What is Gestalt Therapy and Counselling?

How it can help you with addiction and relationship issues

Before you start any form of therapy, you must be feeling comfortable with your therapist. You’re about to share intimate details, so you need to know that you’re in a safe place, with a trusted therapist.

To break the ice, I always ask my new clients if there’s anything they’d like to know about me. The most common questions they ask is about my qualifications and training, and how long I’ve been a counsellor. When I tell them that I’m a trained Master Gestalt Psychotherapist, I’m met with a puzzled look.

And it’s a look I know well. I’m sure I had the exact same look on my face when, over 30 years ago, my first therapist told me he was trained in Gestalt therapy!

So, what is Gestalt psychotherapy and counselling?

When I asked my therapist this all those years ago, he told me it’s a German word that’s not easy to translate into English! Hmmm. Not the answer I was looking for!

I prodded some more, and he ended up revealing that the closest translation was the English word ‘whole’. He went on to add that, ‘the whole was greater than the total of its parts’. The ‘parts of the whole’ include the body, emotions, sensations, thoughts, perception and experiences.

A quick history of Gestalt Therapy

The origins of Gestalt therapy trace back to the psychoanalytic movement of the early 1950s. Over the years, with increasing knowledge and testing of methods, it’s evolved to be recognised as a sensitive and robust mainstream therapeutic approach.

The principal of Gestalt Therapy is grounded in self-awareness, genuine relating and experiential learning promoting growth, healing and change.

Gestalt therapy focuses on the whole person promoting growth and change.

What sets Gestalt Therapy apart from other forms of psychotherapy, is that it focuses on the ‘here and now’ experiences of your current life situation and challenges. It doesn’t delve into your past to try and justify the reason for your current problems and behaviours.

Gestalt Therapy allows a safe space for you to look at your current life situation and rather than search for ‘blame’, it encourages you to take responsibility for your life.

Awareness and Presence are the cornerstones of Gestalt Therapy

The primary purpose of Gestalt Therapy is to build awareness and presence, more commonly known as ‘mindfulness’.

When you build this awareness, you’ll find it leads to greater understandings around your choices, which in turn leads to self-responsibility when you’re making choices. So, if you’re struggling with addiction or relationship issues, you’ll become aware of why you’re struggling, rather than looking to blame others.

You’ll discover that making choices requires taking action, which leads to changes taking place in your life. Gestalt Therapy will heighten your self-awareness, and it works with the resistance to change. You can beat addictions, you can improve your situation, and you can live the life you want.

How Gestalt Therapy and counselling can help you

If you’re currently struggling from mental health and emotional difficulties and can’t seem to find a way through, Gestalt Therapy can work for you. Gestalt Therapy is a great way to help you with anxiety, depression, stress, low self-esteem, life crisis, relationship problems or addiction concerns.

If you’d like to make positive changes and improve your well-being, or if you’d like more information on how Gestalt Therapy could help you or your family, please contact me now.

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