Gestalt therapy draws on a number of influences, including body-mind therapy, existentialism, and the Eastern spiritual traditions of Zen Buddhism and Taoism. Two important cornerstones of Gestalt therapy include contact and awareness. Effective contact allows you to interact with other people and your environment without losing touch with yourself.
Expanding your awareness allows you to overcome conditioned habits and begin to experience living in the moment more fully. Along with awareness comes a greater capacity for choice, self-support, responsibility, and empowerment. Awareness also allows for self reflection, which is essential for making positive life changes.
Central to Gestalt therapy is the theme of wholeness. The idea is that you are inherently complete and whole and that the only way you can block this is through denying or avoiding your experience. Thus, Gestalt encourages opening more fully to your direct experience as opposed to relying on theories, assumptions, or "shoulds" about life. This fits with the Gestalt emphasis on body awareness. Gestalt therapy emphasizes a deep connection with the body in order to be present in the here and now and to be capable of fully experiencing life.
The Gestalt perspective brings some very beneficial aspects to the counseling process. It helps you develop a greater capacity to fully experience life as it unfolds in the present moment, while staying in touch with your sense of individuality. It also helps you to embody your experience more fully, which is not only very healing but increases your capacity to truly live.
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