Aspects and Features of Gestalt Therapy

The focus of Gestalt therapy is more on the process (what is happening) rather than content (what is being discussed). Instead of stressing on what was, might be, could be, or should be, the emphasis is more on what is being done, thought and felt at the moment (Yontef, 1993.)

The theory of gestalt therapy has 3 major sources. The first is psychoanalysis. the second is humanistic, holistic, phenomenological and existential writings, and thirdly, Gestalt psychology (Nevis, 1996). Psychoanalysis contributed to some of its major principles concerned with the inner life. Humanistic, holistic, phenomenological and existential writings center on personal experience and everyday life. Gestalt psychology is concerned with the nature and structure of perceptual experience (Nevis, 1996)

Phenomenology can be considered as a discipline that assists people in thinking in a manner that they can differentiate between what is actually being perceived and felt in the current situation and what is residue from the past (Yontef, 1993). In order to achieve insight, Gestalt therapy uses focused awareness and experimentation. The phenomenologist studies both personal awareness and the awareness process, and the patient learns how to become aware of awareness (Yontef, 1993.)

According to the field concept, “all organisms exist in environmental contexts with reciprocal influences on each other”(Kirchner, 2000). No single organism is broken down into separate components but understood in its organized, interactive, interconnected, and interdependent totality (Kirchner, 2000). The organism is co-created and not powered only from within or impacted only from the outside (Kirchner, 2000.)

Rather than being speculative, interpretive, or classificatory, field approaches are descriptive, with an emphasis on observing, describing, and explicating the exact structure of that being studied (Yontef, 1993.)

An important part of Gestalt therapy is&nbsp.existential dialogue, which is a manifestation of the existential perspective on the relationship.