Gestalt Therapy

Developed by: Fritz Perls, Laura Perls, Paul Goodman


Gestalt therapy focuses on here-and-now experience and personal responsibility. The objective, in addition to overcoming symptoms, is to become more alive, creative, and free from the blocks of unfinished issues that may diminish optimum satisfaction, fulfillment, and growth. The theory of Gestalt therapy takes as its centerpiece two ideas. The first is that the proper focus of psychology is the experiential present moment. In contrast to approaches which look at the unknown and even unknowable, our perspective is the here and now of living. The second idea is that we are inextricably caught in a web of relationship with all things. It is only possible to truly know ourselves as we exist in relation to other things. These twin lenses, here-and-now awareness and the interactive field, define the subject matter of Gestalt therapy. Its theory provides a system of concepts describing the structure and organization of living in terms of aware relations. Its methodology, techniques, and applications . . . link this outlook to the practice of Gestalt therapy. The result is a psychology and method with a rich and unique view of everyday life, the depths and difficulties which life encompasses, and “the high side of normal,” the ennobling and most creative heights of which we are capable. Gestalt therapists believe their approach is uniquely capable of responding to the difficulties and challenges of living, both in its ability to relieve us of some measure of our misery and by showing the way to some of the best we can achieve.

~Excerpt from: Assoc. for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy


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