What is Gestalt Therapy and how can it help me?

Gestalt has a very complete and practical way of understanding how people work and what can go wrong. Put simply, we all adapt to the early life situation we are born into. We establish those attitudes and habits of mind and behaviour which come to feel like “me”. However, as we grow up we leave the circumstances of childhood and move into very different ones. We ourselves develop adult bodies and competences. How we cope in the new depends a lot on the kind of selves we have become, on our flexibility or lack of it, our confidence or lack of it and so on and this depends largely on whether a person experienced love, protection and encouragement in childhood or neglect, deprivation or abuse. It is largely, I believe, a matter of cause and effect and the reason it is important to re-visit out past experiences.

Gestalt therapy concerns itself with helping people to recognise where and how they are stuck in outdated ways of being which currently cause difficulties – and how to change this , allowing a changing sense of “me ‘ to grow.

My work includes helping people experiment, in the security of the workroom, with different aspects of themselves which they have lost touch with and which they need now in order to deal better with current life. This work requires some willingness and ability to be self-reflective on the part of the client and the courage to sometimes encounter painful feelings.

It is always amazing to see people change in ways they would not have dreamed possible. We do not have to be defined by our past but it takes determination to let go the familiar, however painful.