28 March, 2017

Gestalt psychotherapy

Gestalt Psychotherapy, in which I specialize and apply, has been subsumed in the humanitarian psychotherapy schools since the publication of its first theoretical text (Ego Hunger and Aggression) in 1942. It understands the human as a multifaceted whole, which constitutes an integral part of a wider environment (field) and is determined fundamentally by the web of relationships in which the person participates in this environment.. The basic condition of human existence is the need for interpersonal connection.

Also, as an integral part of the environment which is constantly changing, the humans themselves constitute a “gignesthai” ( a continuous development, configuration or modification of things), which is called at any time to create a balance between the need for stability and the need for change. Therefore, we have two conflicting factors, on the one hand the need for stability and on the other the need for changes, aiming to reorientate at an environment that is constantly changing and evolving.

So mental health problems stem mainly from disturbances in the relationship I-You (I-Thou according to M. Buber), either You is the other person, or the circumstances of the environment in which they live.

In the therapeutic model of Gestalt, the main therapeutic factor is the relationship between the therapist and the treated, which they co-create and to which they contribute as equal partners. In the context of the therapeutic relationship the treated is trained to acquire knowledge on their needs and undertake a new appropriate action to meet them, moving away from the, until then, inappropriate and inconclusive attitudes to life. The treated learns to focus on their experience, emotions, their physical feelings, sensations, thoughts, the activity of their imagination and, finally, on the whole array of their experiences. Using all these creates a sound framework of orientation for their choices, decisions and actions.

The Gestalt therapeutic approach is:

Phenomenological

It seeks to identify and strengthen direct experience, by raising the awareness of the individual and their reality through bracketing, ie focusing on the act of experience, and horizontalising.

Εxistential

It is based on the “here and now”, emphasizing that each individual has the right of choosing towards the existential issues they are facing and that they are responsible for their destination.

Experiential

It focuses on the “what” and “how” the individual thinks, feels and acts as they interact with their environment, incorporating dialogue and experiment.

Interactive

Based on the principle of existential meeting (M. Buber), it is interested in building a genuine dialogue in the therapeutic relationship, considering it as a development and therapy factor..

Relational

It argues that individuals are interconnected and are in a continuous process of mutual influence. The Gestalt therapists are “present” in the treatment process where the I / You is a basic value in a therapeutic relationship that is based on genuine contact and not in the therapist’s interpretation, or the use of sterile techniques.