What is Gestalt therapy?

Gestalt therapy is a recognized method of humanistic psychology, which was developed in 1951 by Laura Perls (1905-1990) and Fritz Perls (1893-1970), both German Jewish psychoanalysts, and by Paul Goodman (1911-1972), an American author.

What is Gestalt therapy about?


Gestalt therapy is based on a lifelong process of growth, as well as the potential and inner motivation of people for mental and spiritual health and creative solutions. The person and his or her surroundings are seen as a field of constant interaction and mutual influence. In creative adaptation, she designs her contact processes with the environment. Forms of adaptation, which may have been meaningful answers to deficient and destructive educational and environmental influences in the past, are often dysfunctional and destructive for both individuals and the environment. By working through these forms of adaptation in dialogue and using methods that promote awareness and experience, it is possible to identify and implement possibilities for redesign.

Present time

The preoccupation with questions and problems that arise in current experiences are usually the starting point for the exploration of the self and the thereby becoming clear barriers to growth. The past, or the meaning and handling of it, can only be influenced by making it accessible to experience in the “here and now”.
Decisive for the effect of Gestalt therapy is the dialogical attitude of the therapist. She/he does not approach the client as a superior expert. Rather, he/she encounters them as a personally recognizable, understanding person who accompanies you on your voyage of discovery with interest, commitment and empathy.


Gestalt therapy involves less “talking about it”, interpreting or analysing. Through dialogue and experience in the here and now, the client’s perception is sensitized and awareness of feelings, feelings, needs and fantasies is promoted. Physical tracing and experimenting with new behaviours developed from the situation support a process of change.