About Gestalt Therapy
Gestalt Therapy emphasizes the concepts of self-responsibility, awareness, no “shoulds” and here and now experience.
People, according to Gestalt therapy, are responsible (response-able); that is, they are the primary agents in determining their own behavior. When people confuse responsibility with blaming and “shoulds,” they pressure and manipulate themselves.
Gestalt Therapy teaches therapists and patients the phenomenological method of awareness, in which perceiving, feeling, and acting are distinguished from interpreting and reshuffling preexisting attitudes.
Awareness without systematic exploration is not ordinarily sufficient to develop insight. Therefore, Gestalt therapy uses focused awareness and experimentation to achieve insight. How one becomes aware is crucial to any phenomenological investigation.
In Gestalt therapy there are no “shoulds.” Instead of emphasizing what should be, Gestalt therapy stresses awareness of what is. What is, is. This contrasts with any therapist who “knows” what the patient “should” do. For example, cognitive behavior modification, rational-emotive therapy and reality therapy all try to modify patient attitudes the therapist judges to be irrational, irresponsible or unreal.
The Only Goal
In Gestalt, the only goal is awareness. This includes greater awareness in a particular area and also greater ability for the patient to bring automatic habits into awareness as needed. In the former sense awareness is a content, in the latter sense it is a process. Both, awareness as content and awareness as process, progress to deeper levels as the therapy proceeds. Awareness includes knowing the environment, responsibility for choices, self-knowledge, and self-acceptance, and the ability to contact.
Here and Now
In a phenomenological therapy “now” starts with the present awareness of the patient. What happens first is not childhood, but what is experienced now. Awareness takes place now. Prior events may be the object of present awareness, but the awareness process (e.g., remembering) is now.
Gestalt therapy is especially appropriate for those who are intellectually separate from their emotions.
What Others Say
I learned about Breathwork, it was great, and have been slowly decreasing my meds. In two weeks, my Ativan dosage is lowered from 2 mg to NONE and I’m slowly lowering my SSRI dosage. I think my EFT sessions with Lilia were most beneficial, a lot came out in those. Although I only had a few sessions of The Work, I find that I am able to use those tools, of understanding my thoughts, often.
I received more affective psychotherapy treatment from Lilia in five sessions than going to my therapist back home for weekly sessions over a year and a half. My first Reichian Breathwork session with Dr. Baylac healed my deep grief about losing my father two years ago. I have felt peace about him ever since. I received great insight and perspective on anything that had been upsetting me over the past 15 years.
Breathwork and EFT were most beneficial for me. I had been to counselors before and had not made much progress. My issues were on the surface at the retreat and both techniques really pulled stuff out. They were like an emotional castor oil pack – drawing the impurities out of my soul.
Part of my therapy for the month that I was there was breathwork. I had emotions that Dr. Baylac helped me discover and then let go of. Without going into too much detail I had a less than favorable childhood with an abusive father. The gently supportive breathwork helped me open up my blocked emotions that I held in my throat and my stomach.
At Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat we discuss feelings, learn mindfulness, process the past, grief and pain and explore ways of coping with anxiety, depression and fear. Don’t let the past or future paralyze you. Live the life you deserve!