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Gestalt Bodymind


...... PSYCHOTHERAPY, COUNSELLING, AND GROUP THERAPY ....... Here is some information about Gestalt Therapy. There are links to help you find a Therapist in the UK and to more information about Gestalt Psychotherapy & other Bodymind approaches to psychotherapy and counselling




What is Gestalt Therapy ?


 Gestalt therapy was first developed by Fritz & Laura Perls in the 1940/50s. 

It is now one of the main Humanistic Psychotherapies. Gestalt is recognised for

it's focus on developing authentic relating in the present (I & Thou, Here & Now),

respect for the individual details of each person's experience (phenomenology),

and range of expressive techniques (including imagery & enactment).

" Gestalt " comes from the German word meaning (roughly) whole or complete

pattern/ configuration . Each person is viewed as a whole (Body/Mind/Spirit), a

unique individual in a particular life situation, someone who can only be fully 

understood in relation to their current situation as s/he experiences it.


In Gestalt Therapy we use our awareness to encourage personal growth and

develop our potential, to become whole. We do this by noticing how we are living

now and exploring how we may create any fixed patterns of behaviour that leave

us feeling dissatisfied, uncomfortable or ill at ease. Gestalt encourages a non ju-

dgemental awareness of our present experience from moment to moment .

Noticing what we experience ( perceptions, sensations, feelings) and how we

behave ( express & communicate) in the present creates an opportunity to explore

changes in our behaviour and attitudes now. This may enable us to complete pre-

viously unresolved experiences and to develop more satisfying ways of expressing

our selves.

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For more details about Gestalt Therapy theory here are web

links that will take you directly to three introductory essays. The

first by John Harris has an easy down to earth style, the second

by Gary Yontef is more theoretically dense (and the more

complete presentation).

Click on the links to go to the web page:

Intro by John Harris

Intro by Gary Yontef

Intro by Joel Latner


For some background reading here's an encyclopedia search link on

"Gestalt"  Encyclopedia search .

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Research on Gestalt Therapy

Research on psychotherapy is a complex area of study, not least because it

points to some fundamental differences in orientation between the various 

schools of psychotherapy. It raises some difficult and intriguing questions for 

example:  Can those approaches that do not deliberately target / promote 

measureable behavioural change be considered effective?

How do you take into account the impact of the researcher / research project on the

 results of the study?

How do you allow for the bias of the researcher in the framing of the research and

 in interpreting the results? 

and so on .....


 The body of research on Gestalt Therapy is not very large, however it is growing 

and there have been quite a number of useful studies. The Network for Research on

 Experiential Psychotherapies (NREP) provides a website devoted to  research on

 experiential/ humanistic psychotherapies. Here is a link to its' webpage with

  abstracts of research on Gestalt Therapy


I've included here , an article that surveys the research on Gestalt therapy from

 1990 to 2001. I think it provides a useful overview of some of the research 

during the time period covered. It may also prove useful in pointing to the kind of 

issues to be considered when conducting research in this area.

Gestalt Therapy effectiveness   


Article: " Is Gestalt therapy more effective than other therapeutic approaches? "

 Centre for clinical effectiveness. Southern health/Monash Institute of health

 services research, Melbourne 2001

This article is provided as an Adobe PDF format file. It is copyright and

 appears here by kind permission of the author.



For further information about individual psychotherapy / counselling or group

 therapy you can contact me at: .............

Maurice Veale, Gestalt Bodymind, Flat 1, 134 - 136 Downham Rd, London N1 3HJ .


........... or telephone: 0207 288 1894   ( London, UK ) .


This page last updated: 27th May 2016 

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