Gestalt therapy, also known as Gestalt, was founded by Fritz Perls, a German psychiatrist in the 1950s and 1960s. Gestalt comes from the German verb "gestalten" meaning "to format, to give a structure."
This is a holistic approach among the humanistic psychological therapies integrating five dimensions of the individual:
Gestalt therapy is interested in "how I do it" rather than "why I do it." With this method, there is no general norm or standard to reach. Everyone is unique, everyone has his/her particular life path. Gestalt therapy restores the capacity to choose; it makes us aware of our needs and takes responsibility for our actions without falling into guilt.
It is a method which promotes authentic contact with others. It opens the door to other possibilities and to see situations in a new light.
Here and now
The client-counsellor relationship in Gestalt therapy is based on the reality of the person in the here and now. We identify together how the past is replayed in the present, we experience real solutions, we seek together how to live fully in the present.
Emotional and physical feelings
In Gestalt, the feeling is the mobilizer for change. We use it so the individual can increase his/her resilience and restore freedom of choice.
Gestalt is interested in the constant adjustment between the individual and his/her environment. It does not focus on explaining the origins of an individual's problems but offers possibilities to test solutions in the present to improve the future.
The Gestalt therapist
The Gestalt therapist is personally involved in the counselling sessions and engages with his/her own sensitivity and creativity by paying particular attention to messages from the body, emotions and imagination.