Gestalt Therapy: An Introduction

The Rehearsal exercise involves behavioural rehearsal where the client role plays a new behaviour that they have learned with a person or people in their environment. This is done to reduce stage fright, anxiety or fear that may be felt if they feel they are not performing their new behaviour correctly. This encourages spontaneity and a willingness to experiment with new behaviours. The Exaggeration exercise consists of exaggerating a movement or gesture repeatedly to intensify feelings attached to behaviour to make inner meanings clearer. For example - they will be asked to make a frown or a facial grimace. The last experiment - Staying with the Feelings - keeps the client from escaping from fearful stimuli and avoiding unpleasant feelings. They are encouraged to go deeper into feelings of behaviour which they wish to avoid. This helps to make way for new levels of growth, but it also takes courage and pain.

Gestalt Therapy, theory, and practice, emphasize a number of important principles:

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Gestalt therapy | definition of gestalt therapy by …

At the same time, Gestalt therapists are adept at pointing out inconsistencies, a skill that can be useful in cutting through pretense.

We need to acknowledge our pain and bring it to God for healing.

A danger of Gestalt therapy is that it relies on humans to be curative in themselves—relationship and authenticity are seen as salvific; being "who you really are" is the supposed cure to life's ills.


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Gestalt therapists view client resistance to making contact with their environments as informative—something to be explored rather than simply overcome.

AIPC Article Library | Gestalt Therapy

A therapist’s ability to be "in the moment" with clients is more important than the technique he uses.

Biblical Commentary on Gestalt Therapy
Gestalt therapy can be challenging to quantify because it is largely experiential; however, we can comment upon certain of its underlying concepts.

Psychotherapy Gestalt - Gestalt Center for …

What is important is to be ourselves fully in the current situation; striving to become what we "should" be is discouraged.

Gestalt therapists help clients deal with "unfinished business." Various techniques bring a client's past emotional struggles into the present and help him work through those experiences.

Workshops - Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia

Rather than promote a client’s conscious effort to change, Gestalt therapists adhere to a paradoxical theory in which change is a product of self-awareness.

Gestalt Therapy | Atlanta Area Psychological Associates, …

His methods are viewed as not particularly supportive of the client, and today's Gestalt therapists tend to take a softer approach.

Gestalt therapy assumes that humans are consistently in the process of becoming and that personal growth is made possible through insight and relationship with others.

What is Gestalt therapy, and is it biblical?

In the EAGT there are two professional sections: Gestalt Therapists and Gestalt Practitioners in Organisations.