About Counselling

Counselling can be practised in many styles and each has it's own value to yourself and the counsellor.  For example, some are quite analytical or follow a rigid structure whereas others are more exploratory and personal. For this reason it is important to be aware of the counselling style you will be receiving to ensure it meets your requirements and expectations.

These different styles are valuable to the counsellor in that they provide a toolbox of techniques. However, my primary style is Gestalt and so this is what I will explain next.

What is Gestalt Psychotherapy?

Gestalt psychotherapy enables clients to discover what feels morally right in accordance with their own choices and values.  People are response-able, they are the primary agents in determining their own behaviour.  When people confuse responsibility with 'shoulds' they manipulate themselves and are not integrated and spontaneous.
The therapist may disclose a feeling or share something of their own values but only in the interest of expanding the client's own awareness of alternatives and not as a means of imposing values.

Gestalt psychotherapy believes that awareness and insight are achievable goals and a means of personal growth.
Therapy focuses on what is thought, felt and done in the here and now, rather than necessarily on the content of what is discussed. 'Now' is the only moment in which a human being has any direct control. We have no power to change the past and we can only guess about the future, although we recognise that past events may well be affecting the present moment.

Therapy takes a holistic approach, looking at the whole person and what is going on for them in their environment.
Therapy is relational, which offers the opportunity of experiencing the other person as they really are and experiencing oneself, sharing reciprocity and co-operation which in turn requires a willingness to be responsible and authentic.

What are the Goals of Gestalt Psychotherapy?

Primarily, the goal in Gestalt psychotherapy is increased awareness. This may include greater awareness in a particular area as well as noticing habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and behaviour.
Therapy seeks to explore rather then directly modify behaviour. The aim is growth and autonomy through increased awareness. The therapist as an active presence, authentic and energised, honest and direct. Clients may see and hear how they are experienced in relation to the therapist. It facilitates exploring in ways that continues to develop after the therapy session and in the absence of the therapist.
Creativity and spontaneity of experimentation is an important feature that permeates the whole of Gestalt psychotherapy.
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