Gestalt

Theorethical Model

In Gestalt Therapy psychopathology is read as a block of growth. Already in the forties, Gestalt Therapy points to the “mutual construction of a meaning” within the therapist-patient relationship.

The Gestalt Therapy therapeutic model aims to the subject’s growth and to his/her relational competence.

It is, in fact, a declared interest by the Gestalt Therapy (GT) the analyzing the structure of the growth in the subject through his/her possibilities of success and failure. Growing doesn’t mean to take in one’s own world new information but to build, through e a process of critical comparison, a new integration between Subject and Environment. That’s why the growth occurs through contacts with the environment. Every contact with the novelty/difference (by the Other) implies a conflict phase where the existing balance comes into a crisis (conflict between ‘old’ and ‘new’, between Organism and Environment) and a constructive phase, where one comes to a new synthesis (“fusion of horizons” in H. G. Gadamer). If this trouble is interrupted or early avoided it doesn’t occur the contact with the “novelty” a person blocks or reduces his/her growth. So, in the GT the psychopathology is read as a block of growth. In this perspective the aggression becomes the necessary strength to self-realize putting ourselves in relationship in a nurturing way with the Environment. In the 40s already, the GT addresses to the “reciprocal construction of a meaning” within the psychotherapist-patient relationship.

Quality that characterize the relationship in GT theoretical and clinical model

The presence. The psychotherapist, even supported by diagnostic guidelines, is focused on the relationship, which is co-constructed between his/her presence and the patient’s one. The relational block that occurs in the here-and-now is a place of cure.
The physical-relational experiences. In GT the relationship expresses through the experiences by the psychotherapist and by patient. “What he/she feels” – both by the patient and by the psychotherapist – has always got a body datum and a relational direction. Becoming aware of it and focusing the ways and time in which those experiences are blocked and interrupted is the task of the psychotherapy.
Relational intentionality. The cycle of contact is nothing but the unfolding of an intentionality of contact by the subject who interweaves with the other’s one. The assuming the relational intentionality as a hermeneutic key transforms every symptom in a researching, in failed or not discarded, the other. Only if the psychotherapist will be sensitive and careful to the trembling intentionality of contact by the patient even in the most suffering circumstance he/she will be able to offer to him/her the opportunity of finding the energy and the direction again, necessary for the full contact.
The boundary of contact. The relationship for the GT expresses and carries out by focusing that exact space where O. and E. in this case psychotherapist and patient, meet each other. It can be thought as the boundary of contact (a “betweens”), a dynamic relational space that is built time after time when O. and E. meet each other. The questions that go through the session are: what experiences between us? How and when the respective experiences don’t look like they self-regulate each other? What is the relational meaning of the experiences perceived as non-consistent? Such a focus is different from empathy centred on the other’s experiences or from the transfert analysis of the relationship, because it points out to let what’s-happening-between-the-two emerge on the level of the reciprocal experiences. When psychotherapist and patient will experience at the boundary of contact reciprocity of integrity and spontaneity the therapeutic relationship will became the background and it will emerge as a clear and rich figure that continuous therapy that is life, in wealth and complexity of thousand contacts where it expresses itself and re-creates itself.

Here is how we apply the method