Gestalt and TA concept have been widely recognized for their role in psychotherapy. In this context, they provide the therapist with a framework which can be used to help their patients overcome mental problems and issues. As result, personal growth and development is likely to be attained. Their significance is illuminated by the fact that both of them encourage the patient’s ‘here and now’ awareness, which is fundamental in personal development (Brenner 2000).
Fritz and Laura Perls are responsible for the founding of gestalt therapy in the 1940’s. From there on, Gestalt has contributed significantly to the field of psychotherapy, counseling, and personal development. When therapist uses this method, his or her ultimate aim is to ensure the client achieves personal growth and development. To achieve this outcome, gestalt utilizes existential philosophy and phenomenology. In summary, this form of therapy aims to empower the patient to use his internal and external senses for the purposes of developing personal responsibility and a self-supportive system (Franzke 1999; Corcoran & Daly 2008).
Through his psychiatrist work with brain-damaged soldiers, Fritz Perls (Husband to Laura Pearls), established that an approach which would treat patient as functional ‘whole’ would be more effective. He therefore diverted from his traditional psychoanalytic practices, to develop gestalt which he believed would be less discrete. Apart from Sigmund Freud, Reich works on self-understanding and the process of personality change heavily influenced his theories and concepts. Differential thinking as presented by philosopher Friedlander, also played notable and influential role. Fritz nonetheless did not fail to point out that his theory was not conclusive. Therefore he frequently revised it, to ensure it covers all the necessary aspect required for personal development and growth (Franzke 1999; Corcoran & Daly 2008).
4. Approach to Growth
Fritz and Laura work is a humanistic approach, since it advocates for people to explore their feelings, thoughts, and actions as away of ensuring personal responsibility and growth. For it to be successful, both a phenomenological and existential perspective must be applied. Adopting a phenomenological approach entails ensuring the patient perceive the reality as it is at the precise moment. Interacting with the environment and interpreting it free from the influence of, any concepts, theories, beliefs and ideas, derive from the past, is the central principle of a phenomenological approach. Its existential nature is portrayed by its fundamental belief in the personal development being progressive. It advocate for patients to continuously evolve themselves positively, through a process of self discovery and recreation. For self-understanding purposes, establishing the reaction to a present situation is more, important than establishing why the one reacted in the first place....