Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy is a therapeutic approach with a focus on personal responsibility that helps clients focus on the present and understand what is happening in their lives right now. Gestalt therapy aims to help clients focus on their current circumstances with fresh eyes to understand their situation. It is based on the concept that we are all best understood when viewed through our own eyes in the present. If working through issues related to a past experience, for example, rather than just talking about the experience, a Gestalt therapist might have a client re-enact it to re-experience the scenario and analyze it with new tools. During the re-enactment, the therapist might guide the analysis by asking how the client feels about the situation now, in order to increase awareness and accept the consequences of one's own behavior. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s Gestalt therapy experts today.

Meet the specialists

I practice psychotherapy primarily through the lens of Gestalt - meaning I focus on what is present in the here and now. I believe that all of a person’s history and experiences are carried with them everywhere they go, making the past accessible within the context of therapy in the present moment. I work creatively, experientially, and relationally in the here-and-now, present moment.

— Ellen Ottman, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA
 

Gestalt therapy is about safely accessing locked emotions. A Gestalt approach uses body-awareness and other techniques to connect to feelings that may be pushed aside, feelings that when released can free you up to experience a fuller emotional life. Gestalt techniques can be especially helpful for people who are highly intellectualized and would like to be able to be more emotionally expressive in relationships.

— Hugh Simmons, Clinical Social Worker in Austin, TX

I am a graduate of the Gestalt Institute of New England. I have four years of postgraduate training in Gestalt psychotherapy.

— Cindy Blank-Edelman, Mental Health Counselor in Cambridge, MA
 

The "here and now" is the only tense to bring about change. The past and hypothetical future only matter as they affect the present. If we were truly present and honest with ourselves, symptoms and diagnoses are much more temperamental and less chronic than we give them credit. The ruse of a diagnostic label can at times be the most deadly aspect of the diagnosis -- that you are your diagnosis. When it attaches to your identity, it becomes a chronic narrative that needs proving at all times. Gestalt has a lot to do with how you stay present and identify emotions in the present moment. Increasing emotional awareness is one of the most important aspects of helping someone become their own healer.

— Adam Bertoch, Counselor in The Woodlands, TX

Gestalt Art/Drawing Therapy is one of my favorites to use with children. These techniques help children speak honestly and reveal difficult feelings that they often cannot do with conversation alone.

— Karen Harris, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Clackamas, OR
 

I trained in Gestalt therapy at the Church Street Integral Counseling Center in San Francisco, with Gieve Patel and Debbie Stone. This approach incorporates mindfulness of one's own moment-to-moment experience with a belief in the individual's ability to act out of this awareness of self.

— Jessica Gioia, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Alameda, CA

Gestalt therapy is weird, and it helps people get un-stuck. Finishing old business and integrating fully into self helps us move into and live in the present.

— Emily Thomas, Therapist in Portland, OR
 

I have a Master's Degree in 'Clinical Mental Health Counseling,' completing my clinical internship placing a dual focus with this emphasis. Following graduation I was hired at the Western Montana Mental Health Center in Missoula, MT where was I hired as a Clinical Outpatient Therapist (LCPC). With my return to Minnesota, I was hired as a Psychotherapist (LPCC) in Minneapolis before transitioning into private practice.

— David Baumrucker, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Cottage Grove, MN
 

Sometimes just talking about a problem doesn't quite get the job done. By engaging in experiential "experiments" in session, Gestalt therapy helps us to release ourselves from the bondage of old emotional wounds.

— Jesse Cardin, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Antonio, TX

I have a post graduate certification in Gestalt Therapy from the Gestalt Training Institute of Philadelphia.

— Kelly Kampf, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Doylestown, PA

I often find that there are little signs, such as body movements, a laugh, or side smile that speaks louder than the words that the client says. Whether it is a shrug of the shoulders, or the shrinking of ones body I help bring these little signs to light. Not to shame but to help my client explore what is going on, bring those thoughts and feelings to the surface and work through them. The goal is to use words and decrease dependence on these signs to get say "I'm not okay/comfortable."

— Chantal Wilson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA
 

My roots and foundation are in a Relational Gestalt Therapy practice. I was so relieved when I found this approach as it is non pathologizing, honoring of the whole person, and pragmatic in its focus to heal and grow. This approach and theory honors the coping strategies that folks have created for themselves as creative and necessary and helps to deconstruct them and create new, more healthy ones. Its emphasis on the mind/body connection helps to create sustainable change in one's life.

— Jami Winkel, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

I utilize Gestalt therapy every day. It seamlessly integrates into my session, and the focus on the "here and now," is extremely beneficial to my clients. Some believe that it can be harsh and cold, but the focus, when employed in my sessions over the years, has been understanding feelings, thoughts, and emotions when discussing them with someone else.

— Matt Coffman, Licensed Professional Counselor
 

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART): evidence based with roots in Gestalt, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and eye movement therapies. You want to feel better as quick as possible. Maybe you are tentative about talking about your pain. It will help you imagine new ways of viewing images in your mind. It’s not your traditional kind of therapy. It is action oriented and uses eye movements, along with your imagination to erase and replace problematic images from the past.

— Ashley Jopling, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Portland, OR

My approach is informed by Gestalt therapy values including: listening to what your embodied/somatic experience is communicating about your needs; focusing on your here-and-now expereince as a complement to looking at your past; moving beyond just talking about new choices to creating the conditions for you to actually experiment with those choices in our relationship; and challenging you to take responsibility for your actions and responses.

— Dorothy Cashore, Clinical Psychologist in Pittsburgh, PA
 

I practice psychotherapy primarily through the lens of Gestalt - meaning I focus on what is present in the here and now. I believe that all of a person’s history and experiences are carried with them everywhere they go, making the past accessible within the context of therapy in the present moment. I work relationally, creatively, and experientially to help the process go deeper than the client may have access to when alone, working to build awareness so that the client can have a deeper knowi

— Ellen Ottman, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Gestalt therapy is more of a lifestyle and an approach to holism. A Gestalt Therapist relies on a here and now protective of mental illnesses.

— Jeremy Allen, Licensed Professional Counselor in Boulder, CO
 

My initial training as a therapist began with Gestalt therapy, and I have been using this modality as my predominant orientation ever since. Gestalt is more focused on the process of therapy rather than on its content, helping clients become aware of what they are doing, how they are doing it and how they can effect change in their lives, while simultaneously learning to accept and value themselves as they are.

— Natalie O'Mara, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Alameda, CA
 

Gestalt therapy is more of a lifestyle and an approach to holism. A Gestalt Therapist relies on a here and now protective of mental illnesses.

— Jeremy Allen, Licensed Professional Counselor in Boulder, CO
 

I use a lot of "in the moment" interventions. I may use psychodrama and role play within the therapy space. Somethings just can't be resolved in just talk therapy and it's important to use experiential modalities to move through stuck points.

— Samantha Grimes, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Laguna Hills, CA

An existential/experiential form of therapy which emphasizes personal responsibility, and focuses upon the individual\'s experience in the present moment, the therapist–client relationship, the environmental and social contexts of a person\'s life, and the self-regulating adjustments people make as a result of their overall situation.

— Jor-El Zajatz, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR