Gestalt is one of the currents in psychotherapy. It is a humanistic and experiential method developed in the second half of the 20th century,
and its founder is Fritz Perls. The year 1951 is considered to be the birth of the Gestalt psychotherapy. It was then that the first book by Fritz Perls was published titled: “Gestalt Therapy”. When creating this method, Fritz Perls drew on many sources, i.e. psychoanalysis, existentialism, holism, character psychology, behaviorism, but also Eastern philosophy. From the combination of these motifs, Gestalt was created, which captures the human being in a holistic way.
Gestalt as a method of psychotherapy
Gestalt is one of the most popular methods in working with mental difficulties. It is an effective treatment for depression, anxiety disorders, neuroses, phobias, etc. In addition, it allows you to go deeper into yourself, which in turn is helpful in developing your potential, as well as serves to improve self-discovery. Its premise is to expand self-awareness, allowing therapy clients to deal with the crisis they are experiencing and, in the long run, to take control of their own lives.
The Gestalt Decalogue by Claudio Naranjo:
- Live now – pay attention to the present rather than the past and future.
- Live here – take care of what is present, not what is not there.
- Experience yourself and accept yourself as you are.
- Stop thinking unnecessarily – instead, look and taste, perceive the environment as it is and interact with it.
- Express yourself – don’t manipulate, explain, justify or judge.
- Surrender to experiencing unpleasantness and pain, just as you surrender to experiencing pleasure. Don’t limit your awareness.
- Do not accept any “shoulds” except what is truly yours.
- Take full responsibility for your actions, feelings and thoughts.
- Be yourself and let others be themselves.
- Be open to change and development – maintain a willingness to experiment to encounter new situations.
Forms of psychotherapy
Gestalt is close to Rogers’ concept i.e. client-centered therapy. At Gestalt, the most important thing is the customer and following through. It is a trend focused on the relationship with another person. Several forms of Gestalt psychotherapy are available:
- Individual psychotherapy – in the relationship between THERAPEUTIST and CLIENT
- Group psychotherapy – individual work against a group background with the support of a psychotherapist
- Couples psychotherapy – working on your relationship with the support of a psychotherapist