Psychotherapy is essentially an examination of what works well and not so well in people’s relationship to their world and to the people in their lives in particular. The main goal for the therapeutic endeavor is an increased awareness of how well we function within these relationships and how effectively we use our inner and outer resources.

In individual therapy a dialogue evolves between client and therapist that pays a lot of attention to these relationship dynamics, and as a gestalt therapist I become an active participant in this dialogue. For example, I will offer my perceptions, observations and experiences as part of the therapeutic process.

For couples therapy the main focus becomes the relationship between the two partners. We will explore how the individuals learned – through their family histories, previous relationships, current relationship conditions, etc. – to strike a balance between their personal needs and the couples’ needs. Couples therapy aims to reestablish a dialogue, to explore negative relationship patterns and to increase the couple’s ability to find solutions to their relationship impasses.

In order to grow, we need an environment that provides a good balance
between support and challenge. Group therapy offers learning opportunities as well as support for life’s struggles. Group members value the input of how they are seen and experienced by others, and I foster active interaction between the men and women in my group.

In May 2004 I was invited to give the concluding speech of a weeklong gestalt therapy symposium at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico. The speech summarizes my way of thinking about psychotherapy, and describes an attitude regarding the client-therapist relationship in contemporary gestalt therapy.

Click here for the speech:

Relational Gestalt Therapy:

Theoretical foundations and dialogical elements
by Friedemann Schulz

Root and Shoots of Gestalt Therapy Field Theory:

This article is an in-depth overview of Gestalt Therapy Field Theory, one of the three theoretical pillars of Gestalt Therapy.

Dialogue and Experiment:

This article was co-authored by Gary Yontef and Friedemann Schulz and it appeared in the British Gestalt Journal. In it the authors elaborate on the psychotherapeutic method of dialogue in conjunction with Gestalt Therapeutic interventions, called experiments.