What is Gestalt Coaching?

by | Oct 11, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

The coaching I do is not for everyone. It takes courage to take the time to be with yourself, to take the time in understanding what is happening inside of you. All of the coaching engagements I do center around a topic. But there is typically more that is happening with the client underneath the topic that might need to be addressed. What is happening underneath the topic might be out of your awareness. It could be a behavior that constantly shows up in your life such as serving others versus serving yourself. 

By helping to evoke awareness of yourself (your wants, your dreams, your goals, what serves and doesn’t serve you), we co-create new opportunities for exploration and action. To do that requires vulnerability both from the coach and the client. The coach helps to create an open and safe space for exploration, understanding that they do not contain all of the answers and do not know where the coaching session will go, and the client is open, curious, and willing to explore themselves and come to a greater understanding of how they are in their world. 

How I coach is different because I partner with my clients to gain a better understanding of what is happening within them. In Gestalt coaching, change is a natural part of the process because once you become more aware of who you are and what you want, you will naturally move towards the change that you seek. It’s a generative process for many of my clients because I don’t problem solve or prescribe any shoulds onto them. I  help my clients reach clarity on their wants, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Doing so often leaves my clients energized and excited to move towards the change in their lives. 

So, what would I like you to know about Gestalt coaching? 

It is experiential and experimental. 

In my coaching, there might be times we engage in experiments. Experiments are really effective in helping to bring awareness to what is happening in the present moment. The goal of experiments is to help the client reach greater clarity or new data for consideration. Rather than talking about an experience, we might experiment in the present moment and gain greater clarity about how you bring yourself into the world. 

Experiments are a great way of gaining awareness of yourself quickly in a safe environment. I don’t practice experiments with all of my clients, but for those that I do, I enjoy the use of metaphor and vivid language and practicing physical process. We will discuss what your comfort is and what your preferences are for engaging in experiments early in the coaching engagement. 

Attention is given to the present (the here and now)

Rather than coach to story, Gestalt coaches are trained in heightening awareness in the present moment. The understanding is that change can only happen in the present. In my coaching engagements, attention is given to what the client is experiencing in the present. If you are struggling with a work relationship, the focus of our work might be on the impact it is having on you now and we might explore your feelings and how you show up in that relationship. 

It is a wholistic approach. 

Gestalt coaches believe their clients are healthy and whole and have the capacity, resources, and ability to change. We also believe that life experiences reside in our bodies – how we carry ourselves, our breathing, voice, and movements. We give attention to the felt experience, what you are feeling and what you are experiencing within your body.

It is relational.

We understand ourselves in the context of other people and our environments. What happens between us as coach and client is integral to our work together. Meaning emerges between the us in the way that we engage with each other and is informed by our values, experiences, and environment. 

It embraces the paradoxical theory of change. 

Foundational to Gestalt theory is the paradoxical theory of change. According to Arnold Beisser, “Change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not.” The idea is simple but incredibly profound. The belief is that when a client embraces who they are, change follows.

It is for people who are ready to be bold and take the leap. 

Change happens for the clients who show up, do their homework, and are curious and interested in being an active participant in their change journey.

Interested in learning more about Gestalt coaching? Schedule a free 60 minute consultation with me