Gestalt Therapy vs. Person-Centered Therapy

2162 words 9 pages
Person centered and Gestalt Therapy
The Gestalt approach to therapy emerged during the 1950’s and was developed by Frederick Perls (1893-1970). The aim of Gestalt therapy is to increase awareness, so that the client comes to resolution of unfinished business and the integration of the thinking, feeling and sensing processes. In Gestalt therapy the emphasis is placed on the present experience, the perception of the individual as a whole and the direct awareness of emotions and action. Gestalt therapists believe that the emotional problems and frustrations that are experienced by individuals are attributed to the lack of recognition and understanding of their own feelings. In addition to this Gestaltist believe that many individuals lose
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Empathy is being able to see the world from the client’s perspective. This requires the therapist to effectively listen to what the client is saying so that they can gain an accurate perception of their world. Rogers argued that to understanding empathy is walking into the client’s world. From here the skills users should be able to develop an empathic understanding to their client problem or situation. The third condition is unconditional positive regard. This happens when the therapist experiences acceptance and liking for the client, by respecting the individuality of the client. However this does not mean that the therapist has to agree with the client in everything they say. However the therapist has to put their personal feelings aside remain focused on the client and the situation. Through the use of the core conditions the therapist helps to the client to move towards self- awareness. This is because the warm, sympathetic therapeutic atmosphere allows the client to be freed of internalized conditions of worth and to resume the self-actualization process.
To my knowledge, the main similarities between person- centred and Gestalt therapy is that they share the same concept in believing that clients will move towards being fully functioning and dealing with their problems. In addition, both of the counselling approaches are very experiential, meaning that the counselling process aims to facilitate the experiences of the clients thus the therapist