heal.
The Theraputic Journey
Therapy isn’t always comfortable, or easy. It can take great courage to investigate the patterns that hold us back, and move beyond them. As part of the process, therapy often involves bringing things ‘into the light’, sharing with another person events from our history that might be hard to face, or we have run away from. To do that takes time, commitment and courage, as well as trust in the therapist and the strength of the theraputic relationship.
Gestalt therapy is a journey with no fixed destination, and there are usually twists and turns – even obstacles, along the way. But the journey can be transformational, leading to a growing sense of freedom, vitality and wholeness, as well as increased physical and mental well-being.
Over time, many people find they have a greater capacity for intimacy in relationships, with a greater ability to express their needs and trust their own judgement. Gestalt therapy can support you to reclaim parts of yourself you thought were lost forever, heal from past hurts, and find yourself capable of things you once thought impossible.
Find Out More
To learn more about the history and practice of Gestalt therapy, the UK Association for Gestalt Practitioners have written a helpful introduction to the approach.