Theory of Gestalt Therapy

2388 Words Jan 7th, 2009 10 Pages
Theory of Gestalt Therapy

“What is Gestalt Therapy?” This is a question that has divided therapists for decades. Although Gestalt Therapy is based on a set of techniques, it is ultimately the therapist own defined style that makes it unique – from the theatrical techniques of Fritz Perls to the one-on-one approach of Jim Simken.

According to G.M. Yontef (Awareness, Dialogue and Process Pg 203), Gestalt Therapy is: 1. a bringing about of awareness 2. it is based on the I and Thou contact withdrawal process 3. its world view is based on holism and field theory

Each and every one of us seeks to make sense of life’s events, and as such a considerable amount of time is spent in trying to analyse and explain these events.
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Premature closure feels better that leaving it open, but since the need is still unmet, it will continue to demand attention. The result is a fixation on the part of the individual to resolve his ‘unfinished business’.

Another aspect of contact is that contact itself is but the highlight of a ‘contact withdrawal cycle’, i.e. a cycle that occurs and reoccurs. Habitually, the therapist backs off and comes back again, listening quietly without straining to figure everything out; information is given in a calm but impersonal manner. It is important that the session itself develops a natural rhythm. Meaningful contact cannot be attained or attempted every second. The client also needs to work hard to attain contact, and if there is a pattern of inequality then it is best to change it. If the therapist is doing all the work, than the client’s needs may not be met or the therapist may be feeding into their desire to be spoon-fed. If on the other hand the client is doing much more of the work, then the therapist may need to loosen up and give more of himself. Sometimes, the therapist may need to have the client be still and quiet so that he can do the work.
The client – therapist relationship is an important part of Gestalt Therapy. This “I – Thou” relationship is a contact between two genuine people rather

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