What was your background before becoming a gestalt therapist?
I was a teacher and had worked in administration as well as volunteer tutoring but my main activity was as a mother and assisting in running a successful commercial art gallery..
What drew you to GTA and the study of gestalt therapy?
Before I studied to become a gestalt therapist I had experience in therapy as a client as well as having studied undergraduate psychology and an introduction to psychoanalytic psychotherapy. I had experience with other therapy modalities and was curious about gestalt. I liked the idea of working with what showed up in the here and now, as well the relational and experiential work in groups.
What stands out for you in relation to the course?
The group process and experiential learning was the real standout. It increased my self awareness and awareness of others in so many enriching ways. The learning beyond book learning was life-changing.
The internship allowed the experiential process to go to another level. The supervision experience was excellent. The support that was provided while I had my training wheels on was excellent and the collegial experience with peers was very valuable.
Completing my studies to become a gestalt therapist changed my life professionally and personally
Completing my studies provided me with a new lens with which to view the world. It increased my confidence in my relationships. Coming from a family with a history of domestic violence I had a reluctance to speak up and be seen, as this might provoke a negative experience. Completing my studies increased my awareness of this, but more importantly helped me to transform this fear to an energy for repair for myself and others. My experience of the course was life changing without a doubt. I have made life long friends and feel I have been enriched beyond learning facts or techniques. I think the course has also had a flow on effect to my family and friends. Without doubt I am a better friend, a better employer and better citizen.
What does it mean to be a gestalt therapist?
To be a gestalt therapist means I am able to respond flexibly and creatively to whatever the client brings to the room. It means I am able to relate and be resourced enough to hold that relationship meaningfully. It means I will continue to grow and learn from my experiences with clients as well as the community within which I practise.
I continue to participate in many community events and training activities and these have lead to a furthering of my areas of interest and encouraged me to maintain my connection to gestalt.
What would you say to someone who was thinking about doing the training program?
Just do it! However it is easier if you have support while you do it. Especially with therapy and a reflective friend who has a sense of what and how psychotherapy works.