Updated: May 10, 2021
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy deals with discomfort and psychological disturbance. Psychotherapy can be attended individually or in couple, family or group. Sometimes it can be associated with the use of psychotropic drugs (which can only be prescribed by a doctor). Psychotherapy, like psychology in general, however, not only deals with the treatment of psychological distress or disturbance, but also with the promotion of health and psycho-physical well-being. The treatment of psychological distress and the promotion of health and psycho-physical well-being can take place through different methods and psychological techniques.
When is it recommended to start a psychotherapy?
Choosing to start a psychotherapy is not an easy or "light" choice, but requires a deep reflection as it involves personal and economic commitment. In the common vision, a therapy should be started when a sort of limit is reached, when the last drop falls into the already full jar and makes it overflow. In times of great suffering it is definitely advisable to start a psychotherapy journey, as well as in times when one's personal resources do not seem to be sufficient to face the life situation in which we find ourselves or when our psycho-emotional and/or psycho-social uneasiness considerably affect the quality of our life.
However, it is important to underline that, in its mission of promoting health and psychological well-being, psychotherapy can be of great use even when we are not in a situation of remarkable or unsustainable psychological suffering. Psychological well-being is not in fact an absolute psycho-emotional state to which one must land, but can be conceived as a continuum and therefore a condition that can be "improved" and "trained" at any time. This can be done by working on increasing the knowledge of ourselves or how we live our experiences, considering how we get in touch with our emotions and our needs, and how we react to the experiences of our life.
Why starting a gestalt psychotherapy?
I am a Gestalt-oriented psychologist and psychotherapist. Oriented? Gestalt? Why do we talk about Gestalt-oriented psychotherapy? And what does Gestalt mean? In fact, these are not easily answered questions. First of all, when we talk about psychotherapy we must consider that there is a range of therapeutic orientations within which we can choose the one we prefer. This choice will be made on the basis of how we would most like to be approached, seen, supported, helped, guided by the therapist. Each of these orientations is based on a particular vision of the human being, from which precise therapeutic techniques arise. As for effectiveness, at the epistemological level they are all valid, one only needs to understand which one fits him perfectly.
Gestalt therapy is based on a key concept, which can be summarized with the term "gestalt" itself, a term of German origin meaning unity, whole, configuration or form. According to the Gestalt conception, human beings function as a body-mind unity, a whole, and define themselves in the continuous and inevitable interaction with the environmental and social context. The individual and the environment are therefore seen as dependent on each other. In our individual uniqueness, each of us is configured in relation to his own environment, each of us shapes and models his own experience. It is therefore in the relationship that each of us grows, defines his own identity, shapes his psychological well-being (or illness). In the therapeutic relationship we have therefore an important opportunity: of re-defining ourselves, re-discovering what form we give to our experiences, re-connecting with our body to increase awareness of our emotions. Thanks to this awareness we will be able to consider a wider range of life options, choose more authentically our actions, and assimilate within us new aspects of our personality that previously did not seem to belong to us.
Gestaltic techniques are non-authoritarian and non-interpretative. By paying attention to one's internal feeling and how the client tells his story, the therapist tries to explore and awaken the client's awareness by focusing the client's attention on the various levels with which it is possible to experience the experience itself: the senses, the body, the emotions, the word, and the imagination. The psychotherapy study therefore becomes a space for sharing, acceptance and exploration but also a small experiential laboratory, where the therapist will be able to suggest some practical experiences to facilitate change.
- Mann D. (2010). Gestalt Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques. Taylor & Francis e-Library.
- Ordine degli Psicologi della Provincia di Trento. Lo Psicologo: una Professione da Scoprire. http://ordinepsicologi.tn.it/upload/documents/Lo_Psicologo_-_Una_professione_da_scoprire.pdf
This is the Blog section of Spazio SoStare.
My name is Sara, I am a Gestalt-oriented psychologist and psychotherapist, I work as freelancer in Trento.
If you want to know more about me and my services, please visit my website: www.spaziosostare.it.
If you have a question or curiosity inherent to psychology, even if it relates to a personal problem, please write me. I will try to answer in the next post (your identity will remain anonymous).