There are many amazing techniques used in therapy to assist clients in overcoming their barriers and moving forward towards a happier, healthier, more manageable life. Gestalt therapy places emphasis on awareness of the present moment and is based on the principle that individuals are intricately linked to and influenced by their environments; thus, based on this technique, a person cannot be fully understood unless their context is well understood. If you’re engaging in gestalt therapy as part of your treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) or mental illness, you will learn to become more aware and trust more in your feelings and experiences.

  • The Empty Chair – with this technique, the client faces an empty chair and is asked to engage in dialogue with the imagination that a person they conflict with is there. The person could imagine their parent, spouse, sibling, etc. Overall, this technique is supposed to facilitate role playing as the client develops more awareness of the larger situation or an opposing part of their personality.
  • Top-Dog Under-Dog – a commonly used technique, this often used when the therapist recognizes two opposing attitudes or opinions within the client. The therapist will ask the individual to distinguish between these two sides struggling for control; the “top-dog” demands that the situation is supposed to be a way while the “under-dog” represents a disobedient child.
  • Exaggeration Exercisethe client is asked to repeat and exaggerate a certain movement or expression, such as a frown or bouncing of the leg, to help the client understand the link between emotion and physical movement.
  • Fantasy – with this, the therapist will guide the client to imagine certain scenarios and will ask the person how they would respond. They may also be asked to take on distinct roles in the scenario, helping the client gain further perspective.
  • Locating Emotions in the Body – if the client is experiencing certain emotions such as depression or anxiety, the therapist may utilize this technique to help the person identify exactly where at in the body this emotion is held in. For example, the client may be feeling anxiety, with tension from it appearing in their legs or their stomach.

Gestalt therapy can be a great tool to use because it brings to light awareness, something that many of us lose sight of when we become entrenched in life’s obstacles. Speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about how gestalt therapy could play a part in your recovery plan.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.



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