Psychotherapy is a process whereby a client is helped to explore, understand and ease concerns and difficulties through a confidential relationship with their therapist. It aims to provide a space and reltationship within which clients are helped to deal more effectively with problems and enabled to maximise their own potential.
Gestalt Psychotherapy is a humanistic psychotherapy and believes that people are fundamentally responsible for themselves. It emphasizes a person's ability to go beyond themselves and realize their true nature. Gestalt therapy works with what is in the here and now. It seeks to assist people who are in crisis and/or are searching for meaning in their lives. Gestalt therapy was co-founded in the 1940s by a German medical doctor and psychiatrist Dr Fritz Perl, his wife Laura and Paul Goodman. It was developed by Dr Fritz Perls in response to what he believed was the over-analytical styles of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. A certified Freudian psychoanalyst himself, he was uncomfortable with the lack of contact in psychoanalysis and in the interpretations analysts make. Perls believed that people are addicted to thinking and that we need to instead come more into our senses.
A focus of Gestalt Therapy is an awareness of yourself and how you are in your relationships and environment. People change, as the paradoxical theory of change says, when they become more of who they really are inside and not by trying to become something they are not. Fundamental to the Gestalt therapy approach is each person being responsible for themselves and the choices they make. There is a belief that people have a drive towards wholeness and Gestalt looks into a person's process in striving towards that wholeness. A Gestalt psychotherapist remains unattached to the progress of the client. It's not about the therapist wanting a client to change; it's about making them more aware and helping them to empower themselves.