In Gestalt therapy, the client and therapist work together creatively to figure out how to move out of old behavioral patterns and ways of thinking. Gestalt is a German word for "whole" - like seeing all the parts of something at once, as in sensing the essence of an issue, understanding it's "gestalt" or whole meaning. Gestalt therapy is present-oriented and focuses on the "here and now". The goal is to understand the "gestalt" or wholeness of the feelings and thoughts at hand. This includes awareness of body sensations, the surrounding environment, feelings and thoughts much like "mindfulness". It then progresses to include taking responsibility for oneself, present and future.

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Carol Cofer