Gestalt therapy is a pedagogical, process-oriented mode of therapy that focuses attention on the healthy, integrated functioning of the total organism comprised of the senses, the body, the emotions and the intellect. It was originally developed by Frederick (Fritz), Laura Perls,Paul Goodman and other people in the 1940’s and has at its base principles from psychoanalytic theory, Gestalt psychology, various humanistic theories, as well as aspects of phenomenology, existentialism, Reichian body therapy and Zen Budism. From these sources, and others, a large body of theoretical concepts and principles have evolved underlying the practice of Gestalt therapy.
A major focus is to help clients become aware of what they are doing, how they are doing it, and how they can change themselves, and at the same time, to learn to accept and value themselves. It focuses more on process than content ( though content may be used as examples of one’s process.) What is directly perceived, felt and experienced is considered more relevant than explanations and interpretations.
Gestalt awareness practice is a form – nonanalytic, noncoercive, nonjudgmental – derived from the work of Fritz Perls, influenced by Buddhist practice, and evolved by Richard and Christine Price. This work integrates ways of personal clearing and development that are both ancient and modern. Since awareness is primary in Gestalt Awareness Practice, this work has a strong relationship to some forms of meditation. This approach is similar to some Reichian work as well in that it is somatically based with energetic release and emotional expression is allowed and encouraged.So in this way the person learns ways to explore him/herself deeper and can always have this tools in every moment of his life when needed and practise them on his own without the presence of a therapist. This gives to the person an enjoyable ability to support him/herself at every present moment.
Because of the extensive, comprehensive nature of this therapy, a short summary as this could not describe the basic concepts involved. Paradoxically, however, these concepts are actually so organic that they exist and are part of our every day life. It sometimes takes a genius, like Einstein, to focus on the obvious.