What is Gestalt Therapy?

If you suffer from substance abuse addiction, Gestalt therapy is one of the many forms of treatment you can experience in order to overcome your addiction. However, many have not heard of this special form of psychotherapy, or how it can help with understanding substance abuse. Here are the essentials of Gestalt therapy, so that you can have a better understanding when moving forward in your substance abuse treatment plan.

A Brief History of Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt, meaning a unified whole, is an existential form of psychotherapy used with patients suffering from substance abuse. This form of therapy was developed by Frederick and Laura Perls in the 1940s. The core of Gestalt therapy relies on therapists and patients engaging in a dialogue that brings awareness to the changes in the patient’s previous attitudes, so that the patient can learn to accept themselves and how to change.

First published in South Africa in 1946, the Perls titled their book, Ego, Hunger and Aggression: A Revision of Freud’s Theory and Method. Shortly after publication, the book and its theory were being discussed across the United States in the 1950s. The first training workshop was held in 1964, where therapists were taught how to use Gestalt Therapy, and it has been a popular form of psychotherapy ever since.

What Gestalt Therapy Targets

Gestalt therapy can be used to help patients who suffer from drug abuse or alcohol addiction. This type of therapy is considered to be from an existentialist approach, which means that the individual is studied through the act of free will and as the sole responsible party for their actions. In doing so, it is hoped that the patient will be more in touch with their actions, how they are doing it, and how they can change their situation.

As mentioned before, patients and therapists enter a one-on-one conversation where the current moment is discussed, as opposed to what could or should be. With this sort of conversation, the whole of the individual is studied, and not just their addiction. Oftentimes, as a direct result, patients learn to accept themselves for who they are, so that they can begin to heal from their substance abuse struggles.

How to Tell When You Need Gestalt Therapy

Unfortunately, Gestalt therapy isn’t for everyone, as it focuses on one-on-one conversations with a therapist. However, if you feel like you would be more comfortable in this type of situation, and more willing to open yourself up to discussing your addictive actions, then this type of therapy could be the thing for you.

Despite whether or not you feel like you need Gestalt therapy, treatment should be sought after if you have asubstance addiction of any kind. Anyone can develop an addiction at a point in their lives, whether it is for alcohol, drugs or prescription medication. But seeking treatment as soon as possible is vital for living a healthier, longer and happier life.

If you struggle with drug abuse or alcohol addiction, Gestalt therapy could be what you need in order to get your health and life back on track. To learn more about the different types of therapy we offer at South Coast Counseling, contact us today.

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