Everything only happens in the here and now, whether it is baggage from the past or worries about the future, all of that is experienced this the moment in time. That is why I often ask people what they are experiencing as they talk about their difficulty right here and now. By increasing awareness, we have access to new information and a chance to change.
Choicefulness is incredibly important in gestalt therapy, one of our main aims is not to get rid of any parts of a person, only to discover more options. This creates a sense of empowerment, understanding and freedom.
Martin Buber (1878–1965) influenced Gestalt therapy and brought the relationship as a key part of the healing. 'The human heart yearns for contact - above all it yearns for genuine dialogue - to be recognised in our uniqueness, our fullness and our vulnerability' (Hycner and Jacobs, 1996:9)
The idea of being uniquely myself as therapist so that I can to meet the other in their individuality feels very real and opposite to the clinical and medical mental health system. Often we spend time seeing others as objects, projections, making assumptions and judgements of the other. We play roles, professional and otherwise to fit in or conform. Therapy is a special place where you can be fully yourself and accepted for as you are.
'She is invited to act or do something rather than simply talk about it. In that process - the story about the problem becomes a present event' (Kin and Daniels, 2008:198).
Something that is more unique in gestalt compared to other talking therapies is how we don't just talk about the issue, we embody it, play with it, and make something new with it. Experiments are always born out of the present moment with no set protocol. This makes therapy a lively encounter.