Gestalt counselling skills training

Elie, Gestalt Centre Training Campus
October 24, 2024 9:30 AM
Develop your counselling skills in relational gestalt practice.

Presentered by Tony Jackson, Belinda Gibson and Leanne O’Shea

Dates | 24 and 25 October, 22 November, 13 December 2024, and 14 February 2025

Where | Elie, Gestalt Centre Training Campus, 27 Royal Parade, Parkville

Fee | $1425. Includes GST.

Students use code Student25.

5-Day Intensive Counselling Skills Program

Program overview

This skills-based program is designed to equip participants with essential counselling techniques applicable across diverse contexts. Over five days, you will learn embodied, present-focused, and awareness-based methods that enhance communication, understanding, and support healing. With a strong emphasis on practical application, our goal is to help you gain confidence in counselling, both professionally and personally, fostering growth, development, and meaningful connections.

Who should attend?

The program is ideal for:

  • Counsellors
  • Therapists
  • Allied health professionals
  • Anyone seeking a holistic and respectful framework for engaging with others

Core concepts

Fundamental to a relational gestalt approach are three core ideas, each with specific interests and supported by skills, coming together to create a holistic model of care:

  • Dialogue: Emphasises authentic, empathetic communication, creating meaningful connections through genuine, present interactions. Focuses on co-creation and attentiveness to the process of engagement.
  • Field Theory: Recognises the interconnectedness of individuals and their environments, understanding people within the context of their relationships and surroundings. Explores relational patterns and contextual influences, particularly in relation to shame.
  • Phenomenology: Involves exploring clients' embodied experiences with openness and curiosity, setting aside preconceived notions to fully understand a person’s unique perspective.

Program structure

Day 1: Turning up and tuning in

  • Introduction to counselling and gestalt counselling skills
  • Developing skills in beginnings, setting the scene, tuning into the other, alignment, presence, attending behaviors, and initial contracting
  • Relational gestalt concepts: awareness, presence, therapeutic relationship, change

Day 2: Engaged and deep listening

  • Listening as an embodied act
  • Developing skills in listening, responding to feelings, noticing, observing verbal and non-verbal cues, working with silence, and listening with heart
  • Gestalt concepts: Dialogue, phenomenological method, and tracking experience

Day 3: Asking questions: exploring figure and ground

  • Using questions to clarify client concerns and focus the session
  • Developing skills in respectful questioning, process and content questioning, open and closed questioning, contextualising questions, and balancing challenge and support
  • Gestalt concepts: field theory, figure and ground, paradoxical theory of change

Day 4: Identifying the presenting problem

  • Working with clients to identify topics of discussion and possible interventions
  • Developing skills in focusing on the client’s story, identifying presenting problems, contracting, designing interventions, and exploring possibilities
  • Gestalt ideas: dialogue and phenomenology

Day 5: Identifying the underlying problem

  • Addressing deeper issues that underlie the presenting problem
  • Developing skills in reflection, understanding broader themes, attending to endings, and the role of supervision
  • Gestalt ideas: Core Organising Themes and contact styles

Why attend?

The program aims to equip participants with core counselling skills from relational gestalt theory, applicable in health, wellbeing, and helping relationships. Through structured teaching, inquiry, and practice, each session builds on the skills learned previously. The training emphasises the context and purpose of the helping relationship, ensuring that participants understand the intention behind each skill. Additionally, the program offers a supportive environment where participants receive immediate feedback and suggestions to enhance their skill development.

About us

Gestalt Therapy Australia (GTA) has been training people to become therapists for 25 years. An integral part of this training is an internship with the ConnectGround clinic. The clinic is where many therapists get their start in this work, and the clinic staff are experts in helping to develop new therapists and counsellors. This counselling skills program will be led by GTA and ConnectGround faculty.

Secure your spot and enhance your therapeutic skills through this comprehensive workshop on experimental processes in gestalt therapy!

About Gestalt Therapy Australia & the presenters

Gestalt Therapy Australia (GTA) has been training people to become therapists for 25 years. Our program provides an opportunity to become immersed in a holistic therapeutic system that supports deep work with others. The training supports building the therapeutic alliance; clinical thinking; ideas about change; and develops interventions and reflection across the arc of a therapeutic relationship.

The ConnectGround clinic offers internships to GTA students and graduates of other training programs. The clinic is where many gestalt therapists get their start in this work and the clinic staff are experts in helping to develop new therapists and counsellors.

This 5-day training will be supported by faculty from each of these two areas. The training will focus on the skills necessary for all intentional counselling, psychotherapy, and coaching practice. We will make explicit core counselling competencies, tailor practices to hone these new skills, and build participants’ know-how and confidence.

About your facilitators

Tony Jackson, Managing Director, Gestalt Centre

B.Theol, BA.Psych, GradDip.Counselling, AdvDip.Gestalt Therapy, GradDip.Supervision, M.GANZ

Tony is a psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer.

He works with people to support resilience and wellbeing and helps them develop a sense of vitality and choice in their lives. He provides supervision for psychotherapists which assist them to deepen their own personal and professional capacities.

Tony also provides training for individuals and groups that focuses on building responsiveness to individual and group needs in emergent situations.

Leanne O’Shea, Director of Training, Gestalt Centre

DPsych, BTheol., MSc, FellowMGANZ

Leanne O'Shea is a psychotherapist, supervisor and educator. She studied the Gestalt approach in Melbourne and London.

In addition to her private practice work, she holds a number of teaching positions, including the Director of Training at Gestalt Therapy Australia. She is also an Associate with Relational Change in the UK.

She is interested in creating greater awareness of and sensitivity to our relational responsibility and is particularly passionate about the place of sexuality and the erotic within the therapeutic relationship.

Belinda Gibson, Manager, Clinical Services at ConnectGround, Gestalt Centre

BPsych, Grad Dip (Psych), MPsych (Community), MAAPI

Belinda is a psychologist and Gestalt therapist working in private practice providing counselling to individuals and couples. Belinda works with individuals, couples and offers clinical supervision. She completed her Gestalt Training with the Gestalt Institute of Western Australia and has also trained with the Gestalt Associates Training Los Angeles (GATLA). Belinda has worked in a number of settings that include forensic, tertiary, community, and the private sector. Her therapeutic work with clients is influenced by her belief that with increased awareness, clients have the capacity to resolve difficulties, enhance their sense of wellbeing, increase their resilience and self-support, and experience fulfilling relationships.