Are you trying hard to let go of your past trauma?
Are you struggling to cope with emotional baggage?
Do you want to connect to your subconscious to improve your life truly?
Gestalt therapy can help you address the above problems! It is a mental counseling method that helps you be present in the moment. This way, you are better equipped to handle reality with realistic approaches and expectations.
Most dwell on the past or make unreasonable assumptions about our future. Thinking about something that is not in your control can make you miserable. Gestalt therapy recognizes the need to pay more attention to the current events unfolding around you. It then analyzes your non-verbal cues to those events to identify your hidden emotions.
Let us understand the finer details of Gestalt Therapy in this article.
What is Gestalt Therapy?
Gestalt Therapy deals with tweaking human perceptions. Sometimes, we create an alternate reality to make sense of things. Gestalt therapy reveals how our experiences can be pieced together to create a complete picture.
How do you interpret new information that is thrown at you every day? You draw on your past experiences, routines, and unresolved issues.
Also, your responses to current circumstances are always evolving. Gestalt therapy thus helps you process this vast amount of data at your disposal so you can make sense of the world around you.
The therapy focuses on experiencing the world through your senses, imagination, memories, and thoughts. In the process, your subtle expressions and covert emotions are captured by decoding your body language.
The world does not come to us already put together! We have to attribute meanings to whatever happens in our surroundings. These interpretations will differ from person to person based on their past events, upbringing, habits, and many other factors.
Gestalt therapy was introduced by psychologist Fritz Pearl in the 1970s. His approach was a bit more confrontational compared to the current methods used.
Where is Gestalt Therapy Applicable?
This section explores the different applications or uses of gestalt therapy.
Gestalt therapy may be helpful for individuals who want to know more about themselves from an emotional perspective. You can try out this technique to understand how you are responsible for your own pain.
In some cases, gestalt therapy is also combined creatively with art and dance. It can be used to address multiple mental health issues along with physical health concerns. I am listing a few of them below:
- Bipolar disorder
- Family conflicts
- Relationship issues
- Negative lifestyle problems
- Compulsive gambling
- Back spasms
- Self-esteem problems and more
What are the Different Exercises Used in Gestalt Therapy?
In this section of the article, we will discuss the different techniques involved in Gestalt therapy so you are aware of what to expect when under treatment.
Gestalt therapy uses a variety of exercises to help patients understand how their decisions impact their lives and interpersonal connections. You, as a patient, will be guided to let your guard down. And explore the interdependence between your mental and physical identities.
Here are some activities that are undertaken as part of the therapeutic process:
Paradoxical Change Theory Method
Used to improve patient’s self-awareness of their identity. This means your current situation will get worse if you persistently try to change and forcibly become someone you are not. The method is an attempt to counter this forced conversion of an individual’s nature. Change cannot be forced. It must happen organically, along with new experiences and learnings in life.
Used to overemphasize a particular feeling. For the patient, this lays the groundwork for creating a better connection to the present situation. In this case, great attention must be paid to the patient’s body language to uncover strong hidden emotions.
Here and Now Method
Used to help patients learn from past experiences and apply the learnings to present circumstances. It can encourage patients to make better decisions moving forward.
Empty Chair Method
Used for relaxation and help patients confront fear head-on. This involves the practice of speaking to an empty chair to boost confidence. It can work in cases where the patient is constantly trying to avoid someone or something.
Does Gestalt Therapy Work?
Let us understand if gestalt therapy is really effective in this part of the article.
Eleven research studies according to Scientific Research Publishing state that gestalt therapy was particularly effective when applied in group settings. It successfully alleviated both social and certain mental health disorders.
However, more evidence-based research is the need of the hour to evaluate the efficacy of this technique. Some have even complained about the informal framework of gestalt therapy and stalled progress. Also, what may be effective for one patient may not give the same results for another patient.
So, it works great to improve behavior, self-confidence, decision-making abilities, and your responses to stress. But, unfortunately, Gestalt therapy may not be the right approach to manage genetically influenced mental or physical health problems.
I cannot stress enough the need to find the right provider specializing in gestalt therapy. Your therapist’s skills will help eliminate the awkwardness needed to open up to them. So, make sure you vet the profiles carefully before picking your go-to counselor.
The technique does not have any predetermined parameters to evaluate you. This is why different self-discovery methods work for different patients.
Also, the lack of enough research and certification could be a hurdle in your decision-making process. Therefore, I would recommend looking for experienced professionals with great reviews and an excellent track record.
She is an experienced Clinical Psychologist and Mental Health Writer with a decade of expertise in psychology. Skilled in assessment, therapy, and patient care. Committed to helping individuals through clinical practice and mental health writing at Therapyjourney.co. Passionate about promoting mental well-being and awareness. Open to aligned opportunities.