The word “gestalt” means whole. Gestalt therapy was developed by psychotherapist Fritz Perls and his wife, Laura Perls, on the principle that humans are best viewed as a whole entity consisting of body, mind, and soul, and best understood when viewed through their own eyes, not by looking back into the past but by bringing the past into the present. Gestalt therapy emphasizes that to alleviate unresolved anger, pain, anxiety, resentment, and other negative feelings, these emotions cannot just be discussed, but must be actively expressed in the present time. If that doesn’t happen, both psychological and physical symptoms can arise. Perls believed that we are not in this world to live up to others' expectations, nor should we expect others to live up to ours. By building self-awareness, gestalt therapy helps clients better understand themselves and how the choices they make affect their health and their relationships. With this self-knowledge, clients begin to understand how their emotional and physical selves are connected and develop more self-confidence to start living a fuller life and more effectively deal with problems.
-Photo of Fritz and Laura Perls-