...... 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
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
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
Click on the links to go to the web page:
For some background reading here's an encyclopedia search link on
"Gestalt" Encyclopedia search .
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
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
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.
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 ) .Tweet
This page last updated: 17th November 2013