What is Counselling?
Counselling developed out of the observation that talking about your problems can soothe and heal emotional hurt and pain. Whilst healing conversations can be had with many people - such as a friend, a GP, a family member – these relationships might not always provide enough support. Apart from providing clear boundaries such as confidentiality and time, a counsellor is also trained in the art of listening. Different approaches have different ideas about how to help clients in addition to listening.
The name ‘Gestalt’ comes from the German word for ‘shape’ or ‘form’. This name is relevant because it links with the idea that a person is more than the sum of their experiences and parts. For example, two people can have the same features and experiences but still relate to them differently. Gestalt counselling is a holistic approach, which means that the counsellor is trying to understand a person as a whole and the relationship between them and their background.
Gestalt counsellors focus on the here and now, examining current thoughts, behaviour and feelings in order to help a client gain awareness of how they relate to events and people. This awareness is crucial in bringing about change.