Principal Influences of Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy started back in the 1940s. Max Wertheimer’s Gestalt conducted a series of test and research on how psychoanalysis can be improved. He used the work of Jacob Moreno’s Psychodrama and Wilhelm Reich’s psychoanalytic developments. He combined both strategies and applied it in his one-on-one session with his patients. He was surprised by how the clients responded. He also noticed that the therapy has long term effects on those who went through the therapy successfully.

Focuses on the “Now”

Unlike other psychological therapy approaches, Gestalt focuses on the now. People can go through a state of confusion and may not perceive the present situation in its context. It starts with masking emotions that contribute to more negative emotions when they are not dealt with properly. Gestalt focuses on the “now” to get the patient to acknowledge the present and give him encouragement to face them without any shadows of denial. Our mind can be as chaotic as the Amsterdam zoo. But when we systematically try to understand it, there could be peace.

Body is Connected to The Mind

Gestalt therapy sessions would be full of reenactment. The client has to use his body in telling his story. The therapist can detect a single hint of lie and denial by observing the body of movements of the client. At the same time, the client would be forced to think deeply and share his most intimate thoughts. A Gestalt therapy session is more of like a role play which contradicts the conventional methods of psychology where the therapist asks questions. If the client is having a hard time conveying his thoughts through words and actions, the therapist may change the location of the therapy. They could walk in the park or visit van Gogh museum Amsterdam to get the patient out of his comfort zone.

We Have the Answer in Our Head

This contradicts the primary beliefs in psychology that men are doomed to fail themselves. Gestalt theory banks on the idea that we have the answers in our head, we just don’t know it yet. The answers might be masked by painful experiences or denial that’s the reason why we have to understand our present circumstances in their context.