Gestalt therapy is an existential, experiential form of psychotherapy which focuses on the individuals here and now (present moment) experience and awareness through its approach. Being a holistic form of psychotherapy, Gestalt therapy looks at the whole person in regards to their mind, and body (thoughts and feelings) inseparably. It’s a perfect way for individuals who are interested in finding out more about themselves. Achieving personal development and gaining an insight into Gestalt.
Gestalt therapy group work offers the opportunity for individuals to explore personal issues with others who are interested in understanding themselves, and their relationship with others. Some of the benefits that may arise from Gestalt group work are:
- The development of greater awareness.
- A chance to work and experiment with a wide range of emotions.
- The chance to experiment with different ways of being with others.
The origins of Gestalt Therapy were developed in the 1940’s by Fritz and Laura Perls and further influenced by the likes of Kurt Lewin and Kurt Goldstein. It was developed as a revision to psychoanalysis and focuses on an experiential and humanistic approach rather than analysis of the unconscious which was one of the main therapeutic tools at the time Gestalt Therapy was employed.
The key concepts of Gestalt Therapy and personal development
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Several key concepts underlie Gestalt Therapy, many of which are similar to that of person-centred and existential therapy. However, what does differentiate Gestalt Therapy from these therapies are some of the ideas added by Perls and associates as well as distinctive therapeutic techniques below:
- Contact with the environment: This is through looking, listening, touching, talking, moving, smelling, and tasting. This enables the individual to grow in his or her environment through reacting to the environment and changing.
- Here and now: This is the individual living in and being conscious at the present moment rather than worrying about the past or the future.
- This refers to the individual taking responsibility for his or her own life rather than blaming others.
Furthermore, influenced by oriental religions especially Taoism and Zen Buddhism, Gestalt therapy also has strong links to mindfulness in its approach.
Gestalt Therapy focuses on the integration between the ‘whole’ person and his or her environment. This therapy sees a healthy individual as being someone who has awareness in his or her life and lives in the here and now rather than focusing on the past or future. Gestalt Therapy has a number of successful techniques that are applicable in therapy today and may be utilised across a broad spectrum of emotional issues.
Gestalt personal development group taster sessions in Hackney, London
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For anyone living in London this one day taster session held in Dalston, Hackney is open to people looking to broaden their experience of working in groups/organizations. Or who simply want to use this taster session as a way to enhance their own personal development by looking at their interactions in groups. Or for those who would like to obtain a firsthand insight into Gestalt group work / Gestalt therapy.
Further Groups: Jemma and Whitney will be running a 10-week Gestalt personal development course in January 2017 in Hackney, London. This group will be open to both individuals who have attended the taster session, as well as individuals who have not. Please get in touch to find out more.
Gestalt therapy group fee: £20 per person
Signing up: If you are interested in joining this Gestalt taster session please contact Jemma and Whitney at [email protected].