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Gestalt Practice

Gestalt Practice

ge•stalt
1) an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts

prac•tice
1) perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to cultivate or grow proficiency
2) the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method

Gestalt Practice

"Contact is the appreciation of differences."
Fritz Perls
“And, the recognition of similarities ”
Dick Price

Gestalt Practice at its core is an awareness practice. Traditionally it has been described as a form that is — nonanalytic, noncoercive, nonjudgmental. In other words, this is a form that supports being present with “what is,” with curiosity, permission, choice, equanimity, and acceptance. The aim is unfoldment, wholeness, and growth, rather than adjustment, cure, fix, or accomplishment. This approach offers a chance to cultivate awareness; to generate more choices and ability to be responsive for how we interact with self, others, and life; and to trust in our organism’s innate capacity for self-regulation.

Gestalt Practice was developed by Dick Price and then Dick & Chris Price. Their form was derived primarily from the work of Fritz Perls. The work as it evolved at Esalen was influenced by Dick’s personal experience, Buddhist practice, concepts from the Tao de Ching, the somatic work of Reich, Rolf, & Feldenkrais, as well as many other influences that passed through Esalen.

Emphasis will be placed on intrapersonal rather than interpersonal. Participants are explicitly not “patients or clients,” but persons, initiating and actively agreeing to explore in awareness. The facilitator functions to reflect, clarify, and respect whatever emerges in this process moment to moment, allowing for silence, sensation, energetic release, emotional expression and communication, past and present life challenges, exploration of dreams, humor, and whatever else opening to life living through us might bring forth.

The role of the Reflector (facilitator) is one of simply being, offering gestalt tools to support the Initiator (participant’s) own unique process of self-discovery. Each session will begin with “Basic Practice” and “Continuum of Awareness” and then be guided by whatever is arising for the Initiator that they may wish to follow. Reflector and Initiator collaborate to hold space, to turn towards, allow, and be present with “what is” with curiosity, bare awareness, equanimity, and acceptance.

Methods and Approach

My methods draw from my experience, training, direct mentorships, and co-facilitation in Gestalt Practice with Dick Price (Co-founder of Esalen Institute) and Chris Price (founder of GAP & Tribal Ground). I have additional training with John Heider (author of The Tao of Leadership), Janet Lederman, and Janet Zuckerman, as well as workshops with many direct students of Fritz and Laura Perls.

Gestalt Practice is an awareness practice with an educational model, not a therapy. We work and explore more in a model of an awareness gym or lab to cultivate greater awareness. In this approach I am more of a reflector, sometimes facilitator and coach — not a therapist.

Engagement

I limited my availability to those who have participated in online: Introduction to Gestalt Practice, in-person Gestalt Practice workshops, Esalen’s Residential Education program, or those who have taken multiple workshops with me.  Additionally I consider those who have taken introduction to gestalt workshops or more with Dorothy Charles, Christine Price, Sharon Terry, and others in the tradition of Gestalt Practice. This is not an effort to be exclusive but merely a need to have a base understanding of gestalt in this tradition, and an experiential knowledge of the practice before doing 1:1 practice.

I work with people remotely from all over the world via Zoom or FaceTime. I work with people in person in Big Sur at various locations. I travel to lead workshops for self-organized groups. For information about setting up a session and my sliding-scale fees please email me.

Curious: Additional Information About Gestalt Practice