February 13, 2012
Gestalt therapy was founded by Frederick (Fritz) and Laura Perls in the 1940s. It instructs the client on the phenomenological method which is the theory that says behavior is determined by the way the person perceives reality rather than by objective external reality. This therapy method is an influential preference compared to the two chief therapeutic methods, psychoanalysis and behavioral therapy. This therapy combines the clients' thoughts, feelings, and actions into one whole part; Gestalt, is the German word for "whole."
Nancy Piotrowski (2003) describes Gestalt therapy as coaching the client in awareness, perceiving, feeling, and acting to determine the difference between interpreting and reshuffling attitudes and opinions that are preexisting. The things that the client has directly perceived and felt are considered more accurate than the clients’ explanations and understanding. Becoming aware of the differences in perspectives is the focus of this therapy. The goal of this therapy is to help the client to see what they are doing, how they are doing it and how they can make changes for the better. The second part to that is also helping the client to accept, love and appreciate themselves in every part of this journey. The Gestalt therapy tends to focus on the process in which is occurring at the precise moment of the therapeutic session. It does not focus on what has been and what will be in the future. Rather it focuses on what is right at the moment and looks at all perspectives of it (2003).
The Gestalt therapeutic method defines emotional problems and life dissatisfaction as the clients’ inability to understand how they truly feel. Gestalt method therapists help their clients’ to understand the feeling of emotion that they are going through in the moment. It also encourages the client to slow down and think about their current state of being. It also discourages the client...
References: Piotrowski, Nancy A. “Gestalt Therapy, University of California, Berkeley.”
Encyclopedia of Social Science, Vol. 4 (Jan 2003): 1,904.
Yontef, G. M. (1993). “Awareness, Dialogue, and Process.” Highland, NY: Gestalt Journal Press.
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