Gestalt therapy is an existential/experiential form of psychotherapy. It is used to deepen our awareness of ourselves and our feelings in a less intellectual manner than the more traditional forms of therapy. It encourages individual personal growth through the development of self-awareness and self support to enable creative and spontaneous contact with people and the environment we live in.
Gestalt therapy is an exploration rather than an attempt to control a person’s behavior,
feelings, or thoughts. The only goal is growth and autonomy through an increase in
awareness. It teaches people to become aware of significant sensations within themselves and their environment so that they respond fully and reasonably to situations. The focus is on the “here and now” rather than on past experiences.
One method utilized in Gestalt therapy is the empty-chair technique. The chair serves an important function. When the client sits opposite an empty chair and then mentally places into that chair someone significant, who has caused them pain or trouble. Thus, the “empty chair technique” stimulates your thinking, highlighting your emotions and attitudes.
During this therapy the client is encouraged to bring out hidden feelings. It can give rise to emotional scenes, and the previously buried emotions which need to be handled carefully.
The objective of Gestalt therapy is to enable the client to become more fully and creatively alive and to become free from the blocks and unfinished business that may diminish satisfaction, fulfillment, and growth, and to experiment with new ways of being.