What is Gestalt Counselling?
‘Where applicable’, we are please to announce we are now using, and are very familiar with the Gestalt Counselling technique, (Gestalt Theory). The idea being it is easier for clients to communicate using tools such as stones, drawings, toys etc. We believe this adds value to the current services we provide.
Gestalt theory was first developed by Laura and Fritz Perls back in the 1940/50’s.
In counselling and psychotherapy sometimes talking about difficulties, particularly family difficulties, can not actually always get to the heart of the problem. Counsellors for many years have been using other creative ways to help people understand what is going on in their family dynamics. The stones we use are just one of the ways we can help people visualise family dynamics. So by choosing an object from a selection given to them someone might decide to create a scene where other members of their family and important people are created in a way, and in a relationship with them.
So they might pick a stone who is them and a second stone, which is their partner. They may pick three more stones which may be their three children, who may for this experiment all be teenagers, and they may pick another stone which may be a fairly influential parent figure from one side of their family and they may pick another stone which may be a collection of friends and family who are quite critical of their parenting style and life. These stone would all be put in an arrangement similar to the picture below.
So by looking at this arrangement in the picture, and getting the client to sculpture this, there might be some insight without doing anymore than that, and in this instance we would be inviting the client to say what they notice or what they find interesting. So they may say something like “our children look like pretty dark characters particularly the one on the right, and they may identify this child having more problems than the other two etc.
The way the middle stone is bigger which may indicate this is the favourite child. So what we are really trying to do is have a look where changes might occur, so we would be inviting the client to move the stones by asking what moves would you think would make everything better? And quite simply they may decide a greater distance from their mother may be helpful and strengthen up their own relationship, and maybe see their children far more as individuals so they can actually co-parent them differently. The client will move the stones as they are discussing this and when they have made the changes the client will have another invitation to comment on what that now looks like, and inevitably the counsellors counselling work will be how to achieve it.