Gestalt Therapy provides an introduction to the theory, historical evolution, research, and practice of this process-oriented approach to psychotherapy.
Gestalt therapy arose as a reaction to psychodynamism and behaviorism, the dominant approaches of the mid-twentieth century. Its major tenets — a rejection of traditional notions of objectivity, a radical (for the time) focus on building rapport between therapist and client as a relationship of equals, careful attention to the bodily sensations that accompany strong emotions, and a guiding belief in the therapy room as a problem-solving laboratory in which experimental approaches towards interpersonal relations can be attempted in a safe setting — have been widely incorporated into a broad range of approaches today.
Open-ended and inquisitive rather than a rigid, manualized set of techniques, Gestalt is a set of guiding principles that inspire an active, present-focused, relational stance on the part of the therapist.
This essential primer, amply illustrated with case examples featuring diverse clients, is perfect for graduate students studying theories of therapy and counseling, as well as for seasoned practitioners interested in understanding how this approach has evolved and how it might be used in their own practice.