Gestalt theoryWhat is Gestalt theory and what does it intend? Gestalt theory was the outcome of concrete investigations in psychology, logic, and epistemology. The prevailing situation at the time of its origin may be briefly sketched as follows. We go from the world of everyday events to that of science, and not unnaturally assume that in making this transition we shall gain a deeper and more precise understanding of essentials. The transition should mark an advance. And yet, though one may have learned a great deal, one is poorer than before. It is the same in psychology. Here too we find science intent upon a systematic collection of data, yet often excluding through that very activity precisely that which is most vivid and real in the living phenomena it studies. Somehow the thing that matters has eluded us. More >>
Gestalt therapy is highly efficient existential experimental psychotherapy. The process is based upon the relationship between the therapist and the patient and the experience in the current moment or as it is called in Gestalt theory - here and now. Gestalt therapist has a little different role than traditional psychotherapist. Being only an assistant in the course of the treatment and having deep understanding of Gestalt perception, Gestalt therapist manages to obtain necessary result with full involvement of the patient looking for improvement. The mutual work of both parties forms the behavior which eliminates the problem. At first it happens within the frame of the group session, and then the same behavior is transferred to the usual environment of the individual. The main accent is not on words, but on direct experience of the person.
Gestalt therapy is based upon a number of perceptions and developed thanks to the works in psychoanalysis (William Reich), followers of field theory (Lewin, for instance), existentialism and experimental approach of Gestalt specialists. Different principles merged together or at least produced certain influence upon the Gestalt theory and shaped it the way we have it now. Conception of the whole, holism made the person self-regulating and independent entity and the Gestalt therapist regards the client as a functional whole striving towards maturity. The whole is more important than its separate parts taken together. Awareness conception came from the works of Reich and field theory influenced the Gestalt theory greatly too demonstrating that every individual should be taken in context of his environment.
Different approach to previous experience of the client determined the methods which Gestalt therapy employs. The past of the patient is of no particular importance and Gestalt therapy does not concentrate on it, but uses it to solve the problem. As the past influences the decisions of the individual here and now, Gestalt therapist shows it to the person through the dialogue and experimental methods thus expanding the awareness of the person. The patient learns self-regulation and methods to tackle the load of the past, which is in the way of adequate perception of present events. One should accept oneself completely. The relief comes with full awareness. It will help to be free from the burden, which keeps the person captivated and directs the individuality. The development starts after the individual acknowledges pain of the past and only when the person becomes free from fear and nervousness. Patient is completely responsible for what he does and the alternative he or she chooses.