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Gestalt Therapy was developed by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls, and Paul Goodman in the 1940s. Gestalt Therapy was originally designed as a type of experiential and humanistic form of therapy that would offer an alternative to conventional psychoanalysis. Gestalt Therapy is based on the understanding that every individual is a whole, (body, mind and soul) and will be best understood when all are dealt with equally. As a form of psychotherapy Gestalt therapists and clients focus on self-awareness and experiential methods to enhance feelings of self-direction and freedom. It is the overall goal of a Gestalt therapist to engage effectively with an individual and assist them to gain and develop a unique perspective on life.
Gestalt therapy is heavily based around the therapist client based relationship and requires the utilisation of empathy and acceptance of the clients experiences to bring about positive therapeutic outcomes. Through this process of bringing awareness to the individual, they are able to comprehend just how they think, act and feel in the present moment in which we live. This allows for an intriguing insight into the methods that will remove currently held feelings of distress and fragmentation and allow the individual to reach their optimal level of wellbeing.
Who can benefit from Gestalt?
Gestalt therapy is extremely useful and effective to assist individuals in the development of an in-depth understanding of how their physical and emotional needs are interconnected. Being aware of what is going on internally is fundamental to Gestalt therapy, and it is through this notion that Gestalt clients will understand why they behave and react in certain ways. Gestalt therapy is considered particularly valuable for the treatment of a wide range of psychological issues - especially as it can be applied as a long-term therapy or as a brief and focused approach.
It has been found effective for managing tension, anxiety, addiction, post-traumatic stress, depression and other psychological problems that can prevent people from living life to the full. Overall, people who participate in gestalt therapy tend to feel more self-confident, calm and at peace with themselves.