Gestalt Therapy in Counseling Practice

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Gestalt therapy was developed and emerged as an existential, phenomenological, and process-oriented approach. The main idea that underlies it is the assumption that people need to be understood through their relationship with the environment (Corey et al., 2021). Therefore, the initial goal of the therapist is to help the client become aware of what they are experiencing at the moment, during the gestalt dialogue. According to the author of the approach, Fritz Pearls, through such awareness, change occurs automatically. The Gestalt approach focuses on the client’s perception of reality and assumes that a person is always becoming, discovering himself, and transforming.

Therefore, the gestalt approach is phenomenological, considers the existence of a person in the present moment, and has endless potential for change, healing, and growth. For contact with the patient, interpersonal contact and understanding is used, which requires the therapist’s maximum presence in the moment, and the therapist’s acceptance of the client’s personality (Corey et al., 2021). The Gestalt approach is considered less mechanistic than the theories of Freud’s psychoanalysis, as Pearls paid more attention to the present and its form, the flow of experience, rather than the past and causes.

The Gestalt approach uses conceptual principles that form the basis of this approach: holism, field theory, body shaping, and organic self-regulation. The holism principle means that the form, the whole, cannot be divided into parts without losing its essence. The Gestalt approach is interested in a person as a whole, in his dreams, behavior, body, feelings, thoughts. Then, field theory proposes to consider a person in a field or a constantly changing environment, and in Gestalt, the therapist focuses attention on the border between a person and the environment, and how a person manifests itself here, including the most important manifestations for a person and aspects of manifestation that are outside of their consciousness.

The process of shaping a figure is an idea about the need to help a client in forming a visual perception of figures, based on an analysis of how a person organizes experiences from moment to moment, examining an interesting figure first from a distance, and then closer and in greater detail. Finally, organic self-regulation is the concept of balance that the client strives for, and the idea that individuals do everything possible to achieve balance, given their capabilities and resources; the therapist helps the client to achieve balance.


Corey, G., Nicholas, L.J., & Bawa, U. (2021). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (3rd ed.). Cengage Learning.

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"Gestalt Therapy in Counseling Practice." PsychologyWriting, 28 Sept. 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Gestalt Therapy in Counseling Practice'. 28 September.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Gestalt Therapy in Counseling Practice." September 28, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Gestalt Therapy in Counseling Practice." September 28, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Gestalt Therapy in Counseling Practice." September 28, 2022.