Gestalt therapy was founded in the 1940’s by Frederick Perls and his wife Laura Perls, both trained in psychoanalysis and Gestalt psychology. Gestalt therapy belongs to the Humanistic – Existential psychotherapy approaches and it is based on a holistic assumption of the human nature which is not perceived as separated into body, mental, psychological and social aspects. It also holds the view that a person cannot be separated from his/her environment.
It is a truly integrative approach as it has integrated influences from psychoanalysis, gestalt theory and field theory, holism, philosophy, phenomenology, Zen Buddhism and psychodrama into its theory.
Gestalt therapy focuses on the process by which the person contacts and withdraws from his/her environment and the awareness of this process. It is a relational approach that integrates three key philosophies, namely Field Theory, Phenomenology & Dialogue. That means the person’s experience is explored in the context of his/hers situation, the therapist does not use interpretations and the focus is on the in-between of the therapeutic relationship between therapist and client.