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Gestalt Therapy

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Gestalt Therapy is a psychotherapy, based on the experiential ideal of "here and now", and relationships with others and the world, and was co-founded by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls and Paul Goodman in the 1940s-1950s. It is related to but not identical to Gestalt psychology and the Gestalt psychology based Gestalt Theoretical Psychotherapy of Hans-Juergen Walter.

Based initially on the insights of Gestalt Psychology and traditional Psychotherapy, Gestalt Therapy has developed as a psycho-therapeutic model, with a developed theory that combines phenomenological, existential, dialogical, and field approaches to the process of transformation and growth, of human beings.

At the centre of Gestalt Therapy lies the promotion of "awareness". The patient is encouraged to become aware of their own feelings and behaviours, and the patient's effect upon their environment. The way in which a patient interupts or seeks to avoid contact with their environment is considered to be a substantive factor when recovering from psychological disturbances . By focusing on the patient's awareness of themselves as part of reality, new insights can be made into the patient's behaviour, and the patient can engage in self-healing


Moral injunctions of Gestalt Therapy

  1. Live now, be concerned with present, not the past or future.
  2. Live here, deal with what is present rather than absent.
  3. Stop imagining, experience reality.
  4. Stop unnecessary thinking.
  5. Express rather than manipulate, explain, justify, or judge.
  6. Give in to unpleasantness and pain just as pleasure, do not restrict awareness.
  7. Accept no "should" or "ought" other than own.
  8. Take full responsibility for your own actions, feelings and thoughts.
  9. Surrender to being as you are.

Suggested sections

  1. Introduction
  2. "Gestalt" and Perception.
  3. The Experience Cycle
  4. Awareness
  5. Contact Boundary Phenomena
  6. Polarities
  7. Field Theory
  8. Dialogue
  9. Experiment

See also

External links

Manchester Gestalt Centre Has many articles on Gestalt Therapy written by John B Harris and Peter Phillipson, Manchester Gestalt Centre, UK. Go to 'online articles'.

Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04