This rich, in the moment process, can reveal what is unseen in yourself as well as a re-discovery of what is present within you, right now, in your current environment.
Richard ‘Dick’ Price, co-founder of the Esalen Institute, surmises that “what’s important and basic in the practice isn’t change. It is the mode of present-centered contact, which doesn’t judge… but rather brings attention to breath, movement, and kinesthetic sensations,” that attune the body with these sensations in the form of feelings, emotion, thought, and image.
The therapist-facilitator function is to act as an auxiliary. It is not defined by anyone else from the outside or by the facilitator’s influence. It is here, at the intersection of this ‘I-thou’ relationship, where the individual meets themselves.
The trifecta of Gestalt practice is awareness, choice, and trust. Trusting in your own power to self-observe, opens the door to an intimate and very personal experience that builds congruence and trust; both inwardly and outwardly, that in turn, develops into self-efficacy and choice.
As a participant, everything is present-centered. Both language and physical movement is experienced in the ‘here and now’, therefore sessions are present-oriented rather than speaking about them from a distance or the past.
Another primary therapeutic function of the facilitator is to hold the paradoxical tension of opposites. It is not uncommon for individuals to become triggered. You might find yourself getting angry, for example, resentful, or sad–feelings that you think shouldn’t be.
The role of the facilitator is to bring awareness to this moment, help you stay with the emotion, feel into the energy, so that you can learn how best to support yourself, while making contact with that sense of anger or sadness or irritation–whatever it is.
It is not the job of the facilitator to agitate or encourage your frustration. (We do that ourselves enough). All I need to do is be present to reflect your self-frustrations back and then let you choose whether you want to continue along that trajectory or seek out another way forward. The more one experiments with the fluidity of emotion, the more one can take comfort and observe the passing of the experience.
A primary premise of Gestalt work is that no one can assume to understand another’s point of view. However, if you take pause, slow down and choose to cross the threshold of fear, uncertainty, and vulnerability, what you may find is a new-found awareness that brings insight, personal acceptance, and increased consciousness.
By allowing what arises, change happens. Gestalt, as a practice, aligns with the ancient philosophy of Taoism; capturing the spirit of the now, cradling the concepts of non-force and non-judgement. Remaining open to what is happening in the moment, tests the ego’s efforts to maintain control and power over the mind and learning to let go or have attachment to the firm definition of how you have to be.