What is Gestalt Therapy?
Ground yourself in the present
Gestalt therapy is also more of an experiential therapy than an interpretive one. It focuses on how a person might be creating obstacles to healing, rather than why. By helping a client understand how they stay stuck, the Gestalt therapist can help the client develop new pathways to healing.
Be Your Authentic Self
Gestalt Therapy focuses on the Mind-Body Connection
One of the best ways to stay focused on the present, is to become more aware of the mind-body connection and how emotions manifest in the body.
In more conventional talk therapies, it is common practice for clients to speak about their emotions. Gestalt therapy, however, recognizes that there is a difference between talking about emotions and actually experiencing emotions. Gestalt therapy tries to enrich and deepen the way in which emotions are experienced by helping the client locate where the emotion is presenting itself in the body.
For this reason, a common practice in Gestalt therapy is to try to pinpoint where in the body, an emotion is most intensely felt. For instance, you might experience feelings of fear in the “pit of your stomach” or feelings of anxiety as tightness in your neck. Increasing awareness around the physical manifestation of emotions can help you gain a more profound sense of how emotions can be expressed through actual physical sensations. Through this increased body awareness, we can learn how to mitigate difficult emotions.
Embrace who you are
What are creative adjustments?
Gestalt therapy uses the term "Creative Adjustment" to describe the ways of coping that we had to learn in order to deal with difficult life events or circumstances.
While those creative adjustments may have helped you get through a very difficult traumatic time in your life, they may no longer be serving you now. In fact, they may be working against you in your present life. They can become rigid and limiting ways of reacting to others and the world, making you less flexible to adapt to new life-affirming situations.
An example of a creative adjustment, is having to be tough because of bullying that you may have suffered as a child. However, as an adult, it may translate that you have trouble being vulnerable in relationships because you are still holding on to that stance of toughness and you don’t have another way of relating in your repertoire because it was never developed. Gestalt therapy can help you break old cycles of relating and then assist you in developing healthier and more flexible states of being.
Vulnerability is Beautiful
The Empty Chair Technique
Gestalt therapy typically involves exercises and experiments that are tailored to the specific needs of each client.
The exercises and experiments are designed to arouse both action and emotion, which are at the very core of the gestalt framework. The idea is to help the client have an experience that penetrates deeper than just telling a story about what happened to them. For instance, if a client is talking about something that happened with their boss, I might have the client imagine their boss sitting in an empty chair that is placed directly in front of them and speak to the boss like a role play instead of just telling me the story.
The “empty chair technique” helps the person really feel what they are saying, which can often enable them to resolve conflicts within themselves (which Gestalt therapy refers to as “polarities”) or another person even if the person is not available (or it would not be productive or advisable to speak to the person in real life). Gestalt Therapy seeks to teach clients how to integrate conflicting thoughts and feelings, so that they can feel more whole and at peace within their own skin.
Don't be afraid
to let your light shine
The goal of Gestalt therapy is not only to resolve emotional issues, but also to promote excitement and growth in the human spirit...
Gestalt therapy and its various techniques, are designed to help you improve self-awareness and enable you to understand the conflict and experiences that typically underlie your difficult and often painful symptoms.
As a result of newly gained clarity and perspectives, you can begin to live your best life. Gestalt therapy has proven effectiveness in treating anxiety, depression, grief, self-esteem issues, and relationship difficulties.