Today’s young adults have an abundance of information and can often feel as if they have lost control of their lives. This can lead to pain, confusion and destructive behaviors that include substance abuse and eating disorders. One of the most effective treatments currently being used to address these issues is gestalt therapy.

What is Gestalt Therapy?

woman in need of gestalt therapyThe term “gestalt” comes from the German word meaning shape or form. The inventor of this type of treatment is psychoanalyst Fritz Perls and his wife. Its principles include the following:

  • Helping clients to identify and understand their feelings and teaching them to avoid acting on misinterpretations of events
  • Analyzing events as a whole as they are currently happening without categorizing or interpreting them. Showing clients how past incidents may have shaped current feelings
  • Helping clients to experience the world as it actually is in a truthful, unbiased and authentic way
  • The therapist works to form a relationship of warmth, acceptance, and understanding with the client

The goal of this treatment is to give clients a safe place where they can be themselves. Over time, they learn how to be comfortable with their feelings. They can do so without making excuses for them. They can also begin to understand the bad choices they made as well as what triggered them. This is the first giant step toward healthy choices and relationships.

Gestalt Therapy and Recovery

If you or someone you love wants to break free of the cycle of addiction, mental illness, or an eating disorder, you know how difficult it can be for the person to accept responsibility for the actions their situation inevitably causes. Relationships are often stretched beyond the breaking point, leading to bitterness and isolation.

Gestalt therapy helps clients to address these vital issues through the ongoing dialogue and relationship with the therapist. During the sessions, the focus is on the client’s emotions, experiences, perceptions and memories and recognizing them as they occur. One of the main tenets of Gestalt therapy is the importance of healthy relationships, which are crucial if substance abuse treatment is to be a long-term success. Several well-known tools are used: role-playing, body language interpretation, dream interpretation and the empty chair in which clients speak to an empty chair from the perspective of someone they love and then from their own point of view.

How Red Oak Recovery® Can Help

Because young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 often deal with a unique set of daunting challenges, Red Oak Recovery® works to specifically meet their needs. We are not like most young adult rehab programs since we believe in a combination of evidence-based and personal enrichment/adventure activities to bring about lasting self-discovery and healing. Because we know that everyone’s story is different and special, we craft a customized program for each of our clients at our beautiful, gender-specific campuses.

Clients who come to stay with us can expect a personalized combination of the following:

  • Comprehensive physical, psychological, nutritional and substance abuse evaluation
  • Evidence-based treatments and experiential therapies
  • Masters level staff specializing in dual diagnosis and trauma and how they contribute to mental illness, eating disorders and substance abuse
  • Wilderness therapy component
  • Personal enrichment activities such as gardening
  • Alumni and family programs to provide ongoing support

Recovery is a lifetime journey whose chances of success greatly increase if a person accepts help from peers and professionals. At Red Oak Recovery®, we are helping you or someone you love to lay down the burden of substance abuse, eating disorders, and mental illness. Call us today at 866-457-7590 to learn more about how gestalt therapy can help.