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Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach that emphasizes awareness, personal responsibility, and the integration of mind, body, and emotions. It was developed by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls, and Paul Goodman in the 1940s and 1950s as an alternative to traditional psychoanalysis.

"Empathy is at the heart of the therapeutic relationship. It is the quality most needed, and least understood, in our search for interpersonal effectiveness." 

- Carl Rogers

About Gestalt Psychotherapy

Gestalt therapy is rooted in the belief that individuals are best understood within the context of their present experience, focusing on what is happening in the here and now. It emphasizes the importance of the present moment and encourages clients to fully engage with their thoughts, emotions, sensations, and behaviors.

The word "gestalt" comes from the German term meaning "shape" or "form." In gestalt therapy, the therapist helps the client become aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and the underlying patterns that shape their experience. The goal is to develop self-awareness and explore the ways in which individuals may be blocking their growth or self-fulfillment.

Gestalt therapy often utilizes experiential techniques and exercises to help clients gain insight and make changes. These techniques may include role-playing, guided imagery, empty chair dialogue, dream work, and body awareness exercises. Through these experiences, clients can gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their relationships, and their patterns of behavior.

One of the key concepts in gestalt therapy is the notion of "unfinished business." This refers to unresolved emotions, conflicts, or experiences from the past that continue to impact the present. The therapist helps clients to become aware of and work through these unfinished aspects, aiming to bring about a sense of closure and integration.

Another central aspect of gestalt therapy is the focus on personal responsibility. Clients are encouraged to take ownership of their choices, actions, and emotions, recognizing that they have the power to make changes in their lives. The therapist acts as a facilitator, supporting the client's self-exploration and growth, while also challenging them to take responsibility for their own well-being.

Gestalt therapy is suitable for a range of issues, including relationship problems, self-esteem issues, unresolved trauma, anxiety, depression, and personal growth. It is often practiced in individual or group settings, and the duration of therapy can vary depending on the needs and goals of the client.

Overall, gestalt psychotherapy offers a holistic and experiential approach to therapy, emphasizing awareness, personal responsibility, and the integration of mind, body, and emotions to support individuals in their journey toward self-discovery and personal growth.

Find a therapist to work with ...

Finding the right therapist can sometimes be challenging. Our mission at Melbourne Integrated Therapies is to offer you a personal referral to one of our skilled and experienced therapists. Our therapists work from a wide range of lenses so that we can cater to your specific needs. Whether you are interested in working within more traditional frameworks like counselling, psychology and cognitive frameworks or from a more somatic, experiential lens we have a number of therapists that can help you. Cameron Barker is the lead therapist at Melbourne Integrated Therapies and able to help you to make the decision of who start therapy with.