Gestalt Practice

Gestalt therapy, developed by Fritz Perls, focuses more on process (what is happening) than content (what is being discussed). The emphasis is on what is being done, thought and felt at the moment rather than on what was, might be, could be, or should be.

Gestalt practice is a method of awareness, by which perceiving, feeling, and acting are understood to be separate from interpreting, explaining and judging using old attitudes. This distinction between direct experience and indirect or secondary interpretation is developed in the therapeutic process. The client learns to become aware of what they are doing psychologically and how they can change it. By becoming aware of and transforming their process they develop self acceptance and the ability to experience more in the “now” without so much interference from baggage of the past.

The objective of Gestalt practice, in addition to helping the client overcome symptoms, is to enable her or him to become more fully and creatively alive and to be free from the blocks and unfinished issues that may diminish optimum satisfaction, fulfillment, and growth.

Dick Price, co-founder of Esalen Institute, studied with Fritz Perls while he was living at Esalen toward the end of his life. Dick expanded upon the work and helped countless individuals with his skill at facilitation. His widow, Christine Price, carries on his legacy.

And what’s important … is a mode of present-centered contact, which doesn’t judge … What’s important and basic in the practice isn’t change. The practice is not there to change anyone. What’s important is contact. I function as an auxiliary to encourage and facilitate that contact–that is, contact with one’s own experience not defined by anyone else from outside. Richard Price - co-founder of Esalen Institute