I was first trained as a Gestalt psychotherapist. Gestalt Therapy highlights self- awareness, personal responsibility, and genuine contact. Unfinished business refers to those things that linger unexpressed in our present experience. These are feelings such as resentment, rage, pain, shame and abandonment that are linked to past situations.
Attention to experience in the present moment is an important focus of therapy.
Loose your Mind and Come to Your Senses
Unfinished business interferes with a person’s present experience in a number of ways, such as, over-thinking, projecting their experience on to others, operating from shoulds, merging with other people’s experience, and turning against themselves. These interruptions get in the way of genuine connection with others, and are the kind of personal processes that lead us to feeling alienated. We experience the world mainly through our senses, but people use analyzing, intellectualizing, and justifying to understand their experience. Gestalt encourages an integration of emotional and cognitive functions. With greater awareness a person has greater choice and responsibility over their lives.
One of the most well known experiments of Gestalt Therapy is the use of two chair work. An empty chair is used as an experiential role play to work through conflicts with others in one’e life, or an internal conflict between conflicted feelings or with a critical self. By fully experiencing these parts (rather than talking about them) gives more potential for self-awareness.
Gestalt therapy’s approach to dreams views all parts of a dream as representing different aspects of the self. By taking on the dream from these different parts disowned and unconscious experiences within the self can be accessed. By working through the dream in the present, as if you were experiencing it, again allows for more self-awareness.
Gestalt therapy can benefit many people’s struggles such as anxiety, depression relationship conflict and trauma. It is also an approach that works well for general growth and for people who want to increase their self knowledge.