5 Gestalt therapy questions your therapist can ask you?

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Page last updated: 4/07/2022

This article will focus on showing what are the most important Gestalt therapy questions your therapist can ask you. It will give a brief explanation of why they are good questions. Aside from that, the article will also explain what Gestalt therapy is.

What are some Gestalt therapy questions your therapist can ask you?

When you are going to therapy with a professional that is from the Gestalt line, they will most likely ask you questions to try and put your focus on what is going on in the present.

How are you feeling? 

This may be one of the first questions your therapist will ask you. This is an attempt to help you distinguish what is going on with you the moment you enter their office. This can be a powerful way to help you understand how coming to therapy may cause you to feel.

What are you thinking? 

Gestalt therapy is mainly focused on the present moments and sensations. So your therapist can often ask you what you are thinking so you can voice your thoughts, and become more aware of what they are. With that, you may find it easier to deal with them.

How does your body feel right now? 

In keeping up with focusing on the moment, as you are telling your story, your therapist may ask how your body is feeling at the moment. That question will not only help you focus on the present but will let you perceive your body’s reaction to the story that you are feeling.

What are you seeing at this moment? 

Sometimes when we are in a therapy session, we can begin to speak so fast that we can lose track of what we are saying and not really name what we are feeling, or even become aware of it.

In those moments, your therapist may try to focus your attention back on the present and ask what you are seeing or hearing when you are in their office.

How have you been experiencing your anxiety?

If you get to the session feeling anxious or reporting about some matter that has made you anxious. In this case, your gestalt therapist will often ask you how you have been feeling your anxiety. 

Knowing what are the main manifestations, will help you become more aware of what leads you to feel anxious, how it manifests itself, and how you feel yourself getting better.

What mood is evoked from this situation? 

Asking what type of emotions come from your story will help you become more aware and name the emotions that the situation caused you. It is only by making yourself aware of it, that you can find a way to deal with it.

Where do you feel that emotion?

If you are telling your therapist about something that made you extremely emotional, they can ask you where you feel the emotions that have risen. You can tell them, for example, you can tell your therapist you feel it in your stomach or the form of a lump on your throat.

Giving a name, and a location to your emotions, may make it easier for you to process your emotions, and dealing with them may be easier.

How should I support you? 

This question can be a form for you to tell what type of support you want out of your therapist, but also a way for you to verbalize it, and become more aware of what you want from your therapist. This will let you consider if that is possible and may even help you align your expectations on what to expect from therapy.

What is your facial expression saying right now?

When you are telling your therapist your story, sometimes they can sense you may be digressing from it, and focusing too much either on the present, or the future. In that case, they may ask you what is behind your facial expression. 

By asking you that, they cause you to begin to pay attention to what your facial expression is, and you will be directed back to the present moment, and say what your facial expression says about the story you are saying and your feelings towards it.

5 Gestalt therapy questions your therapist can ask you?

What is Gestalt Therapy?

Gestalt therapy was created around 1904 by Fritz Pearls, and later his wife at the time, Laura Pearls, also gave some contributions. Gestalt therapy is a more humanistic, person-centered line of therapy that will focus mostly on the person’s current issues instead of digging into their history. 

In Gestalt therapy, the person will be guided to understand more about the life they are living, and how they can take responsibility for what is happening.  It is not a line that will focus on blaming someone, or yourself. But rather on the perception of what is happening to you. 

In Gestalt therapy, it is believed that the whole of the situation is greater than the sum of its parts, and that is why in therapy you will try to understand what is the meaning you are giving to the things that are happening to you. This will often explain how you make sense of the world, and the experiences you go through.

Since Gestalt therapy focuses on the moment, most of the questions the therapist should ask are what and how types of questions, which will often make the patient more aware of their present experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What are some Gestalt therapy questions your therapist can ask you? 

What are the main pillars of Gestalt therapy? 

There are four main pillars to Gestalt therapy. The first one is phenomenology, a method that focuses on improving the person’s sense of awareness. Since Gestalt is focused on the patient’s feelings at the moment, phenomenology became one of its pillars.

Another pillar of Gestalt is the dialogical relationship. This implies that the therapist will need to bring their whole self to the therapy process, and by doing so they will provide presence, confirmation, inclusion, and open communication to the client.

Another pillar of Gestalt is the field theory, which tells that each client will be made up of different fields. There is the experiential field, the relational field, and the wider field, and they are all connected. The therapist needs to keep an eye on them to understand how the client has been making sense of their experience.

And the final pillar of Gestalt therapy is experimentation. This talks about how the client will communicate not only through his words, the therapist should also be aware of how the client is acting and behaving. And that is why Gestalt therapists may propose some exercises to their clients.

What is the main goal of Gestalt therapy? 

Gestalt therapy will try to find a solution to conflicts, and ambiguities that the client may be going through, which is making it harder for them to integrate the features of their personality. 

It will aim on helping people become aware of their sensations, and the sensations brought on by the environment they are in, so they can react to those in full awareness.

What is the top dog vs underdog technique? 

This is a technique that was named by Fritz Perls, who created Gestalt therapy. It talks about a self-torture act people may play as a way to avoid the anxiety they sense in the place they are in.

In it, the person is split between the top dog and the underdog. The first one is the one that will often assume the person should accept what society is demanding of them. It is that part of the personality that often believes that people should accept the “should” or “ought” brought on by others.

As for the underdog, it is the part of the person that will often offer excuses as to why the person shouldn’t accept those demands. Sometimes the underdog can take on the role of sabotaging something. 

As a technique, the top dog vs underdog will allow the patient to take on both of these roles, and through it, they can understand how they can have healthier relationships, and be in healthier environments.

What is a dialogue in Gestalt therapy? 

The dialogue in Gestalt therapy is the basis of showing and experiencing how you feel. It means that the participants in the dialogue are showing their true selves, and through the dialogue, the people will share a phenomenological awareness.

In therapy, this means that the Gestalt therapist will always tell you what they mean, and be completely honest, and in the idea of getting the best out of therapy, you should do the same. The dialogue in Gestalt therapy centers itself on authenticity, and also responsibility.

What is the empty chair technique?

The empty chair technique, which is often also called the two chair technique,  is one that was created as part of Gestalt therapy. In it, the client is sitting in a chair, facing an empty chair. And there, they will visualize some aspect of themselves they want to confront or even another person in the same situation.

With that, they will have an emotional dialogue with what is on the empty chair. Later on, the client will change seats and take the place of the person, or emotion they thought was in the chair. 

Is there a right line of therapy for each person?

There is no definition of what should be the perfect line of therapy for each person. What is important, as you start to look for a therapist, is to get some idea of how they work. 

So, for example, if you are going to therapy because you need to deal with a past traumatic situation, you may want to look for a therapy line that will focus on helping you through those past experiences, and not focus mostly on the present.

Aside from that, you should also try to find a therapist that you feel that you can talk to. Doing this process with someone you are comfortable with is a key thing. 

Remember you will need to open yourself up completely to this person, so sometimes, more than the lone they are in, you may want to make sure you are with someone that you feel you can build a therapeutic relationship with.

Conclusion 

This article showed what are the best Gestalt therapy questions your therapist can ask you, and gave a brief explanation of them. It also explained what Gestalt therapy is.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.

References

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-gestalt-therapy-4584583
https://positivepsychology.com/common-therapy-questions/

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