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Gestalt Therapy

Find a professional for Gestalt Therapy in Chicago

Gestalt Therapy is an existential and experiential psychotherapy that focuses on the individual's experience in the present moment, the therapist-client relationship, the environmental and social contexts in which these things take place, and the self-regulating adjustments people make as a result of the overall situation. It emphasizes personal responsibility. Gestalt Therapy was co-founded by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls and Paul Goodman in the 1940s - 1950s.

Gestalt therapy was forged from various influences in the times and lives of the founders: physics, Eastern religion, existential phenomenology, gestalt psychology, psychoanalysis, theatrical performance, systems and field theory.

Gestalt therapy focuses more on process (what is happening) than content (what is being discussed). The emphasis is on what is being done, thought and felt at the moment rather than on what was, might be, could be, or should be.

Gestalt therapy is a method of awareness, by which perceiving, feeling, and acting are understood to be separate from interpreting, explaining and judging using old attitudes. This distinction between direct experience and indirect or secondary interpretation is developed in the process of therapy. The client learns to become aware of what they are doing psychologically and how they can change it. By becoming aware of and transforming their process they develop self acceptance and the ability to experience more in the now without so much interference from baggage of the past.

The objective of Gestalt Therapy, in addition to helping the client overcome symptoms, is to enable him or her to become more fully and creatively alive and to be free from the blocks and unfinished issues that may diminish optimum satisfaction, fulfillment, and growth. Thus, it falls in the category of humanistic psychotherapies.





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