Gestalt Theory

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What is Gestalt Counseling? You may want to know something more about the gestalt approach to counselling before deciding to see a gestalt counsellor. Or you may just be interested in different approaches to counselling. On this page I have attempted to set out some of the basic ideas of the gestalt approach. Some of the ideas are complex and open to different interpretations, so this can be little more than an introduction. I have also included links to other sites and articles, as well as some suggested reading. The Gestalt Concept of Self We all talk about ourselves in the first person - 'I did this ', 'my book ', 'I felt happy ' etc., but what do we mean when we use the words 'I ' or 'me ', what is this thing we call self?…show more content…
For this reason the aim of gestalt counselling is to help the client gain self awareness. Self awareness is also the aim of many spiritual paths and there are some similarities between Buddhism and gestalt theory. In the therapy room the counsellor will help the client to gain awareness through asking questions and making appropriate challenges. As individuals we can help to develop our self awareness through self questioning (note this does not mean self criticism) and through meditation. Meditation is a helpful technique for many of those suffering from emotional and psychological problems, as well as those looking for personal and spiritual development. The Here and Now Gestalt therapy focuses on what is going on in the here and now, i.e. in the therapy room, rather than what may have happened in the past. We are not influenced by the past as such, but by our memory of the past, by the behaviours that we learnt in the past. All the information that a client needs to develop self awareness is available in the here and now. A gestalt therapist will look at what is actually there - the client 's body language, tone of voice, what is not being said as well as what is being said etc., rather than what they think should be there. This is often referred to as the Phenomenological approach. The therapist will try to put their own prejudices to one side and experience the world through the client 's eyes. A gestalt therapist may note
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