The German word Gestalt has multiple meanings which cannot all be encapsulated and conveyed in just one English word. Gestalt refers both to shaping and the resulting shape, to the process of forming and the end-form. This "Theory of Form" focuses on how we experience the here and now as we relate to and with others throughout the various situations in our lives. During sessions, Gestalt therapists are attentive, in the here and now, to their patients' modes of being, reacting to, and dealing with others and their environment, as expressed and conveyed by each individual client's words, emotions and body language. Gestalt therapy is a humanistic therapy. The patient and the therapist work face to face as they establish a dialogue and together seek to discover what is meaningful, disquieting, disturbing, striking, enlightening, comforting or nurturing in their encounter, in the here and now. It is also a relational therapy which awakens our senses and is especially supportive of, and successful in, solving day-to-day conflict situations. Gestalt-therapy branched out into several movements. I am part of the phenomenology movement, which basically means that I work from what evolves out of my exchanges with the patient. I find support on our common experience and how we are involved during the session. The aim is to help the patient to observe and become conscious of what springs to his/her mind and feelings, in connection to his/her way of being in ordinary life, so he/she learns to select the orientation that best suits his/her need.
The Gestalt movement began in the 1950's in the U.S.A., spearheaded by German and American psychoanalysts. When the movement spread to Europe in the wake of May 1968 and its aftermath, European psychotherapists trained directly with the movement's founding members: Fritz and Laura Perls, Paul Goodman and Isadore From, i.a.
Today, certified Gestalt therapists work in many of France's cities. Gestalt therapy is also available in several other European countries including Russia, as well as in Australia and some African, Latin American and Asian nations. Gestalt therapists work in a wide range of contexts and sectors: education, health, business and commerce, culture and the arts, institutional and non-profit, corporate and individual.
Purpose and aim
Gestalt therapy considers that we exist and are determined by the nature and the quality of our relations and contacts with others and our environment. A Gestalt therapist is someone whose professionally supportive presence is conducive to revealing and developing the human potentialities in each and every one of us so we can live to our fullest in relation to and with our environment. Gestalt therapist value creativity and the vital creative process as a way of adjusting to the world.
Gestalt therapists seek to enhance their patients' awareness of themselves as conscious elements surface during the session. We focus on questioning "how" things happen : how it is felt and deal with during the session. Therapists may also set up situations whereby new ways of being can be explored and experimented with. The Gestalt method and approach are optimal for individual, group and couple therapy.