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Gestalt therapy was developed as a form of psychotherapeutic approach.  When Frederick S. Perls, “Fritz”, as he was called, developed this therapy as a ground breaking approach at the time.  Prior to Gestalt therapy, therapists would interpret and analyze the client statements, dreams, thoughts, etc.  Pearls shifted his approach from the therapist as an analyst to the inclusion of self by the therapist, expressed through dialogue between the therapist and the client.  This is a powerful experiential psychotherapy.  Gestalt therapy focuses on the client’s awareness, and the awareness between how the past may still have an effect on the client’s present and future.  Pearls coined the phrase: “Here and Now” as part of assisting clients in improving their present awareness.  Pearls also developed the concept that unresolved things in a client’s past can create emotional blocks for them in the present.  One of the therapist’s roles is to assist clients in becoming more aware of how those blockages are affecting them. Gestalt therapy is similar to Person Centered Therapy because it also focuses on: empathy, compassion, humility, understanding, unconditional acceptance, and respect.  Gestalt therapy views “forcing change” as detrimental to the client; however, helping clients learn to become more self-aware and able to accept the feelings and experiences they are going through in the present.  Gestalt also uses a variety of techniques such as: experimentations, the empty chair, or exaggerations.  Gestalt therapist are known for using even body posture and facial expressions as part of the therapeutic expression of expanding a client’s awareness of what is going on with them and the connection between the physical and emotional components.

An example of Gestalt (This is not our clinician):

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