Fritz and Laura
• Developed in in 1940s and 1950s
• Their foundational premise is
that people are best thought of
as a whole entity consisting of
body, mind, and emotions best
viewed through their own eyes.
The majority of today’s Gestalt therapists employ a style that is
Therapists devise experiments designed to increase clients of what they
are doing and how they are doing it.
AWARENESS- how individual behave in the present moment is far more
crucial to self-understanding than why they behave as they do
• It is lively and promotes direct experiencing
rather than the abstractness of talking about
• Value being “FULLY PRESENT” during the
• A phenomenological approach that
emphasizes that people must be understood
holistically and contextually
•Develops present moment awareness of and
direct contact with their internal world and the
9. View of human nature
• Is rooted in existential philosophy, phenomenology and field theory.
• Genuine knowledge is the product of what is immediately evident in the
experience of the perceiver.
• By becoming aware, clients become able to make informed choices and live a
more meaningful experience.
• Basic assumption is that Individuals have the capacity to self-regulate when they
are aware of what is happening in and around them.
• The client will move toward increased awareness, contact, integration (Brown,
10. holism Field theory
• German word meaning Whole or completion
• All of nature is unified and whole
• Gestalt Therapists are interested in the
whole person and on integration of
thoughts, feelings, behaviors, body and
- Authentic contact “I, Thou, Here and Now”
- Layers of Neurosis (defense against reality)
- Ground and figure
• People are seen in their context
• People exist in a context that is constantly
• Meaning depends on the relationship
between figure and the content
- How is this person’s problem a function of their situation?
- How this person (and their problem) shape their environment?
Some principles of gestalt therapy theory
12. Figure-formation process Organismic self-regulation
• Describes how the individual
organizes experiences from moment
• The dominant needs of an individual
at the given moment influence this
GESTALT- the ”whole” of the experience
undifferentiated field which we don’t
pay attention to
FIGURE- emerging focus of attention
• Humans are organisms
• Involves making choices and adjustments
to adapt to present circumstances and
• Involves regulating based on the needs
that arise from a need, sensation or
• Organisms will do their best to regulate
themselves given their own capabilities
and the resources of their environment
Some principles of gestalt therapy theory
• Emphasizes on learning to
appreciate and fully experience
the present moment.
• ”POWER IS IN THE PRESENT”-
Polster and Polster (1973)
involves paying attention to what
is occurring now.
-ask questions “what and how”
- When figures emerge from the background but are not completed and
resolved, individuals are left with it.
-”These incomplete directions do not seek completion and when they get
powerful enough, the individual is beset with preoccupation, compulsive
behavior, wariness, oppressive energy and much self-defeating behavior.”
(Polster & Polster, 1973, p. 36)
- The need to have a psychological closure to conflicy, scenarios and
15. Resistance to contact
CONTACT- Lifeblood for growth
- for it to be effective it has to interact
with nature and other people without
losing one’s sense of INDIVIDUALITY
16. Resistance to contact
5 kinds of contact boundary disturbances that interrupt the
cycle of experience:
17. Resistance to contact
1. Introjection- what the environment provides rather than
clearly identifying what we need or want.
2. Projection- we disown certain aspects of ourselves by
assigning them to the environment
3. Retroflection- consist of turning back onto ourselves what
we like to do someone else or doing to ourselves what we
would like someone else to do it for us.
18. Resistance to contact
4. Deflection- process of distracting or veering
off, so that it is difficult to maintain a
sustained sense of contact.
5. Confluence- blurring differentiation
between self and the environment.
19. Therapeutic process
It's a form of therapy that focuses on the present
moment rather than past experiences. Gestalt therapy is
the idea that people are influenced by their present
environment. Each individual works to achieve personal
growth and balance. Gestalt therapy focuses on the use of
empathy and unconditional acceptance.
20. Therapeutic process
6 methodological components we considered
VITAL or INTEGRAL to gestalt therapy:
a. The continuum of experience
b. The here and now
c. The paradoxical theory of change
d. The experiment
e. The authentic encounter
f. Process-oriented diagnosis
21. Here and now principles
Here and now: This is the individual
living in and being conscious at the
moment rather than worrying about
or the future.
22. BASIC GOAL- assisting client attain greater
AWARENESS- knowing the environment,
knowing oneself, accepting oneself, being to
23. Through the creative involvement in Gestalt process,
Zinker (1978) expect clients will do the following:
• Move toward the increased awareness of themselves
• Gradually assume ownership of their experience
• Develop skills and acquire values that will allow them to
satisfy their needs without violating the rights of
• Become more aware of all their senses
• Learn to accept responsibly for what they do, including
accepting the consequences of their actions.
• Be able to ask for and get help from others and be able
to give to others.
24. Rules for therapists
1. Invite clients into an active partnership
2. Engage clients to increase their awareness, freedom,
3. Encourage clients to attend to their sensory
awareness in the present moment
4. To pay attention to client’s body language
5. To place emphasis on the relationship between
language patterns and personality.
25. Rules for therapists
The most important goal of Gestalt Therapy is that
Gestalt Therapists do not aim to change their clients.
The therapist's role is to assist clients in developing
their own self-awareness of how they are in the
moment. This will therefore allow them to rectify
affecting his or her life.
◦ REMAINING IN THE PRESENT
◦ QUESTIONS AND STATEMENTS TO ENHANCE AWARENESS
◦ USING LANGUAGE TO INCREASE AWARENES
◦ NONVERBAL BEHAVIORS
◦ ATTENDING TO FEELINGS
◦ SELF-DIALOGUE ( empty chair and two chair)
◦ BECOME PSYCHOLOGICALLY
◦ ADDRESS ANY UNFINISHED
◦ INCREASE ACCEPTANCE OF
◦ ESTABLISH CONTACT WITH THE
◦ INTEGRATION DUE TO INCREASE IN
◦ LIVE IN THE HERE AND NOW
•BECOME ASSERTIVE AND CONFIDENT