How I Work – What is Gestalt Therapy?

The basis of how I work is based on the theory and practice of Gestalt therapy.  The objective of Gestalt therapy is to enable people to live a flexible and creative life free from patterns of ‘fixed’ behaviour that can reduce self growth and a sense of satisfaction in their lives.  Gestalt therapy is a holistic, experiential and relational way of working with clients.  The foundation of Gestalt therapy is based on awareness.  This means that I support you in raising your awareness about how you are living your life, ‘who you are’ in relationship with others and what choices are you making.  In being more aware, Gestalt therapy can help you make a more positive and meaningful future as well as build a richer personal world with relationships that are fulfilling.

The Gestalt Approach to Change.

“Change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not.”    Arnold Beisser

Change cannot be forced. Gestalt therapy, guides you to becoming more aware of what, how and who you are, allowing change to follow.  This means that through counselling we will explore ways that you can become more aware of how you are in your world, what you think and feel as well as how you conduct your relationships and what you are doing in your life that does or does not support you in your movement towards health and well being.

A Here and Now Approach to Past Pain.

The Gestalt approach to counselling is grounded in the here and now. This means that while I do not discount your personal history, I am focused on how your present life is being affected by your past experiences.  This present centered focus creates an alive and dynamic atmosphere as you share your feelings, thoughts, sensations, and imaginings.  The benefits of this are that you are able to learn and integrate new experiences by working in the present. Working this way compliments what and how you wish to change.

A Holistic Approach.

This means I view and acknowledge all of you which include your cultural heritage, influences from family, values, beliefs, past, present and future aspirations.  Through counselling I support you in building your sense of wholeness so that you may begin to accept all parts of yourself.  I do not pathologise you, nor see you as a set of problems and issues to be fixed.  I see all aspects of you as interrelated and a vital part of you, your relationships and your life.  I acknowledged, affirm and explore ways to capitalise on your knowledge, understanding, resources and wisdom that you have gained through your own unique journey through life.  The benefits inherent in this approach are that I am able to assist you in accessing and strengthening your own resources for healing past trauma and relationship wounds.

Gestalt Therapy is Experimental.

Gestalt therapy is more than talk therapy. I work using experiments which means I value you trying out various methods to bring more awareness and insight to yourself while experiencing new ways of being in the counselling room.   This is about experiencing fully who you are in the present moment.  I am an active participant in these experiments and will often give feedback and share my observations by disclosing my thoughts and feelings as they occur.

Gestalt Therapy is Relational.

Current research in neuroscience and relational psychotherapy provides strong evidence of the powerful healing potential of the client therapist relationship within the therapeutic process.  This is one aspect that makes Gestalt therapy unique amongst other therapies that are available. I am an active participant in the therapeutic process and will actively engage with you and attend to our relationship when necessary. This is a potent method of healing past relationship trauma and wounds.  You have a voice in how we work together and what you need for your successful outcome.  I work to develop a strong working relationship between us, as this is instrumental in the success of your counselling experience and healing journey.

Gestalt Therapy is Existential

Gestalt therapy includes deep soul searching around issues such as freedom, death, loneliness, authenticity, desire, uncertainty and responsibility.  By exploring these themes, you become aware of your values and beliefs that you hold close, while discovering for what purpose you live for.

Awareness, Meditation and Mindfulness.

I draw on my experience of and passion for meditation and mindfulness in my work with you.  Through my many years of meditation practice I bring calmness, peace and presence in our work together.  My own experience has provided me with the evidence of the healing power of mindfulness on mental, emotional and physical health.  I provide a place in which we can explore together the aspects of your life you wish to attend to, in which new awareness can emerge providing options and choice that was previously unavailable.

 

“Psychotherapy is a specific type of enriched environment that promotes social and emotional development, neural integration and the processing of complexity”.  Cozolino