What is Gestalt therapy?

gestalt therapyGestalt therapy is defined as an existential/experiential type of psychotherapy which places an emphasis on personal responsibility. It focuses on the experiences of the individual that are occurring during their client-therapist relationship, the present moment, and the social and environmental contexts of their lives. It also focuses on the individual’s self-regulating adjustments that they make to counteract the consequences of their overall circumstances.

In more simpler terms, Gestalt therapy focuses on content and process meaning what is being discussed versus what is actually happening. The emphasis is placed on what is being done, what is being felt, and what is being thought by the client at the present moment. This is opposed to what could be, might be, should have been, or what was. In other clinical domains, the therapy is viewed as the practice of method awareness or mindfulness.

The Latter School of thought…

The latter school of thought contends that this mindfulness is achieved by understanding how acting, feeling, and perceiving is conducive to conceptualizing, explaining, and interpreting the human condition. During the therapeutic process, a distinction between direct experience and indirect (secondary) interpretation is developed. The client is taught to be aware of what they are doing and how it helps them trigger their ability to risk a change or shift in their lifestyles.

Gestalt Therapy and Drug Rehab

Currently, there are many addiction rehab centers throughout the US that employ programs which utilize Gestalt therapy during the recovery process. One of these being Delray Recovery Center. During the counseling and therapy sessions involved in the recovery process, the therapist typically challenges the client to answer specific questions. This is done in order to increase the client’s awareness of their feelings. Additionally, it enables them to develop and use a strong ability to face the problems and situations they encounter in their daily lives.

A Variety of Methods and Treatments

gestalt therapy methodsOftentimes, Gestalt therapy involves the use of a variety of methods or techniques, such as confrontation or role playing, in order to teach the client more effective coping capabilities and so that they assume more responsibilities for their life’s activities. As was mentioned above, this emphasis is placed on what the client does, feels, or thinks during the current moment as opposed to what could, might, or should be, or what has occurred in the past.

Gestalt therapy also teaches the client that what they experience and feel directly is far more reliable than any explanations and interpretations that are based on pre-existing attitudes and/or experiences. This is a very important step in the recovery process.

The goal of this therapy is three-fold because it teaches the client how to be aware of:

  1. what they do
  2. how they do it
  3. how they can change their behavior

We Can Help

delray recovery business officeIf you or a loved one would like more information on how The Delray Recovery Center utilizes Gestalt therapy in the addiction treatment and recovery process, please contact us anytime of the day or night.