Gestalt therapy is about understanding your now and how you react to certain environment and present factors. Part of this type of therapy is understanding how opposing forces impact your life and one another. Think about love and hate. They are two very strong emotions and can represent the same things.  You can be so in love with someone that you obsess over them. The same can be said for hate. You can dislike someone so much that you become obsessed with them.  Those opposing forces have the same underlining emotions that tie into your past and your present. Are you aware of your current self enough to understand them?


Let’s say you are going through a divorce. The person you once loved is someone you probably dislike- even categorize as hate. The underlining emotions are often passion-filled in these types of opposing force situations. These underlining emotions are caused by blocks and associations from our past that affect our current lives.

To better understand this, I often tell my clients to make a list of opposing forces within their lives. A popular one is a mother-in-law situation.  You may love your mother-in-law but she may also cause you anxiety and stress.  So, in this case, you would write down “Mother-in-law” at the top of a paper and then make two columns.  One column being things you love about her. The other column could be dedicated to things you dislike / hate about her.  After you make that list, write down a single emotion next to each word, in each column, that is associated with the thing you love / dislike. Most of the time, the emotions are the same even though the opposing forces are- well, opposing.

Here’s a good example.  My mother-in-law is always willing to help and I love this. My mother-in-law is always willing to dish out advice and I dislike this.  Now, try this. My mother-in-law is always willing to help and I love this because it makes me feel like she is interested in participating. My mother-in-law is always willing to dish out advice and I dislike this because she is always in my business. Do you see how participating is positive and in my business is negative but they essentially mean the same thing but also cause conflicting emotions?

Life can be hard. I can help you understand the conflicting forces in your life that can cause confusion, misunderstandings, anxiety and much more. We’re human and conflicting emotions and forces will present themselves to us. It is how we understand, dissect and respond to them that counts!

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