Tag Archive: Gestalt therapy

Here and Now – what it means

“Here and now” – I hear and read it all over; in yoga magazines, on websites, in health-related talks. Everywhere! And yet, it isn’t new; it’s been around for a long time, perhaps a really long time.  I first heard it when I was a student learning to be a yoga teacher, and then a gestalt therapist.

In gestalt therapy, it’s what we do as a therapist, helping our clients focus on what is present in their lives in the moment, instead of what they judge to be happening based on past unresolved experiences.

One part of our training is that we first learn about our own blocks. It’s part of what is termed the “Safe and Effective Use of Self”, or SEUS for short, and it involves clearing up our own unfinished business, learning the signs, and knowing how not to bring that into the therapy room.

For me, the whole point of therapy is to help a person be fluid in the present, unhindered by something that is making them rigid and unresponsive to their world. For instance – and I’ll use myself in this example – a few weeks ago, I was getting ready for a presentation that was really important to me. Usually, when I get ready, I write something out and then practice, practice, practice. Yes, it’s always a lot of work, but writing comes easy for me. Not this time.  For some reason, I kept getting stuck. When I finally stopped to examine what the problem was, I discovered that I was really scared that I’d picked the wrong topic, and that the whole thing would be ruined. It was too late to change the topic – I’d already announced it all over the place. The only thing to do was to forge ahead.

But that did it for me. Every time I’d allow the thought “What if this topic is all wrong!” to creep in, I’d be stopped. My solar plexus would seize up, my throat would go dry, and all those words and concepts and stories I’d memorized would disappear. Worrying put me in my head, imagining past disasters, and I lost all presence and connection to what and who was around me.

I got through the presentation, and it was well received.  But one piece of feedback I received was that the flow wasn’t there as it usually is. The reason was because of that inner battle I fought right up to the day before.

Yes – the day before. Because I’ve learned a valuable technique: no matter what, when I’ve done whatever I can to properly prepare, then I relax and trust the process, so that I’m free to be present for my audience or my client.

That’s my way of being here and now for others. What’s yours?

Alan Watts – Being completely Here and Now

Quote of the Week
“Wherever you are, be there. If you can be fully present now, you’ll know what it means to live.”
― Steve Goodier

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Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co .

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Here and Now – what it means

“Here and now” – I hear and read it all over; in yoga magazines, on websites, in health-related talks. Everywhere! And yet, it isn’t new; it’s been around for a long time, perhaps a really long time.  I first heard it when I was a student learning to be a yoga teacher, and then a gestalt therapist.

In gestalt therapy, it’s what we do as a therapist, helping our clients focus on what is present in their lives in the moment, instead of what they judge to be happening based on past unresolved experiences.

One part of our training is that we first learn about our own blocks. It’s part of what is termed the “Safe and Effective Use of Self”, or SEUS for short, and it involves clearing up our own unfinished business, learning the signs, and knowing how not to bring that into the therapy room.

For me, the whole point of therapy is to help a person be fluid in the present, unhindered by something that is making them rigid and unresponsive to their world. For instance – and I’ll use myself in this example – a few weeks ago, I was getting ready for a presentation that was really important to me. Usually, when I get ready, I write something out and then practice, practice, practice. Yes, it’s always a lot of work, but writing comes easy for me. Not this time.  For some reason, I kept getting stuck. When I finally stopped to examine what the problem was, I discovered that I was really scared that I’d picked the wrong topic, and that the whole thing would be ruined. It was too late to change the topic – I’d already announced it all over the place. The only thing to do was to forge ahead.

But that did it for me. Every time I’d allow the thought “What if this topic is all wrong!” to creep in, I’d be stopped. My solar plexus would seize up, my throat would go dry, and all those words and concepts and stories I’d memorized would disappear. Worrying put me in my head, imagining past disasters, and I lost all presence and connection to what and who was around me.

I got through the presentation, and it was well received.  But one piece of feedback I received was that the flow wasn’t there as it usually is. The reason was because of that inner battle I fought right up to the day before.

Yes – the day before. Because I’ve learned a valuable technique: no matter what, when I’ve done whatever I can to properly prepare, then I relax and trust the process, so that I’m free to be present for my audience or my client.

That’s my way of being here and now for others. What’s yours?

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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Emotional, Cognitive, and Energy Support!

therapies-cognitive-behavioral-therapy

You may be asking yourself what the heck Emotional, Cognitive, and Energy support has to do with Gestalt therapy. Well, I like to refer to that term as “ECE” and it has everything to do with how you progress in life using the “in the moment” exercises associated with Gestalt therapy.

For this blog’s purposes, think of the word “support” as defined by anything that makes contact with or withdrawal from the environment. This means energy, breathing, information, concern for others, and language, are all types of support.

When we apply emotional support, via our sessions together, what we don’t know is how you will respond because we are going to explore who you are now and why you are this way based on the emotional decisions that may have got you to the present day point. Additionally, we will discuss how the decisions and emotions of the past are making you respond- emotionally that is- to your life in the present.

When we address the cognitive support element of Gestalt therapy, we will work to define how to objectively handle situations.  For example, if you’re angry at your spouse, we will figure out present emotions vs. cognitive behavior. Let’s say you avoid letting your spouse know you’re upset. You bottle up your emotions. The suppressed emotions cause anxiety. Your anxiety causes you to drink. The cycle goes on and on. Once we can recognize situations like this- in the moment- we can work on discovering a better way to handle the anger, the anxiety, the drinking… the cycle.

Finally, energy support is another available technique.  With this technique we work together to address what body sensations, dreams, and other environmental triggers may prevent you from seeing a clear and present picture of any situation instead of responding to it from a place of your past.

Support can be many things to many people.  When we work together I will teach you how to really become self-supportive and identify present situations through emotional, cognitive, and energy support work.