The Gestalt Approach does not label or view a client as fraught with dysfunctions. Instead, Gestalt work engage the client in a process that guides them to the realization that all their experiences, both healthy and less than healthy, are reactions in response to the world around them. The client is given a variety of creative life “experiments” where they explore the personal life “operating system” they are currently using.
The Gestalt Approach encourages the client to acknowledge all “operating systems” within them fully and explores where these systems “took root “in their life. Once the client is aware of these systems, choosing what to hold onto and what to abandon is up to them. Through an “experiential process,” this awareness clears up residue from their past encounters and interactions. As a result, the client gains a sense of peace and is free to be who they really are, selecting behaviors that enhance their lives, rather than remaining at the mercy of their engrained automatic reactions.
Just as Gestalt Therapy does not label or diagnose, it also does not seek an “intellectual understanding” of self. Instead, the coach supports a client in fully experiencing themselves, with the assumption that the client has “inherent wisdom” that might be outside of their present awareness. Gestalt Therapy is experiential and not a form of “talk therapy,” many clients experience positive and permanent change.
The coaching process shifts the client’s interactions in their world from being “reactive” to “responsive.” When we respond from an aware, whole, and fully-present place, we achieve clarity. However, when we react from a place of “reactivity”, our interaction with others and the world often leads to regret.