Gestalt is a German word meaning a Whole or a completion that is greater than the sum of its parts. An integrated person is aware of all the elements that unite to make us whole – our body, feelings, intellect, and senses.
Gestalt Therapy aims to find wholeness and integration through awareness in the ‘here and now’. It focuses on the present on how we block expression and spontaneity and explores ways of releasing trapped energy which is both liberating and exciting. As an approach to Psychotherapy, Gestalt is best experienced rather than spoken or written about. This is because it’s emphasis is on our awareness rather than understanding as the key to change. And also because Gestalt emerged partially as a reaction to what it's founder, Fritz Perls, saw as the over-intellectualisation of psychoanalysis. Perls held the chief neurotic characteristic of our age to be that we live too much in our heads, that we are desensitised to our bodies and thus often unaware and ineffective in meeting our organismic needs. His catchphrase "Lose your heads and come to your senses," remains a cornerstone of Gestalt, seeking as it does to enable us to change and become more whole through a process of greater self-awareness. Gestalt therapy through dialogue and experimental methods allows us to expand our self-awareness. We learn self-regulation and methods to tackle the load of the past, which is in the way of adequate perception of present events. We should accept ourselves completely. The relief comes with full awareness. It helps us to be free from the burden, which keeps us captivated and directs our individuality. The development starts after we acknowledge the pain of the past and when we become free from fear and nervousness. Then we are completely responsible and in charge of what we do and the alternative we choose!