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Gestalt therapy: a conscious way of living

We live this way, frenetic, without stopping, many times because we are afraid of silence, non-activity, nothingness, emptiness. It represents the stop looking outside to see inside and in this way we do not want to face what we see.

In this sense, in this article I will propose the possibility of living in another way: focused on the "here and now", the "realization" and the sense of our responsibility, the three pillars of Gestalt Therapy.

I will make a trip about the time in which it emerged, how and why it is called conscious therapy, the differences with other psychological approaches and to whom it is directed. Also the reason why Gestalt therapists must carry out a long therapeutic process before facing our patients or clients.

  • Related article: "History of Psychology: authors and main theories"

Let's start at the beginning...

Gestalt Therapy is encompassed within humanistic psychology. This was born in the decades of the 50/60 as a reaction to psychoanalysis and behaviorism. It is the so-called third way. Its original figures are Abraham Maslow and c. Rogers.

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Gestalt Therapy emerged in the 1970s through the work of the married couple Frizt Perls and Laura Posner. Fritz, a psychoanalyst, wants to redirect psychoanalysis and review errors, but Freud never wanted to listen to him, so Perls created a new school in the US.

  • You may be interested: "Humanistic Psychology: history, theory and basic principles"

a mindful therapy

As main differences with what we know as cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychoanalysis, the therapist-patient relationship changes: becoming one-on-one, close, warm and active. It is the basis of therapy: the relationship that exists between the two people.

Faced with rationalization, in Gestalt experience prevails, the phenomenological. The emotional and also the physical are worked on so that there is a true balance between mind, emotion and body.

In Gestalt we start from the educational model instead of the medical model. We accompany the person to find their own resources. The person is the resource itself. There is no "therapist" who is above the patient and gives him the tools to "cure" him. At Gestalt we are in contact with what happens to the person and we accompany them. For example, if the patient feels afraid, we feel it too and we accompany him in that fear that is not different from ours.

We do not diagnose according to tables or parameters. We put the origin before the symptom, since this can be shown in one way or another and will always appear again unless we manage to solve its origin. It is a holistic therapy, it treats the person as a whole.

We avoid interpretation and advice and make it easy for the patient to contact his own experience and take the consequences for himself.

  • Related article: "Subjectivism in Psychology: what it is and why it leads nowhere"

Is for me?

This therapy is aimed not only at people with problems, but at anyone who is going through a crisis and thinks they need help. Sometimes, we realize that what used to serve us no longer serves us, and we have not found something new. In the different areas of my life: work, partner, children, family of origin, I feel that I am trapped and cannot find a way out.

With Gestalt Therapy we accompany you to get out of these alleys to move from your comfort zone to a place where you see life in a more loving way.

If you find yourself strange because what has worked for you until now does not work for you, if you feel like expressing things that you have stored inside of you and you need to share, yes some emotion (sadness, anger...) is asking for a step, if you have trouble managing your fears, if you are tired of always being angry, protesting everything... This is your place.

The pillars of Gestalt Therapy

Below you will find the three main fundamentals of this therapy.

The "here and now"

Everything happens in the now, the past no longer exists and the future has not arrived. This philosophy is also shared by many other disciplines and contrasts with Freudian thought that was aimed at recovering everything that happened in childhood.

Of course, in Gestalt we are concerned with what happened in childhood, which is the germ of character, only we update it to the present. What happened is not as important as what the person is feeling at this moment about that event. On the other hand, most of the problems that patients bring are in relation to others and it is within the relationship with the therapist, in the here and now where these are going to be represented. problems. From Gestalt therapy we accompany people so that little by little they leave all their characters out of the consultation to discover who they really are and in this way accept themselves as they are.

  • You may be interested: "What is Mindfulness? The 7 answers to your questions

The "noticing"

It is also part of the present, of accepting and attending to the experience, to what is happening at this very moment. Be aware, be aware. Perceive in a relaxed way, without tension. Being aware of what is happening to me instead of letting myself be carried away by thoughts. It would be like accepting that we go through life with unfocused glasses and little by little we correct them to see the reality of our lives. Not the one that others want us to live, but the one that we want to live.

The responsability

View as a fact, not as a duty. Many things may have happened to us in life, perhaps not all of them good, but we cannot anchor ourselves to the past in the idea that I am like this because of someone else. Now we are adults, we have resources and we can take responsibility for what happens to us, what we think, what we feel or what we deny, what we avoid or what we want. Perls said: “responsibility simply means being willing to say: I am me and also I am what I am.

Do psychologists go to therapy?

Another very important aspect of Gestalt Therapy is that the therapists of this approach they must have done their own process. They are required to experience a long therapeutic process. And this is the most logical. First of all, due to professional ethics, we cannot be asking our patients to go through a process in which we previously we have not passed and on the other hand it is the only way to be able to be next to the patient, accompanying him in equal conditions.

Therapy is not just advice. It is part of your personal growth. If you haven't been through therapy, you can't know what happens to the patient when emotions overflow, or what the path is like. irwin d. Yalom (2019) says that therapists must be familiar with their own dark side and be able to empathize with all human desires and impulses. Therapists must show the direction to their patients through the model of their own person.
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