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Getting to the Basics of Gestalt Therapy

Experience clinician-run addiction treatment at Red Oak Recovery® in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains

Getting to the Basics of Gestalt Therapy

/What is gestalt therapy and will it work for you?

Developed in the 1940s by Frederick “Fritz” Perls and collaborators Laura Perls and Paul Goodman as an alternative to conventional psychoanalysis, gestalt therapy has been used today to successfully treat a host of addiction disorders and mental illnesses, including substance use disorder, sex addiction, compulsive gambling, eating disorders, trauma, bipolar disorder and depression.The word gestalt comes from the German word shape or form, and can be defined as “unified whole.” It makes sense, then, that gestalt therapists use this technique to enhance awareness, freedom, and self-direction. The goal is to focus on the here and now and to avoid dwelling on the past or anxiously anticipating the future. This isn’t to say that past experiences are ignored, however, but merely addressed to determine how the present moment is impacted by those experiences of the past.

The Benefits of Gestalt Therapy

Generally speaking, gestalt therapy helps promotes awareness of your thoughts, emotions and perceptions, and helps you better understand how these internal dialogues play a role in actions and behaviors. When used as an integrated approach to addiction treatment, gestalt therapy can also help you:

  • Monitor thoughts and actions in “real time”
  • Discover suppressed feelings or feelings masked by other feelings
  • Accept and trust your emotions
  • Provide a greater sense of freedom, control and serenity
  • Promotes conscious and thoughtful actions
  • Gain a new sense of self as overall awareness

Finding the Right Therapy for You

The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® offers gestalt therapy along with a host of conventional and holistic treatment modalities. Our flexible length of stay allows for a self-change process which follows the client’s rate of change, not that of a “one size fits all” approach. To learn more, call 866.457.7426.