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Depression & Gestalt Therapy

Nov 09, 2020

Contrary to how others would often perceive depression as feelings of sadness going out of bounds, this condition is deeply-rooted in several factors and may lead to an array of physical conditions if not addressed immediately. The good news is that depression is treatable.

Certain medications can help ease its symptoms, but these come with a host of side effects such as nausea, insomnia, sexual problems and constipation. If you want a safer approach to resolving depression at its root, it's worth looking into the massive benefits of Gestalt therapy.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder characterised by overwhelming feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and diminished interest in life. Everybody feels sad once in a while, but if the feeling persists for two weeks or more, this is a clear indication of depression.

Depression may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, stressful life events like the death of a family member or divorce, childhood trauma, hormonal imbalance or genetics. Symptoms of depression, such as pessimism, irritability, fatigue, insomnia and lack of concentration, must not be ignored because these can spiral into serious complications such as the following:

What Are the Common Treatments for Depression?

Conventional treatments for depression include antidepressants to ease the symptoms. Although these provide temporary relief, they leave you feeling nauseous, groggy, and discomfort in your digestive system. 

Many healthcare providers recommend herbal medicine, art therapy, massage, reflexology and gym activities like yoga as an adjunct to the patient's primary treatment to support their recovery. However, those who refuse to go the allopathy way would opt for counselling or other psychotherapy modalities such as Gestalt therapy.

What is Gestalt Therapy?

Gestalt is a German word which means holism, hence Gestalt therapy is the process of treating the client's mind, body and spirit as an integrated unit rather than separate parts. A qualified practitioner of this modality helps the client increase their self-awareness by taking them to the present moment and guiding them in the use of their senses to experience and react to their environment. In doing so, the client can create their own reality rather than base their life on past events.

In a Gestalt therapy session, the therapist employs different techniques such as role-playing, body language, taking responsibility and the empty chair technique. They use one or a combination of these techniques to help the client deal with their past issues in the present time.  

How Can Gestalt Therapy Help With Depression?

Gestalt therapy isn't your usual talk therapy. It encourages you to express your feelings in words and actions so that you can process them and ultimately change your perspective of them. In a Gestalt therapy session for depression, the therapist will utilise different exercises to help you identify the root of your condition. 

One of the most common exercises used is the two chair technique. You, the client, will be made to sit across an empty chair and imagine the depressed side of you sitting in front of you. The Gestalt therapist will then ask you to have a dialogue with that part of yourself. Having this talk with yourself will raise your self-awareness and help you understand the underlying causes of your depression. 

Undergoing Gestalt therapy will help you deal with your suppressed emotions which are holding you back from the present. The therapist will respect your feelings and realities as they unfold before you. There is no need to rush the process because they will guide you patiently throughout your journey to self-realisation. 

If you want to consult a qualified practitioner of Gestalt therapy to help you deal with your depression, you may browse the Natural Therapy Pages' complete list of practitioners available in your area. You can also try out other effective natural treatments to help with your depression.

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FAQs About Gestalt Therapy & Depression

What is the main goal of Gestalt therapy?

The objective of Gestalt therapy is to help people tune in to their inner self and environment so that they can address the root cause of their problem and deal with it effectively. The therapist guides the client in achieving self-awareness first because it is only then that they can truly feel their bodily sensations and the world around them.

What is Gestalt therapy techniques?

Gestalt therapy techniques refer to the exercises and experiments which the practitioner and client go through together to enable the latter to explore their thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

When would you use Gestalt therapy?

Gestalt therapy is an effective treatment for anxiety, depression and personality disorders. A therapy session can be done individually, with couples or in groups.

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