Gestalt Therapy

By the definition, gestalt refers to the shape or form of something. It is a belief that the whole is greater than the sum of its part. The focus on the perception and how we give meaning to the things happening around and experiences. Gestalt therapy gives the client the space to explore and assess their experiences without the fear of being judged. Clients don’t only talk about their issues but they bring those emotions and experiences in the room with them so that those feelings can be assessed.

How to find a Gestalt Therapist

If you are looking to find the perfect Gestalt Therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find a Gestalt Therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.

What is Gestalt Therapy?

Gestalt therapy is a holistic, humanistic, person-centered form of psychotherapy. It is more focused on an individual’s present life and experiences rather than on past events and crisis. This approach is more focused on taking responsibility for the things that happen in one’s life rather than putting blame on someone else or society. It can be difficult to focus on the present issues without looking at the past. Looking at the past events is important to understand how and what happened, but after that, the therapy only includes the issues of ‘here and now’.

How does Gestalt Therapy work?

No specific protocol is being followed in gestalt therapy. The therapists are free to be creative and flexible with their therapy approach regarding the gravity of the situation and the personality of the client. There is one thing that is consistent throughout the therapy no matter what approach the therapist uses; the direct contact between the therapist and client. There is confrontation, experimentation, and experience in the therapy where the focus is only on ‘what and how’ and ‘here and now’.

Together, the therapist and the client evaluate the current situation and sort out what is needed as the result of the current crisis. The therapist involves the client in every step along the way. The therapist cannot interpret or judge the events, instead, the whole focus is on the immediate response and evaluation of the client himself. The whole focus is on the client; how he/she moves when a certain memory is shaken or how they respond. This way, gestalt therapy helps people understand how their emotional and physical responses are connected. Understanding your own emotions and reactions is the key to evaluating your behaviours and actions. Gestalt therapy focuses on giving the client an awareness of his/her situation.

What are some techniques of Gestalt Therapy?

Gestalt therapy works in the form of experiments and exercise. It can be administered in both group and individual settings. In general, these exercises are developed to arouse actions, goals, and emotions in the client. The therapist and the client work together to see how these exercises are affecting the actions. This increases the awareness of the client and gives them the better understanding of her and now experiences.

Experiments are done through the development of therapeutic relationships and techniques. The core components of gestalt therapy are the techniques that help the person understand different aspects of experiences, conflict, or mental health issues. Following are some of the techniques used in gestalt therapy:

  • The empty chair technique

It is a gestalt therapy exercise where the client is made to face an empty chair. They are asked to imagine as if someone closes them, or they are sitting on that chair. Now, the therapist encourages the client to have a dialogue with the chair. This is done to let their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours out in response to the person they are imaging on the chair. This empty chair can be a great way of helping them become mindful of the situation they are in.

  • The exaggeration technique

This is another exercise that happens in gestalt therapy where the people are made aware of their immediate experiences right at the moment. During this exercise, the client is asked to exaggerate and repeat a particular expression such as bouncing a leg or frowning, to make them aware of the emotions attached to that certain behaviour.

These exercises allow the person to become aware of their selves that they might have ignored, denied, or minimised.

How can Gestalt Therapy help?

Gestalt therapy can help people with various mental issues such as self-esteem, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and even physical ones like ulcerative colitis, headaches, and back spasms. A person is perfect for gestalt therapy if he is interested in becoming more self-aware and knowing his behaviours and actions are becoming the reason for their unhappiness and discomfort. The people who don’t get to understand how their life is unfolding and what is their role in it are the perfect fit for this therapy. Gestalt therapy is best used in the form of art, drama, bodywork, and other therapies. These therapies are like exercises and experiments that make the client completely indulged in the therapy. The therapist and the client work together towards the betterment of the client.

What to expect from receiving Gestalt Therapy?

Gestalt therapy is focused on what is happening at the moment and finding the perfect solutions for the issues that are happening right now. Instead of discussing what has happened in the past, the therapist will encourage you to rethink about the moment and the things that you could have done to improve the reaction. You will be asked to experience your feelings as the crisis happened and not think about any past events.

Find a Gestalt Therapist through the Expat Therapy 4U platform

The therapist might use guided fantasy, dream work, confrontation, role-playing, and other techniques in therapeutic settings. The main goal of this therapy is to make you feel comfortable in who you are and take responsibility for your actions. Accept that there are consequences of your actions and behaviours. You will be a more responsible and wilful person after the therapy who knows the consequences of the things he/she is doing. Also, you will more be focused on what is happening right now rather than dwelling yourself in the past.

Further Readings on Gestalt Therapy


About Expat Therapy 4U

Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.

The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.

Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.

We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.

If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.

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