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A Taste of Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt is a German word meaning ‘whole’ in the sense of the whole being a sum of its parts. It has a theory that arises from through the integration of many strands including Kurt Lewin’s field theory, Existentialism, Body psychotherapy, Phenomenology, Psychodrama and Zen Buddhism. Contact and boundaries are important in Gestalt theory which provides a description of how we exist, learn and grow as individuals, interconnected within and as part of a physical, psychological and relational environment or field. The theory provides a framework for therapeutic work that is naturally integrative and responsive.

In its early days, Gestalt was associated with Fritz Perls, two chair work, challenge and confrontation. However he was one of a group of founders others of whom have influenced contemporary Gestalt practitioners with an emphasis on relationship, and authentic self expression. A good Gestalt therapist has a sensitive and empathic attitude combined with the ability to be direct and immediate, creatively responding to the individual(s) they are with rather than from a rule book.

This workshop offers a practical introduction to Gestalt theoretically, historically and practically. It will introduce key aspects of Gestalt theory with experiential exercises, a Gestalt group experience, opportunities to explore and practice. Participants will be supported to pay attention to their emotional and physical feelings throughout and in focusing on what is taking place for them relationally in the present. In this way they will learn aspects of Gestalt practice and theory and gain insight into some of their own relational processes.

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