by Dee McMath
Gestalt Therapy is a form of self-help through the guidance of a qualified therapist. The aim is to get you to become aware of your own unhelpful patterns and to find better solutions to make your life easier and happier.
There are Gestalt therapists in Andalucia, although you will most easily find English-speaking therapists on the Costa del Sol and especially in the main towns where many foreign residents and tourists live and visit.
Gestalt is a very practical therapy. Gestalt is the German word for whole and the idea is the approach is that a neurosis is the result of and unnatural split from your wholeness. Fritz Perls, and emigrant from Nazi Germany, who lived in America, developed the Gestalt Therapy. He believed that if we would only listen to our own instincts and physical bodies, we would be able to work out what was best for us. Conscious awareness and a realisation that the healing process involves the integration of the person as a whole is central to his principle.
Perls believed that by becoming aware of our lifelong behavioural patterns, we would have the power to change them.
Your first consultation with a Gestalt Therapist will be in the form of some gently probing questions on why you have come to see him/her. He/she will not only be listening to what you say, but will also be making observations in the way you answer to learn more about you old patterns already formed.
Amongst the techniques used by a Gestalt Therapist, you may be asked to have a conversation with an imaginary you in the opposite chair. As you talk out some of your old feelings and long argued points of view, you become aware of sticking points which may be holding you back.
The therapist is not there to come up with answers to your questions, but rather to encourage you to discover your own solutions by helping you shed light on the problems.