There are many definitions and explanations compiled about therapy, therapeutic process, about its potential benefits. Also many guidelines are available on how to choose the right therapy, right therapist. The aim of this article is to briefly introduce my own perceptions based on my own experiences as a therapist and my talks with clients, their reactions and comments.
Many of those who come to see me, ask me and/or themselves How can therapy help me?; How will I benefit from sharing my thoughts and feelings with a strangers?; How does it actually work?; How will I know it is helping?... I find such concerns only natural and understandable. Sharing ones life, worries and often deepest secrets is very personal and intimate. I have deep respect to everyone who finds the courage to share it with me.
"The whole is other than the sum of the parts.”
by Kurt Koffka about GESTALT
The Gestalt Therapy approach I practice is one of the four most widely used therapeutic approaches used today. Its theoretical background is very well elaborated and it can be well transferred into therapeutic practice. Joel Latner in his article The Theory of Gestalt Therapy (2000)* writes: “(Gestalt Therapy) combines this relational theory with present state - focusing strongly on self-awareness and the 'here and now' (what is happening from one moment to the next). In gestalt therapy, self-awareness is key to personal growth and developing full potential. The approach recognizes that sometimes this self-awareness can become blocked by negative thought patterns and behavior that can leave people feeling dissatisfied and unhappy. It is the aim of a gestalt therapist to promote a non-judgmental self-awareness that enables clients to develop a unique perspective on life. By helping an individual to become more aware of how they think, feel and act in the present moment, gestalt therapy provides insight into ways in which he or she can alleviate their current issues and distress in order to aspire to their maximum potential. “
In practice this translates into full and present relationship between client and myself, into given undivided full attention to client’s story, issues, her/his needs, and reactions, into non-judgmental atmosphere.
I understand that clients are my partners and the healing process can arise only against the background of our relationship and that it has the potential to change the relationship to oneself and with others.
*Latner, J. (2000) The Theory of Gestalt Therapy, in Gestalt therapy: Perspectives and Applications, Edwin Nevis (ed.) Cambridge, MA: Gestalt Press.