A “Gestalt” is an integrated wholeness, fullness, totality. In Gestalt Therapy, we seek to reclaim the fullness of who we are, and the fullness of our experience. We reclaim aspects of ourselves — and feelings, wishes, goals — which have been hidden, disconnected or blocked. We can then move ahead to create greater joy and fulfillment in our lives.
At first, several of our own feelings, wishes and goals may seem incompatible. For example, we might want a new career, yet be afraid to leave our old job. We may try to silence one of the “voices” within us, in an effort to live more comfortably. (For instance, we might try to be content in a work situation which no longer holds much interest, challenge or satisfaction). This doesn’t make the problem go away. The suppressed side of ourselves will usually rebel and express itself in any way it can, perhaps in irritability or physical pain. Or. the suppression of our dissatisfaction will require so much energy that we lose vitality and diminish our own capacity for pleasure.
Gestalt Therapy is aimed, first, at restoring and enhancing awareness of the sides of ourselves that are suppressed — or which need help in learning to express themselves more effectively and constructively. Next, we aim to establish a positive communication between the conflicting sides of ourselves. Often this takes the form of a conversation between the two sides. The goal is to find a creative solution, one which balances and accommodates ALL of our needs, rather than allowing one side of ourselves to dominate another.
Many problems can be resolved in this way. For example, many of us are excessively self-critical. We can learn to be far more kind to ourselves. As a result, we can experience relief and happiness — and often, more success in our lives.
Relationship problems, blocks in achieving our goals, and more are often rooted — to a great extent — in our own inner conflicts. For example, if people seem to exploit us, perhaps we are too conflicted inside to assert ourselves effectively. We might be afraid that others won’t like us if we affirm our own rights. Gestalt Therapy can be extremely helpful in freeing ourselves from these binds. We learn to make choices that truly serve our own well-being and our deepest values.
For information on Gestalt dreamwork, click here.
To schedule a session with Dr. Laurie Greenberg in New York City or online, please contact me directly:
[email protected] – or – +1 (212) 501-4647