Gestalt therapy is an existential/ experiential form of psychotherapy which emphasises awareness of one’s own experience, personal responsibility and acceptance of all aspects of the self. It focuses upon the individual’s experience in the present moment, the therapist–client relationship, the environmental and social contexts of a person’s life, and the self-regulating adjustments people make as a result of their overall situation.
Gestalt therapy was developed by Fritz Perls,Laura Perls and Paul Goodman.The primary aim of this form of therapy is to help clients become more aware of what they are experiencing in the present moment. With heightened self awareness they gain insight into how their habitual ways of thinking and acting get in the way of their ability to move forward in there lives and what adjustments they need to make to actually get where they want to go. In practical terms ‘awareness’ is viewed as the primary mechanism of change. When clients are helped to be fully present to their own experiences change can occur easily and naturally without undue stress or struggle on the clients part or persuasion on the therapists part. Light is cast onto difficult areas of the client’s life and person and in the safety of the therapeutic environment explored and acknowledged.
Psychodrama is an action method, offering a creative experiential way for an individual or group to explore and solve personal problems . Clients or group members use role playing and and spontaneous dramatic self presentation to investigate and gain insight into their lives. While developed as a Group process it can be used with great effect one on one in a clinic setting.
Developed by Jacob L. Moreno psychodrama includes elements of theatre. A client or protagonist reenacts real-life, past situations (or inner mental processes), acting them out in present time. A variety of scenes may be enacted, depicting, for example, memories of specific happenings in the client’s past, unfinished situations, inner dramas,fantasies and dreams, preparations for future risk-taking situations, or unrehearsed expressions of mental states in the here and now.They then have the opportunity to evaluate their behavior, reflect on how the past incident is getting played out in the present and more deeply understand particular situations in their lives.As a group method other members of the group may become auxiliaries, and support the protagonist by playing other significant roles in the scene or may step in, as a “double” who plays the role of the protagonist. When used in a one on one consultation with a therapist, props like pilllows or scarves to represent different aspects of their lives or personality can be used to good effect and the therapist herself may also actively assist their clent by taking up particular roles in the drama being enacted. By encouraging an individual to address a problem in a creative deeply spontaneous way, they gain insight and awareness.They then may begin to discover new solutions to problems in their lives and learn new roles they can inhabit within it.