The Gestalt Counseling and Training Institute of Ann Arbor

Holistic Therapy for Mind, Body and Soul

Gestalt Therapy Foundational Beliefs

Field Theory
Field theory originally derived from the work of Kurt Lewin (1951) and is our primary way of looking at the world. Simply stated, all reality is viewed within the context of the sum total of many subsets (desires, environment, economics, relationships, etc.) and it is accepted that all of these variables influence, impact and overlap holographically.

As psychotherapists and agents of change, we look at how the system, be it individual, couple, family, or culture, organizes itself. We learn to examine phenomena both broadly and narrowly... without judgment and, to the extent possible, without prejudice. Our lens can shift from the precise notation of the flicker of an eyelid, to a sweeping social and even global perspective. (Melnick)

Gestaltists believe that one can only know what one experiences. "Phenomenology" reflects the various levels of awareness and the degree of focus that people attend to as they give meaning to their lives. The concept further accepts the uniqueness of each individual and considers all perspectives legitimate.

With the phenomenological approach to therapy, one also adopts a method in which the observation and description of data (phenomenon) become paramount to therapeutic process. As much as possible, the therapist avoids interpretation and assumption and relys on the process of feedback to be the tool to bring about awareness and consequential change or adaptation.