What is Gestalt therapy?

Gestalt therapy recognises that every aspect of you and your life is relevant to how you currently feel and to what you want to change. By exploring your current situation in the context of our relationship together we will come to see how past experiences may be continuing to influence how you feel today and causing you distress or diminishing your ability to enjoy life.

It may be that you are having difficulties because of a specific situation, or it may be that your concern relates more generally to the way you are in the world. Therapy offers you a confidential space where you can talk and explore your feelings, thoughts, patterns, dreams, concepts, physical symptoms etc. and be heard and understood in a non-judgmental way. This process allows you to hear, understand and value yourself.

Usually we try to get rid of unpleasant and uncomfortable perceptions, encounters and patterns. However, we often tend to forget that our difficult behaviours once served as a means of dealing with situations in our life. For some people these behaviours may have even secured their survival in childhood. Hence, in Gestalt therapy we see the task as acknowledging and valuing these parts. Out of this comes the possibility to broaden or reshape our options of how we live our lives now.

If we allow ourselves to be the way we are, if we develop compassion for ourselves and cease to permanently judge ourselves a change inside us happens automatically. In Gestalt therapy we call this the “paradoxical theory of change”.

As long as we want to get rid of something and fight against it and as long as we quarrel with ourselves we feel stuck. However when we allow what is there at each moment to have its space and realise its value, we can change.

If you want to know more about Gestalt please visit my links page. Although it can be helpful to read about it, it’s worth remembering that Gestalt is an experiential therapy that needs to be explored through our feelings as well as our thoughts.