The Field Theory: The Strengths Of Gestalt Therapy

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One first strength of Gestalt therapy is its view of the client as a unique individual human being (Clarkson & Cavicchia, 2013). Gestalt therapy is based on holism, the theory that states that a person needs to be seen as a whole, emphasizing that the whole is more than the sum of its parts (Tan, 2011). Based on that assumption, no part of a client’s experience is more important than any other part. The Gestalt therapist considers the client’s “feelings, behaviors, thoughts, bodily sensations, dreams, and other experiences” (Tan, 2011) as being equally important. Another influential aspect that shaped Gestalt therapy is the Field Theory by Kurt Lewin (1939). Essentially, Field theory is “grounded on the principle that the organism must be seen in its environment, or in its context, as part of the constantly changing field” (Corey, 2012). Accordingly, the client cannot be understood as a complex of symptoms apart from their environment. The main goal of Gestalt therapy is to develop self-knowledge, acceptance, and growth (Yontef & Jacobs, 2011). Clients grow to be more mature and to rely less on external sources of support (Tan, 2011; Corey, 2012). Perls (as cited in Yontef, 1993) described maturity as “the transition from environmental support to self-support”. Self-support stands for contact with other people. Continuous contact as well as absence of contact should be avoided according to Perls (as cited in Yontef, 1993). By becoming more self-reliant and self-sufficient,

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