WHAT IS GESTALT THERAPY?
Gestalt therapy focuses on restoring contact with yourself and your surroundings. According to Gestalt theory, contact is just as necessary for people as oxygen and water. For this reason Gestalt therapy is also called the psychotherapy of contact. Starting point is that a human being is an inseparable part of his environment that includes family, work, friends and the rest of the world.
According to the Gestalt approach, people experience psychological problems when contact with their surroundings is disturbed and they are unable to recover. This view is different from that of most psychotherapists who see psychological problems as a disturbance of mental balance.
Gestalt therapy is an active and experiential form of therapy. Bodywork and visual work are important forms of Gestalt therapy. Meditation also has its place.
Gestalt therapy can be done individually, in a group or together with your partner.
WHAT CAN IT DO TO HELP?
- Physical complaints without an identifiable medical cause
- Contact and relationship problems
- Depression, listlessness, anxiety or tension
- Trauma recovery
- Recovery from sexual violence/abuse
- Identity issues
- Process of loss and bereavement
- The questions of meaningfulness
- Stress and burn-out
Gestalt therapy gives you the opportunity to closer align feelings, reason and actions. If things are going better in one area of your life, improvement in other areas will often be easier. You will be better able to take your own responsibility and make choices that suit you.
When you choose the Gestalt approach, you will notice that the therapist does not only reflect on your problems by themselves, but puts more emphasis on the way you experience them, what meaning they have in your life and how you deal with them.
Attention is mainly focused on what your senses perceive and what you physically experience. This often provides a more appropriate answer to life’s questions than your thoughts. By concentrating on the physical and the senses, you learn to reconnect with your own experience and to deal with your problems in a more creative way.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Together with the therapist you go into the process of exploring yourself. Such a process is a voyage of discovery. The Gestalt therapist helps you to live through and express your personal experiences in order to get closer to your experience. The therapist looks at how you make contact and what you experience.
The Gestalt therapist follows you, challenges you and confronts you. You allow yourself to be guided by your feelings, your thoughts, your impulses and make use of your voice, body, language and other possibilities of expression. Through this following and investigating you also experience parts of yourself as unfinished and conflicting. This is where you focus your further research on.
You discover behavior s and feelings that used to be effective for you, but which are no longer effective for you now. You experience yourself and gain insight into the situations now and the past and the possibility to complete unfinished business.
There may always be other aspects of your personality. It’s like peeling an onion. Flashes of your individuality, that which drives you, touches you and inspires you, you see over and over again.
By following and supporting the process, the Gestalt therapist approaches each client as different, unique and individual.
The therapist is careful and respectful and will not force you to do anything. The therapist creates a safe environment in which you can experiment with new behaviour.