What did you do before becoming a therapist?
I was working in the asylum seeker sector as a social worker and had been seeing a gestalt therapist for my own therapy. That’s when I decided to begin training at GTA. I wanted to move away from crisis work and case management to work more therapeutically. Gestalt therapy seemed like the natural choice because I had developed so much respect for how my own therapist worked with me. I hoped that I would develop skills that I could bring into my existing work. I didn't really go in with the intention of working as a therapist myself.
What are you doing now?
I'm now working as a therapist at a family violence recovery service. The gestalt training thoroughly equipped me for creating and holding space safely, working with trauma and holding complexity.
What stands out for you in relation to the course?
Being a student at GTA felt very much like being embedded in a community where personal growth and relational courage were valued and supported. Didactic teaching was kept to a minimum in favour of experiential learning, group process and practice dyads. The intensive weekends were experientially rich and personally demanding. They also provided opportunities to experience guest teachers and see how they worked therapeutically. The weekends nurtured friendships within the gestalt community which were an invaluable support to the whole experience.
What was your experience of the ConnectGround clinic?
I worked in the clinic for a year as a third year student. This was really my first experience of working as a therapist and helped me clarify that I wanted to become a therapist. The experience and support in the clinic gave me the confidence to move into the mental health recovery sector where I worked as a therapist with young people for several years.
How has completing studies to become a gestalt therapist impacted you?
I am a different person to who I was when I began studying gestalt. It distilled values for me around the importance of relationship and connection both with others and myself. I make little distinction now between my personal and professional self. The course emboldened me to bring much more of myself into my work
What was your overall experience of the course?
Studying at GTA was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever undertaken.
What does it mean to be a gestalt therapist?
Being a gestalt therapist means working with integrity, heart and courage
What would you say to someone who was thinking about doing the training program?
It is a wonderful learning experience! It has had a huge influence on who I am and how I work today.