Gestalt Therapy Theory breaks the mold. It can be bold, tender, powerful, embodied, unabashedly affirming, passionate, spacious, creative, confused, accountable, and heartfelt. It can be an unapologetic stand for the wild and nontraditional ways that people heal and come to know themselves better, stronger, and gentler.
Em House, LCSW former GTIP trainee, on why they enrolled in GTIP
Psychotherapist, Walnut Psychotherapy Center
As a therapist, I can unequivocally tell you I am a better clinician as a result of having gone through the program, but I’m still not sure that’s what I want everyone to know. It would be futile to explain the science behind why we hugged trees, put wooden poles on our noses, danced to ridiculous music, or screamed at the top of our lungs. What I can tell you is that I am a different person — I know that. I’m a different husband and a different father and different friend. I feel different and I know how I feel — more clearly than I’ve ever known before.
Brian Colangelo, LCSW, CADC
Lead Behavioral Therapist, Cooper Hospital
Gestalt Therapy teaches relational skills that make relationships stronger, connection deeper and gives the individual much more power to create the relationships we all long for. I now see the world through a Gestalt lens, which means I have an awareness of myself that I otherwise wouldn’t. I have an understanding of relationships that makes them feel safer and stronger. I am able to support clients in a way I couldn’t before. I’m able to not only support them in where they are, but help them move forward using intuition and creativity. Before the Gestalt program, I didn’t understand what it meant to have healthy relationships. I now have the healthiest relationships I’ve ever had. I’m able to take ownership of my stories and projections, check things out with others, feel my feelings in my body and be much more present. Gestalt isn’t about pathologizing, and therefore supports being able to look at ourselves without judgment. This is a time where we need to be able to look at ourselves, take ownership, and grow and change. The experiential aspect [offered at] GTIP is life altering and no other training I’ve done does it that way. The growth is much more powerful because we live it rather than just telling others. At the end of three years you will feel like a different person in all the best ways.
Caitlin Cantor, LCSW
After most [training programs], you celebrate [that you] have accumulated comprehensive knowledge outside [yourself] by learning from professors and cutting edge research. This [program] works in reverse. We did do a LOT of reading (special thanks to Philip and the rest of the faculty), but the path to a Gestalt diploma could only be traveled by each of us turning inward. And another paradox: To gain expertise in Gestalt we had had to first forget everything we thought we knew – then we had to look each other in the eyes, risk vulnerability and exposure, and begin to walk together with curiosity and compassion towards an unknown destination. After the first bewildering weekend, one of my classmates asked for the handbook for getting through the Gestalt program. That’s when we learned there wasn’t one.
Lydia Maier, LCSW, MBA
Assistant Head, Waynflete School
We live in a world that is constantly evolving. We are communicating across many platforms,and my time at GTIP has prepared me to be a more effective communicator with a sense of understanding for what is being said with the body as well as words,and the ways in which I may be taken in. In working with people who may have a perspective that varies from my own, GTIP has prepared me to be open to difference and to approach resistance with a curiosity that feels engageable and forward thinking.By being willing to meet someone where they are and work together, we have the opportunity to grow together, and that growth is what keeps me motivated in this unique socio-political climate that change will continue to emerge.
Joanna Vanore, LCSW
Hospice Social Worker, VNA of Greater Philadelphia
I love the simplicity of the approach to clients and to the notion of self, how the whole is more important than the individual parts, and the usefulness in slowing down to find order in chaos — the ability to identify the patterns of behavior that become static and affect our lives as well as the common experiences that can serve to connect us with others. Overall, Gestalt Training has made me more comfortable with who I am, what I bring to the world and to my work, what makes me different from others. It has allowed me to make peace with myself as I am and has also provided me the ability to “slow down” and notice important details in my work with clients. Ironically, this ability to slow down and utilize new Gestalt language provides almost instant relief of clients’ emotional pain and leads more directly towards personal transformation. The main change I noticed is my new level of acceptance of who I am, how I think and feel, and what my values simply are. I have always had a clear understanding of what I value, and the connections I value; through the Gestalt experience I have learned to sit more comfortably in that reality and know myself more deeply, fully and with more self-acceptance. In addition, the insights and skills I have gained have made my relationships with others richer and more satisfying. Gestalt Therapy Theory seems to encapsulate all of my favorite approaches to client care, emphasizes a humanistic approach, and incorporates racial diversity where others (in my experience) have not. If you are interested in honing your clinical skills and experiencing an emotional adventure through group exercises and doing “emotional work”, this program is for you.
Lynne Moser, LCSW
I’ve noticed a lot of changes in myself and my relationships after finishing GTIP. I grew in a multiplicity of ways as a part of the program–in my skills as a clinician, my awareness of my own stuck places in interpersonal relationships, my capacity to risk my own defenses and position to make authentic contact with another. I have become softer and more able to stay present in moments of conflict with the people I love. It is a strange and beautiful thing to see many of my close friends and family (therapists and non-therapists!) using Gestalt language to describe what is happening for them and between us.
Mowie Freeman, LSW
Counselor, Westfield (Mass.) State University
Gestalt Therapy Theory is well built on an existentially sound foundation, which it shares with the best of western philosophy and eastern meditative traditions. [Because of my GTIP training], I find myself oriented in my own skin, to my own senses, which helps me find my way with increasing regularity to very satisfying interactions with others. “Here I am, and now” isn’t just a quote but a way of life. These have been trying times to say the least. Our chosen profession has never been an easy road to tread to begin with. I notice an ease of being and resilience that is less dependent on circumstance and a disposition toward engagement with “the difficult field” that feels good to embody. It makes me nicer to be around too 🙂 If you’re a little bit geeky like me, there’s plenty of amazing stuff to play with. But, as one person in my past most aptly put it, “this is not about the theory.” It is about going for it! Hold on to your seat, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride, and maybe one of the best rides of your life!