An explanation of the Gestalt Approach to coaching & mentoring

Gestalt theory and practice is a very effective and empowering change process for working with individuals, couples, groups teams and organisations. It brings greater understanding and awareness of how people communicate and relate to each other.

It is an integrative method with very accessible concepts and tools so that you can become much more effective in your personal relations and in your work setting.

Key ideas derived from gestalt psychology are that with heightened holistic awareness you will increase your ability to communicate with others responsibly and clearly, whilst appreciating that you are in relation. This can bring the experience of effective, lively change and satisfaction.

Gestalt is an existential/humanistic approach to understanding what it is to be human. It regards the individual as a totality of mind, body, emotions and spirit who experiences reality in a way unique to themselves.

The closest translation of Gestalt (a German word) is ‘whole', pattern or form. It has the sense that meaning cannot be found from breaking things down into parts, but comes from appreciation of the whole, in other words, holistic.

Gestalt theory and practice always considers the uniqueness of the person, the couple or team in the context of their current environment/situation. It also maintains awareness of the continued relevance of the past environment; whether this is the individuals' family, ethnic background or the culture and work environment which a team or group is working in.

Gestalt is radical in that it takes the perspective that we are always in relation - with others and with the environment. In this way it shares a similar understanding with ecological thinking, that we and our world exist is a web of relationships, in which change in one part affects the whole.

One important gestalt concept which is very relevant to this ecological perspective is that of field theory which is helpful in increasing understanding of how we are all part of groups and communities and contributes hugely to an appreciation and respect for cultural diversity and difference.

Click here to visit the Gestalt Centre website.

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