Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness affect 18.1% of the U.S. population. Unfortunately, only 36.9% of those suffering seek help.
As much as anxiety can be hard for you, it can also affect your personal relationships and your marriage. Anxiety makes it harder to trust yourself, causing panic or procrastination. Both are pulling you away from “the here and now” and making you distance yourself from your loved ones.
The good news is there are treatment options. Talk therapy (meeting one on one with a therapist) such as Gestalt Therapy can help you treat your anxiety and heal your relationships.
Read on to learn more about Gestalt Therapy and where to find help in the Pasadena, Burbank, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Century City, and West Hollywood communities.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a general term to describe all talk therapies. During the process of psychotherapy, you spend time talking with a therapist about your problems.
The problems can be in the past, present, or perceived problems in the future.
What is Gestalt Therapy and How is it Different?
Gestalt is a German word that means shape or form. It was designed by three psychotherapists as an alternative to tradition psychoanalysis in the 1940s. Gestalt
In its German context, the word refers to something that is experienced as a unified whole despite being comprised of distinct components. Traditional therapy focuses on separate parts. Gestalt Therapy believes that by perceiving the whole understanding is increased. As understanding is increased, more acceptable solutions to problems can be found.
It uses physical experiences to connect feelings, perceptions, and emotions to the hear and now. Being present in the experiences promotes awareness and understanding.
Gestalt Therapy is:
- Enhances awareness;
- Enhances freedom, and
- Increases self-direction.
Humanistic psychology stresses the inherent value of human beings. It focuses on their ability and willingness to maintain dignity while growing in self-respect and competence.
In essence, there is no judgment in humanistic psychology and Gestalt Therapy. The role of the therapist is to let the patient become aware and judge their behavior themselves.
Basic Principles of Gestalt Therapy
Gestalt Therapy is:
- Believes everyone is good;
- Believes that people are intricately linked and influenced by their environment;
- All people strive for growth and balance.
Gestalt Therapists use empathy, understanding, and unconditional acceptance of the client to enhance therapeutic outcomes.
Gestalt Therapists Promote a Collaborative Relationship
Gestalt therapy does not look to change behavior but increase awareness. With increased awareness, the client can decide to change in a way that best suits them. Therapists encourage processing things in the here and now. They use various activities to help a client stay present.
Where traditional psychotherapy is based solely on talking, Gestalt Therapy uses activities to help increase self-awareness and stay present.
A description of some of those exercises is listed below.
Because Gestalt Therapy has a holistic approach, it encourages the patient to see things from all perspective.
In the Empty Chair technique, the patient sits across from an empty chair that represents their spouse, boss, or friend with whom they have conflict. The therapist helps the patient to better understand the other person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This helps to increase the patient’s awareness.
If a therapist notices a consistent leg bounce or frown, they ask the patient to exaggerate that movement. This helps to bring awareness to the emotions associated with this behavior.
During therapy, people talk about their emotions. This is common. In Gestalt Therapy the goal is to not only talk about the emotion but to also feel it.
Almost everyone has had a broken heart at one point in their life. The feeling of loss and pain is often a physical one.
By connecting the emotions with an actual feeling, it helps to increase awareness, stay present, and better process the emotion. As the emotion is being processed the patients can feel the difference in their body.
Including painting, sculpting, and drawing in a therapy session is also common in Gestalt Therapy. This process can help patients stay in the here and now while gaining awareness and learn to process in the moment.
Role-playing allows the patient to act as both themselves and as the other person. This increases awareness of the totality of the situation.
What is Concierge Therapy?
Concierge therapy can mean many things. Many busy professionals do not have years to spend in therapy to address the issues they face. By combining therapies, and focusing on the here and now, therapists can achieve measurable specific and measurable results that are time-bound and realistic.
Concierge Therapy also focuses on client confidentiality. Some clients do not want a record of their treatments listed with their health insurance company and provide an additional level of privacy.
Concierge therapists focus on the clients’ schedule, offering lunchtime, evening and weekend appointments. Upon request, concierge therapists will meet 7 days per week as well as respond to texts and emails.
Gestalt Therapy and Concierge Therapy are a perfect match. Both are patient-focused, meeting clients where they are at, and focusing on addressing problems that exist in the here and now for the best results.
Are You Ready to Take the Most Important Step in Your Life?
Are you ready to begin Gestalt Therapy to address major issues in your life?
Contact us, we value your privacy and your time and have session times that fit into your lifestyle. We would love to speak with you, call (310) 999-4996 set your first appointment.