5. Continuum of consciousness
According to Exploring Your Mind, therapists using this technique focus more on the “how” aspect of an individual’s experience instead of emphasizing the “why”. It explains “They want to understand how the patient faces problems and how he lives with them. How he feels them and internalizes them.”
However, to make the therapy process effective, we need to create ample space to help us identify what our present thoughts, emotions and sensations feel like. Therapists can often trigger us to experience this by asking us things like how we are feeling or where we are feeling a certain emotional pain. The objective is to understand what we are experiencing, observing and feeling right now. Exploring Your Mind writes “We can practice the continuum of consciousness, making every sensation, thought and feeling come into being.”
The point is not to internalize or avoid our thoughts and feelings, it is about acknowledging them and letting them be in our present thoughts without holding on to them.
Live in the “here and now”
Gestalt therapy can help us reopen previously unacknowledged or suppressed emotions that may have been masked by various other feelings. By becoming aware of the present moment, it enables us to accept and trust our emotions. The above mentioned GT techniques allow us to heal emotional wounds and trauma, gain increased awareness and build a new sense of self.
“The focus on the here and now does not negate or reduce past events or future possibilities; in fact, the past is intricately linked to one’s present experience,” explains Good Therapy. It is to learn how we can stop clinging on to the past and anticipate our future based on past experiences.
Awareness is healing
Gestalt therapy is based on evidence and so it is functional and unique. It empowers us to connect with our suppressed emotions and needs and asks us to take personal responsibility for our lives. It gives us the strength and courage to pursue personal growth even if we have gone through difficult and negative experiences previously. We can learn to become emotionally healthy and whole once again.
Psychology Today concludes “By building self-awareness, gestalt therapy helps clients better understand themselves and how the choices they make affect their health and their relationships. With this self-knowledge, clients begin to understand how their emotional and physical selves are connected and develop more self-confidence to start living a fuller life and more effectively deal with problems.”