Gestalt and Field Theory
“Gestalt” means the whole is greater than the sum of its parts (for example, simply adding up all the organs in the body does not make a whole human being). Gestalt therapy’s GOAL is to deepen our awareness of ourselves and our feelings in a more immediate/present perceptual way than the more traditional forms of therapy, which tend to be more analytic and intellectual. The process usually leads from AWARENESS to INSIGHT which can produce more options for ACTION.
It is based on the concept of FIELD THEORY. The field is a whole in which the parts are in immediate relationship and responsive to each other; no part is uninfluenced by what goes on elsewhere in the field. Gestalt therapists work in the HERE AND NOW and are sensitive to how the Here and Now includes residues of the past, body posture, habits and beliefs. Field approaches are descriptive; the emphasis is on observing, describing, and explicating the structure of whatever is being studied.
Gestalt therapy, originally developed by Frederick Perls (known as Fritz), provides a way of being authentic and meaningfully RESPONSIBLE FOR ONESELF. By becoming aware, one becomes able to choose and/or organize one’s own existence in a meaningful manner. THE EXISTENTIAL VIEW is that people are endlessly remaking or discovering themselves. There is no final solution. There are always new horizons, new problems and new opportunities so it is a DYNAMIC process.
Repressed or suppressed aspects of ourselves that were not accepted or supported end up in the background and can become UNFINISHED BUSINESS. This process of therapy allows us to experience unfinished business by helping us to focus our awareness on our feelings (or lack of feelings) moment to moment. Once we recognize our uncomfortable feelings, stuck patterns of behavior, or ways in which we perceive ourselves and others that are based on our experiences as opposed to reality, we are better equipped to understand ourselves and to choose whether we want to make changes or not.
I have developed a way of using the building blocks of technology in the virtual world of Second Life so that people can make SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATIONS of feeling states, values, ideas, current awarenesses, etc. and then have Gestalt dialogues as they their creations and speak to their creators . Contact me if you would like to have this experience in virtual space.
The interested learner can Google “Gestalt” and also “field theory” (http://www.britannica.com/science/field-theory-psychology) and find many articles.
The above text is offered by Marly Milena (aka Niela Miller), an educator, artist and Gestalt therapist in Second Life, founder of the group there called Octagon:Creative Exploration and co-founder of another group called Adventures in Lifelong Learning.
©PeopleSystems Potential 2017