"What is Gestalt Therapy"? Gestalt therapy (GT) is a psychotherapeutic approach mostly identified and developed by Frederick S. (Fritz) Perls (1893–1970 and Laura Perls (1905-1990). Its orginators were influenced by Freud's psychoanalytic approaches, however moving toward existentialism in contrast to the typical Freudian technique.
Gestalt theory, is concerned with the whole person, encouraging a balance between body, feeling, intellect and imagination. The Gestalt approach in psychotherapy understands people as being inextricably linked with their environments, both affected by and affecting the context in which a person lives. Here and Now, experiments, creativity and imagination are ...view middle of the document...
Awarness and creative experimentation achieve insight. "Perhaps only playing (is) the child or adult free to be creative" Winnicot, D (1971) Playing and Reality, Routledge, London.
For example, after enacting my imaginary negative child ego state, I felt very tense in the body, over emotional and guilt-ridden. I was completely absorbed in the task and out of contact with the environment. It was both knowning and being of (what was happening) in that moment, than the content of (what had been acted out). Thus the awareness informed my consciousness of my existence in a childlike state and I brought myself back to a more reasonable and logical state thus forming a Paradoxical Change.
"Perls saw Gestalt as the only therapy based on pure phenemonology - away from concepts towards awareness" - Clarkson, P. Gestalt Counselling in Action, Sage Publicatiions; 1989 London. The process of Gestalt therapy insight must have clear understanding of these three elements: relationship, awareness and experiment. The therapist must create an aunthentic relationships with the client. Awareness is important because a disruption in the process brought the client to therapy. Experiments allow cleints to experience a situation or to try something different in a safe place with a goal to create awareness. In Gestalt therapy, therapists, use themselves as an instrument, to develop sensitivity to the client's responses and become more attuned to the person's reactions. For instance, the warm up in group dramatherapy. Getting to know each other by trust building excercises, leaning on others, falling and being caught and being led around the space blindfolded in that given moment, 'here-and-now'. The therapist, notices body, mind and feelings. . Rules for experiments: Stay in the present, be aware and congruent in communication, Use "I" not "It" statements.
Yonteff notes that, 'Gestalt therapy helps the patient regain the key to this state, the awareness of the process of awareness. Behavior modification conditions [by] using stimulus control, psychoanalysis cures by talking about and discovering the cause of mental illness [the problem], and Gestalt therapy brings self-realization through here-and-now experiments in directed awareness.' (1969, pp. 33-34)
After the warm exercises, The therapist noticed I could not allow others to support me. We discussed it in the present and I felt...