What is the Gestalt framework all about?
The founder of Gestalt therapy is Fritz Perls. It is a humanistic therapy technique that focuses on gaining an awareness of emotions and behaviors in the present rather than in the past. The therapist does not interpret experiences for the client. Instead, the client and therapist work together to help the client understand him/herself. This type of therapy focuses on experiencing the present situation rather than talking about what occurred in the past.
The relationship between therapist and client
An authentic, nonjudgmental, dialogic relationship between client and Gestalt therapist exists, this is the most important vehicle of change. Together both client and therapist create the relationship and allow a problem that bothers the client to emerge. Verbal as well as nonverbal behavior cues are considered a valuable part of the encounter to discover together the quality of experiences, awareness, beliefs and typical patterns of contact.
Gestalt therapy combined with play
This framework together with play helps the child/young person become aware of the problems they experience. Through using a safe means such as play/role-play/drama/storytelling/poetry/music or any other interest the individual expresses, feelings get projected in a non-threatening way. This results in the client experiencing a safe way of dealing with threatening problems and by focusing the individual on their self-awareness, new insights can be made into their behavior, and they can engage in self-healing.
Play therapists are trained to help children through the means of play. They do not use confusing jargon which allows for it to be an effective treatment model for Whanau and Tamariki in New Zealand.
Children learn through play and relate to play and creative means of helping them cope with issues they struggle with. In working with Whanau, hapu and Iwi treatment can be tailored to the understanding of all, this includes guidelines which can help the family cope with dealing with supporting the child/young person.