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23rd October 2017 

What is Gestalt? A brief summary.


Gestalt is a German word with no exact equivalent in English and is usually translated as form or shape. Gestalt therapists view each person as having the potential to live satisfying and creative lives. Unfortunately this potential can be held back in the form of old ideas, feelings and habitual behaviour.

The aim of Gestalt therapy is to increase awareness of how we think, feel and act. When we know what we are doing and how we have greater choice about change, growth and healing.

The Gestalt approach is holistic. People are considered as whole, we cannot be understood in isolation from our environment, nor can we be understood by isolating mind from body or soul. All these aspects of our existence are inter-related from a Gestalt perspective.

The relationship between the Gestalt therapist and client is based on authenticity, mutuality and confirmation. Philosophically it is supported by Dialogic Existentialism – we come to know ourselves through meeting another.


"The Gestalt outlook is the original, undistorted, natural approach to life"

(Perls, Hefferline and Goodman)



To visit the Gestalt Psychotherapy Training Institute click here

To visit the Manchester Gestalt Centre click here

To visit the British Gestalt Journal click here