Discovering the Benefits of Gestalt Therapy Training: A Comprehensive Guide

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on May 28, 2023
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Many individuals are drawn to pursue Gestalt therapy training, whether they are therapists seeking to expand their skill set or simply individuals looking to learn more about this powerful approach to mental health.

And if you do believe the benefits of Gestalt are right for you, either personally or professionally, where can you get trained (or get therapy)?

The Online Mental Health Reviews team is qualified to write about Gestalt therapy training, mainly due to our years of going through therapy and decades of professional experience. We are committed to giving accurate, compassionate information about different mental health services and approaches.

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why people might want to pursue Gestalt therapy training and discuss the benefits it provides for both therapists and those who are simply curious about this fascinating approach to personal growth.

Why Pursue Gestalt Therapy Training?

There are several reasons why someone might be interested in learning more about Gestalt therapy:

  1. Professional Development: Therapists and mental health professionals can benefit from adding Gestalt therapy techniques to their repertoire, as it allows them to better serve their clients and expand their practice.
  2. Personal Growth: Individuals who are not mental health professionals may still find value in learning about Gestalt therapy, as the principles and techniques can be applied to their own lives for self-improvement and personal development.
  3. Curiosity and Passion for Learning: Some people may be drawn to Gestalt therapy training simply out of curiosity or a desire to learn about different approaches to mental health and well-being.
  4. Career Change: For those considering a career in mental health, pursuing Gestalt therapy training can provide an excellent foundation for becoming a therapist or counselor.

Now that we understand some of the reasons people might be interested in Gestalt therapy training, let’s explore the benefits it offers for both therapists and those who simply wish to learn more about this approach.

Benefits of Gestalt Therapy Training for Therapists

Gestalt therapy training can be a valuable addition to a therapist’s skill set, offering numerous benefits, including:

  1. A Holistic Approach: Gestalt therapy takes a holistic approach to mental health, considering the whole person—mind, body, and spirit—rather than focusing solely on symptoms or diagnoses. This makes it an effective complement to other therapeutic approaches and helps therapists provide comprehensive care to their clients.
  2. Increased Self-Awareness: As therapists learn about Gestalt therapy, they also develop their self-awareness, which can enhance their ability to empathize with clients and understand their needs more deeply.
  3. Enhanced Therapeutic Relationships: Gestalt therapy places great emphasis on the importance of the therapist-client relationship. By learning how to cultivate genuine, authentic connections with clients, therapists can create a safe, supportive environment that fosters healing and growth.
  4. Effective Techniques for Various Issues: Gestalt therapy offers a range of techniques that can be applied to a wide variety of mental health concerns, from anxiety and depression to relationship issues and personal growth. This versatility allows therapists to tailor their approach to each client’s unique needs.
  5. Professional Growth: Pursuing Gestalt therapy training can lead to professional growth and development, as therapists expand their knowledge and skills, potentially opening up new career opportunities or areas of specialization.

Benefits of Gestalt Therapy Training for Individuals Seeking Personal Growth

Even if you’re not a mental health professional, there’s still much to gain from learning about Gestalt therapy. According to WebMD’s gestalt overview, here are some benefits you might experience:

  1. Improved Self-Awareness: By studying Gestalt therapy principles and techniques, you can develop a deeper understanding of your thoughts, feelings, and actions, leading to greater self-awareness and personal insight.
  2. Enhanced Communication Skills: Gestalt therapy emphasizes the importance of clear, honest communication, both with oneself and others. Learning these skills can improve your relationships and help you navigate difficult conversations more effectively.
  3. Emotional Regulation: Gestalt therapy techniques can teach you how to better manage and express your emotions, leading to increased emotional stability and resilience.

What is an Example of Gestalt Therapy?

  1. An example of Gestalt therapy would be a therapist helping a client to become aware of their current emotional state and how it may be affecting their behavior.
  2. Through this awareness, the client can then begin to identify patterns in their behavior and make changes to better cope with difficult emotions or situations.
  3. By understanding how their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected, they can gain insight into themselves and work towards making positive changes in their lives.

What Does a Gestalt Therapist Do?

A Gestalt therapist helps clients increase self-awareness and personal responsibility by focusing on the present moment and the individual’s experience.

  • They use a variety of techniques to help clients identify and change patterns of behavior or thought that may be causing distress or limiting personal growth.
  • Gestalt therapists often work collaboratively with their clients, offering guidance and support while encouraging clients to take an active role in their healing.
  • These therapists may also utilize creative expressions, such as art or music, to help clients gain insight into their experiences and emotions.

Overall, the goal of a Gestalt therapist is to empower clients to develop greater self-understanding, improve their relationships with others, and live more fulfilling lives.

How do You Become a Gestalt Therapist?

Becoming a Gestalt therapist requires dedication and commitment to the field of psychotherapy.

  1. To become a Gestalt therapist, ideally, you first complete a master’s degree in counseling or psychology. However technically speaking, there is no formal certification required to practice Gestalt therapy but mental health professionals may take continuing education courses and related training to become more familiar with the practice.
  2. After completing your degree, you will need to obtain licensure as a mental health professional in your state.
  3. Once you have obtained licensure, you can then pursue specialized training in Gestalt therapy. This may include attending workshops and seminars, reading books on the subject (or related subjects like somatic therapy), and participating in supervised clinical practice with an experienced Gestalt therapist.

With enough experience and holistic training, you can eventually become a certified Gestalt therapist.

What are the 2 Main Techniques of Gestalt Therapy?

The two main techniques of Gestalt therapy are the empty chair technique and the exaggeration exercise.

  1. The empty chair technique involves a patient talking to an imaginary person or object to gain insight into their feelings and behavior.
  2. The exaggeration exercise involves exaggerating body language to gain awareness of one’s emotions and reactions.

Both techniques can be used to help patients gain insight into their current life situation and make positive changes.

Process for Certification in Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy certification requires a minimum of 220 hours of training, with up to 60 hours credited from another gestalt training program.

The process for certification typically involves completing an accredited program, such as those offered by the Pacific Gestalt Institute, the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training, the Gestalt Institute of the Rockies, or the Gestalt Training Institute of Philadelphia.

Additionally, some courses offer online certificate programs that can be completed from home. Once you have completed your training, you will need to pass a final exam to receive your certification.

What is the Gestalt Insitutte?

The Gestalt Institute offers various programs to help people learn about and practice this form of therapy, such as online weekend training courses, residential training programs, study and consultation groups, workshops and training programs, short workshops, 6-day courses, and full four-year certificate programs.

For more info regarding the Pacific Gestalt Institute, visit https://gestalttherapy.org/.

Can You Do Gestalt Therapy On Your Own?

While it can be beneficial to work with a trained therapist, there are certain techniques you can use to practice Gestalt therapy on your own.

These include mindfulness meditation, journaling, and creative visualization.

  • Mindfulness meditation helps to bring awareness to the present moment and can help you identify patterns in your thoughts and feelings.
  • Journaling is a great way to express yourself without judgment or criticism.
  • Creative visualization allows you to explore potential solutions for any issues you may be facing.

By practicing these techniques regularly, you can gain insight into yourself and your life that will help you make positive changes.

List of Resources to Become Certified In Gestalt Therapy

Becoming certified in Gestalt Therapy can be a rewarding and challenging experience, with various resources available to help.

• Pacific Gestalt Institute (https://gestalttherapy.org/certification/) requires a minimum of 220 hours (roughly 4 years) of training, up to 1 year can be credited from another program.

• Gestalt Pittsburgh offers an Advanced Training Certification Program comprised of 8 weekends focusing on intensive learning and practice in the application of Gestalt Therapy.

• The Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training has 40+ years of experience in the method, with programs described online.

• The Gestalt Institute of the Rockies offers virtual or in-person training programs for professionals and those interested in personal growth or professional development.

• Therapist Development Center provides 9 Hours of Foundations of Gestalt Therapy accepted by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) as continuing education credits in California.

• GTIP Philadelphia have courses on theory through their programs and workshops open to psychotherapists, lawyers, teachers, medical providers, etc.

Best Courses for Gestalt Training and Practical Knowledge For Therapists and DIY

Gestalt training and practical knowledge for therapists and DIY practitioners are available through a variety of courses. One of the courses we’ve tried, and appreciated:

This well-reviewed Udemy course will help you become a skilled psychotherapist or counselor by showing you how Gestalt psychotherapy can help people change.

  • Whether you want to start your own business, work from home, or just learn more about psychology and therapy, this comprehensive course will give you the tools and skills you need to be successful.
  • Learn how to use the Gestalt method in therapy, how to use it to help yourself grow, and how to use the famous “Empty Chair Technique.”
  • Also, learn important things about how to use the Gestalt method in both couple and group therapy.

This course has been rated 4.6 out of 5 stars by more than 1,388 students. It has 4 hours of on-demand video, a useful article, and easy access on mobile and TV. When you’re done, you’ll get a certificate that proves your improved knowledge of Gestalt Therapy.

Can Gestalt Therapy be Done Online?

Yes, Gestalt Therapy can be done online! With the advent of modern technology, it is now possible to access Gestalt Therapy from the comfort of your own home.

  • Online sessions are available in English and offer a convenient way to receive therapy without having to travel to an office.
  • Additionally, many therapists offer online therapy as part of their practice, allowing clients to access therapy from anywhere in the world.
  • Online Gestalt Therapy can also be combined with traditional Chinese medicine and Qi Gong for a more holistic approach.

Finally, there are a variety of online courses available that provide an overview of Gestalt Therapy and its history.

The Most Effective Online Therapy Platform for Selecting a Gestalt Therapist

But what if you want a highly trained Gestalt clinician in particular? A great way to find a Gestalt therapist is to look for one on Talkspace.

  1. Talkspace stands out among online therapy platforms because it is covered by insurance for 40 million Americans and lets you choose your doctor based on the type of therapy they use.
  2. This makes sure you can find a therapist who is an expert in the Gestalt method and can help you in a way that fits your needs.

We at Online Mental Health Reviews have used and reviewed Talkspace and can say that it is a good service. Our experience with Talkspace shows that their commitment to providing full mental health care gives readers the power to find the right online product, tool, course, or therapist to help them with their issues.

If you choose Talkspace, you can be sure you’re using a reliable platform that cares about your well-being and gives you the expert help you need to get through life’s challenges.

Gestalt Therapy Training Conclusion

Gestalt therapy training offers a wealth of benefits for both mental health professionals and individuals seeking personal growth. By embracing this holistic approach to mental health and well-being, therapists can expand their skill set, enhance their therapeutic relationships, and provide more comprehensive care to their clients.

Meanwhile, individuals who pursue Gestalt therapy training for personal development can experience increased self-awareness, improved communication skills, and greater emotional regulation. The principles and techniques of Gestalt therapy can lead to meaningful personal growth and foster a deeper understanding of oneself and others.

We encourage you to leave a comment below with any questions you may have about Gestalt therapy, or share your suggestions on what mental health service, app, or course our Online Mental Health Reviews team should explore next. We are committed to empowering and supporting you on your journey towards better mental health.

Sources

  1. Raffagnino, R. (2019) Gestalt Therapy Effectiveness: A Systematic Review of Empirical Evidence. Open Journal of Social Sciences7, 66-83. doi: 10.4236/jss.2019.76005.
  2. Roubal J, Hytych R, Čevelíček M, Řiháček T. Personal therapeutic approach in Gestalt therapists working with clients suffering from medically unexplained psychosomatic symptoms. Res Psychother. 2021 Dec 20;24(3):535. doi: 10.4081/ripppo.2021.535. PMID: 35047424; PMCID: PMC8715264.

If You Are In Crisis

During a crisis, waiting for an online therapy session might not be the safest option. If immediate assistance is required, please call 911, especially if there’s a risk of harm to yourself or others. For those experiencing thoughts of self-harm, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available by dialing 988, providing help around the clock.

Additionally, the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) can be reached at 800-662-HELP (4357). This free, confidential helpline operates 24/7, 365 days a year, offering information and support in finding treatment for individuals struggling with mental health or substance abuse disorders.

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