Gestalt therapy is a creative, relational and socially-engaged form of psychotherapy.
'Gestalt' is a German word meaning 'shape', 'figure' or 'form'. It has connotations of wholeness, and Gestalt therapy is a holistic approach concerned with the whole person including their relationships and social context.
Gestalt therapy aims to build greater awareness of our inner experience, our relationships with others, and how our present-day interactions are shaped by the past. This awareness can allow us to explore different choices in daily life, and so find more satisfying ways to live.
Gestalt therapy builds awareness by exploring our moment-to-moment experience in the here and now - the flow of sensations, feelings, thoughts, movements, impulses and images - not only through talking but also through experimental use of movement, art materials, images, and physical objects.
This here-and-now approach allows in-depth exploration of dilemmas in our lives. It can also enable all parts of ourselves to be included and heard - perhaps one part wants to move forward but another part is frightened, angry or grieving.
Gestalt therapy also emphasises that our situation is never simply individual but is embedded in relationships with our families, partners, friends, colleagues and neighbours – and shaped by wider political, cultural and economic processes.