What is Gestalt Therapy?
Gestalt therapy is a phenomenological-existential therapy. It teaches therapists and patients the phenomenological method of awareness, in which perceiving, feeling, and acting are distinguished from interpreting and reshuffling preexisting attitudes.
Explanations and interpretations are considered less reliable than what is directly perceived and felt by both the therapist and the client in the present moment. Gestalt therapy focuses more on process (what is happening) than content (what is being discussed).
Adapted from Yontef (1991)
The goal of the therapy is for clients to expand their awareness of their own process, what they do in relation with others, the impact this has on relationships, and how to accept and value themselves.
What this means is that I might draw attention to what is happening in the room, your experience and my experience, what passes between us in the present moment, rather than trying to interpret what you bring based on my ideas about your narrative; the meaning that you make is more important than any explanation I might provide.
This focusing on the present moment helps uncover out of awareness processes that might be keeping you stuck in a pattern of behaviour which, while once supportive, now gets in the way of you finding your full expression and being fully present in your life.