Gestalt Therapy. I am a Gestalt Therapist who loves doing Gestalt Therapy because it works and it is soooo fun!
Gestalt Therapy was created by Fritz Perls and is body centered experiential therapy done in the present moment. The theory simply is, when you live an event fully in the present moment, you complete the gestalt, the happening, and then you are free in the next moment to choose something different to do. Simply said if you are hungry, this is the gestalt, hunger, then you eat and feel fulfilled, full of food, the gestalt of hunger is completed and you are free of hunger. It really does work this simply even though as a Gestalt Therapist I spent three years doing Gestalt training in a Masters Degree learning to tune into the present moment, subtle body motions and emotions of the client and myself.
To help you understand more about the Gestalt approach, I will compare the counseling approach. In both therapies the client will talk about themselves and an issue. In counseling, as the counselor, you active listen and confirm what the client is saying and feeling. In Gestalt, as the therapist, you are noticing how the client is moving, their hands, their posture, their facial expression, unspoken emotions, gestures and watching for the heat to rise, their passion to indicate what is most important. This may not have anything to do with what they are saying, they may be saying one thing is the problem and you notice another topic is the heated topic in which their body is really speaking loudly underneath a calm voice for example.
Then comes the real difference. In gestalt, the counselor and client set up to replay what the client is talking about in the present moment with all of the characters that were present. So if the client was upset about a parent at age five, this scene is set up with the parent being a pillow for example and the client has their adult self now and their five year old self. The five year old self now gets to present time talk to the parent with the safety of their adult self and the therapist assisting. The parent does not get to talk back, strike out or do anything since it is a pillow, unless the therapist chooses to have this happen via the client or therapist role playing this part. The five year old is free to scream, hit, kill, you name it, to this pillow, in total safety and become conscious of all the unconscious pent up words, emotions and actions hidden deep within their body. When these unconscious gestalts of fear, anger, sadness are expressed in words, with all the emotions, and expressed with hitting, kicking, etc., full body expressions, the gestalt is fulfilled. The five year old is free to have a new expression and is not held hostage to the pent up inner gestalt that never got expressed. It is fun therapy, fast, simple, easy and safe.
The therapist watches the client in every way to support them to follow their body wisdom to fulfill the gestalt and to go onto the next event that will empower them to live a new life. As a graduate of Naropa University in Boulder Colorado, I was trained to follow the client’s body wisdom, my body wisdom and the Higher Self of the Universe coming through myself as well to support the client. Gestalt Therapy training was Transpersonal based on meditation and being deep, united with the Universal wisdom guiding you.
The next therapy to develop advancing Gestalt, that I learned was Psychosynthesis Therapy, which includes the God Self as part of the initial set up as well as the ending summation of all the sessions. Gestalt Therapy works instantly, that’s why I love Gestalt Therapy. You can work out anything very quickly, easily, safely, and have a blast discovering unconscious, release this, as easily as “shitting” and a new life continues because the old gestalt, the “shitting” is complete. With Gestalt Therapy, change happens naturally, you don’t have to work at changing your life, it is changed doing Gestalt Therapy and completing gestalts.