Gestalt Therapy and Gestalt Counselling

Gestalt is a relational approach that is concerned with the whole of the person; their thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, emotions, feelings and sensations and how all these aspects relate to each other and how the person relates to others. Developed in the early 1950s by Fritz Perls, Gestalt psychotherapy is a Humanistic therapy originating from the synthesis of philosophical and therapeutic theories including: Gestalt psychology, Existential and Phenomenological philosophy, psychoanalysis and bodywork.

A Gestalt counsellor or psychotherapist believes that people are born with a natural in-built desire and ability to develop and grow. He also believes that people have the potential to learn and build all the necessary resources and abilities they need. Therefore, given enough of the right kind of support, people can naturally develop both enjoyable and satisfying relationships with others and live creative and fulfilling lives.

Sometimes the challenge can come when through certain, often difficult, experiences, either whilst growing up or later on in life, they get stuck with beliefs, fixed patterns or repetitive unresolved feelings that get in the way of them living an enjoyable and rewarding life.

The aim of the Gestalt therapist is to help the client identify where they have become stuck emotionally or in their thinking and beliefs and how this is affecting their life now. The therapist will then work to help them to more clearly see how these fixed patterns are contributing to their problem and to look at finding new and creative ways to resolve their difficulty.

For a more in-depth introduction to the Gestalt approach, please visit