Gestalt Therapy could enrich your life and relationships.
Gestalt therapy is a form of psychotherapy or counselling. It is a gentle, non-judgemental, relational approach which explores what is, in the here and now. We are interested in the past and how it is impacting on your present experience.
Gestalt therapy training requires a practitioner to have done their own work, as a client in therapy, over a long period of time. This allows therapists to learn about themselves, work through their own traumas and understand their relationships and enrich their own experience of life. Throughout the training, over four years, Gestalt therapists provide closely-supervised counselling to others and continue to receive supervision with an expert clinician, to ensure they provide the best care for client.
How Does it Work?
The Four Pillars of Gestalt Therapy
The four pillars of Gestalt therapy are: dialogical/relational; phenomenological, field-sensitive and experiential. This means a therapist and client enter into a real relationship, in which both are willing to be changed by the dialogical process. The client’s whole situation is explored (field-sensitive) through growing awareness of the embodied experiences of both the client and therapist (phenomenology). Greater awareness can emerge from the between of the relationship, as both parties contribute to a shared experience.
As safety is established (and prioritised ongoing) a client may eventually arrive at an impasse; a point of patterned, habitual stuckness which perhaps doesn’t suit the current situation. This is the opportunity for an experiment, emergent of the situaion. An experiment is gently proposed, accepted and negotiated or rejected, all of which are okay, as it is imperative a Gestalt therapist maintain a willingness to be wrong, to be corrected by a client. Over time, through repitition this allows a client’s expectations, experiences and behaviours to change in meaningful enduring ways.
The First Session
Your first session is free of charge, so you have an opportunity to get to know your therapist, to see if you’re a good fit. In this first session, the therapist and client can decide if both feel working together could be beneficial for you. Gestalt therapy is described as a therapy of the situation, so the first session would also involve quite a bit of exploration of your whole situation; your life, current important relationships, past experiences, beliefs and values. You are also welcome to ask your therapist about their own situation, their life and values, to see if you feel there is enough alignment for trust to develop between you.
Course of Therapy
Gestalt therapy is an approach which aims for deep and enduring change. Through acceptance of what is, and working toward greater integration of your whole experience. Depending on your situation, in particular the presence of unresolved trauma, you may find a few sessions helpful, or you may prefer a longer term course of therapy. Our therapists suggest weekly or fortnightly sessions to be most effective, with the occasional break of a month or two for rest and integration. This varies of course, and our therapists can collaborate with you to develop a plan which suits your needs.
Each counselling/therapy session your therapist will discuss integration with you towards the end of your time together. This allows for reflection of the important work that has been done, and an exploration for what that might mean outside of the therapy room, in everyday life.
Integration is also an important part of the process when it comes to ending the therapeutic relationship with your therapist. Perhaps you have reached your goals, and you’re ready to move on. It would be beneficial to have a final session which allows the therapeutic relationship to end well-enough together.