Gestalt therapy was first developed by Fritz & Laura Perls in the 1940/50s. It is now one of the main Humanistic Psychotherapies. Gestalt is recognised for it’s focus on developing authentic relating in the present (I & Thou, Here & Now), respect for the individual details of each person’s experience (phenomenology), and range of expressive techniques (including imagery & enactment).
” Gestalt ” comes from the German word meaning (roughly) whole or complete pattern/ configuration . Each person is viewed as a whole (Body/Mind/Spirit), a unique individual in a particular life situation, someone who can only be fully understood in relation to their current situation as s/he experiences it.
In Gestalt Therapy we use our awareness to encourage personal growth and develop our potential, to become whole. We do this by noticing how we are living now and exploring how we may create any fixed patterns of behaviour that leave us feeling dissatisfied, uncomfortable or ill at ease. Gestalt encourages a non judgemental awareness of our present experience from moment to moment .
Noticing what we experience ( perceptions, sensations, feelings) and how we behave ( express & communicate) in the present creates an opportunity to explore changes in our behaviour and attitudes now. This may enable us to complete previously unresolved experiences and to develop more satisfying ways of expressing ourselves.