My approach to clinical practice is Gestalt Therapy
The issue is awareness, of living in the present.'
Gestalt theory and practice is based on many areas of thought and study, including radical insights of psychoanalysis, humanistic and existential philosophies, Gestalt psychology, Eastern spiritual traditions, sensory awareness practice and psychodrama. In this sense it is a true integrative approach.
Gestalt is a German word meaning 'whole' and points to the central theme of gestalt therapy, which is our tendency to see and act in unified wholes, instead of the parts. Hence the famous statement made by Kurt Koffka (1921) that 'the whole is other than the sum of its parts' - when the perceptual system forms a gestalt, the whole thing has an independent existence in the perceptual system.
As a gestalt therapist, I see each individual as an integration of mind-body-emotion-spirit and believe that each of us possesses all the necessary ingredients for healthy living. We are born whole and full of possibilities. In the process of ongoing interaction with others and events in our lives we create adjustments as a way of coping with adversity.
Healthy functioning does not prevent people from feeling vulnerable. In an ever-changing world, people are constantly faced with new challenges, decisions and difficulties. Relying on the old ways of coping in new situations is not effective and often prevents us from fulfilling our potential. To be fully satisfied, we need to develop new ways of relating and being in the world.
My task as a gestalt therapist is to support the clients to increase their awareness of what they do well and how they get stuck. Awareness is in itself curative and growth producing. It enables the individual to understand the ways in which they contribute to their own circumstances.
Therapy sessions offer clients a breathing space where they are free to experiment with being themselves and with relating spontaneously. Having a fresh look at their situation allows clients to see more clearly the possibilities for developing creative solutions to their difficulties.
I respect my clients - whether individuals, couples or groups - as the best experts on themselves. I am interested in finding out more about their unique perception of reality and their subjective experience - be it body sensations, feelings, thoughts or behaviour. My aim is to support my clients' vivid experience in all these dimensions.
The therapeutic relationship acts as an instrument of diagnosis and healing. I see my role as an active participant in the interaction with clients and often share with them my awareness of my own experience. I promote experiential learning and experimentation over interpretation or cognitive insights. In doing so, I help my clients to access and use their own self-knowledge.
In my work with couples, my aim is to support both partners as they work through their difficulties. Again my focus is their relationship with each other and their environment. I facilitate verbal and non-verbal communication between both partners that gives them an opportunity to resolve old disputes so they are free to make choices about the future of their relationship. I work with couples whatever their sexual orientation.
As a gestalt therapist I am open to influences from other disciplines, in particular the intersubjective psychoanalysis, integrative Body Therapy, anarchism, post-structuralist theory and Buddism. My clinical practice is inspired by poetry and the wider arts field including theatre, dance and movement.
For contact details, please click here.
Below, I have listed some links that may be of interest:
- LGBT rights have come a long way but mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato believes there's still work to be done as she takes stand at Stonewall
- Moonliteracy – an intimate sensual poetic piece composed by an American gestalt therapist Gayla Feinstein
- The newest RSC production of Salomé by Oscar Wilde marks 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales
- "How you live your life is your business. But remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once." ― André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name
- "It wasn't a mistake, it was just an event" - Herbie Hancock reminiscences on his learnings from Miles Davis
- Ian McKellen reads Harvey Milk's “Hope Speech” (1977) encouraging people to celebrate their differences and offering hope for the future
- "Humanistic Psychology in the 21st Century: The Next Revolution We Need" ― Dr Peter Hawkins’ Marianne Fry Lecture 2015
- Cult of information – a fascinating interview made in 1986 with Theodore Roszak, author of "The Making of a Counter Culture"
- “Identity is something that you are constantly earning. It is a process that you must be active in” - Joss Whedon’s 2013 Wesleyan commencement address
- “One Day This Kid…” - an all-time actual piece of art by David Wojnarowicz in the fight against discrimination of LGBTQ+ people
- Dan Bloom on “When Parallel Lines Collide: Gestalt Therapy and Phenomenology” – GATLA, Serock, Poland 2018
- “A Rap On Race” (1971) - James Baldwin and Margaret Mead – conversation between poet and anthropologist
- “You have to balance between quite contradictory things” - Irvine Welsh’s advice to the young artists
- “Stillpoint Magazine” - a digital publication that curates contemporary writers and artists to understand what is behind the I.
- “Shivering Trunks” (2010) – a deeply moving and funny short animation by Polish filmmaker Natalia Brożyńska “Drżące Trąby” tells the story of danger of projections. Pafnucy – furry butterfingers with a latex trunk – is dissatisfied with his face. He looks at the photos of Kalasanty with envy thinking that Kalasanty is a real role model, vibrant with health and cheerfulness. At the same time lonely Kalasanty experiences similar dilemmas...
- "Protest songs in the Peak District" - Jarvis Cocker and Jeremy Deller on an art trail from Edale Station to Kinder Scout.
- “Human life is limited but I would like to live forever" - Yukio Mishima; Philip Glass - String Quartet No. 3 "Mishima", VI.
- Philip Glass’ "Closing" - “Two simple rhythms which when played together create the aural equivalent of a gestalt switch drawing. I've played it on piano for decades and can never hear either "simple" hand while playing, just the entire relationship”.
- Nobel Lecture: Olga Tokarczuk, Nobel Prize in Literature 2018: “How we think about the world and more importantly how we narrate it have a massive significance. […] The world is dying, and we are failing to notice. We fail to see that the world is becoming a collection of things and incidents, a lifeless expanse in which we move around alone and, tossed here and there by everybody else’s decisions, constrained by an incomprehensible fate, a sense of being the plaything of the major forces of history or chance. Our spirituality is either vanishing or becoming superficial and ritualistic. Or else we are just becoming the followers of simple forces―physical, social, and economic―that move us around as if we were zombies. And in such a world we really are zombies. […] “That is why I believe I must tell stories as if the world were a living, single entity, constantly forming before our eyes, and as if we were a small and at the same time powerful part of it.”
- “Gadni” (Spirit of the Mountain) by Ande Somby performing yoiking, the ancient chanting practise of the Sámi People of northern Europe in concert with the sounds of nature.
- “Chris Watson’s “El Divisadero” - this music will transport you out there without having to leave the safety of your home
- “Let's talk the joy of later life sex” - an important campaign by Relate & British photographer Rankin
- My antidote to anxiety: 2nd Movement of Beethoven’ String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat, Op. 127 played by Brodsky Quartet
- … and another antidote to anxiety: Lento assai - cantante e tranquillo from Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op.135 - the very last major work of the composer written just before his death; played here by Wiener Philharmoniker and conducted by Leonard Bernstein recorded at the Amnesty International concert in 1976. Just sublime!
- The Royal Ballet’s Marcelino Sambé created a piece of choreography in memory of George Floyd murdered by policemen in Minneapolis, USA
- Glimpses: The Embodiment of LGBTQIA+ People in Poland - an UKAGP Newsletter article by Pixie Frączek, Wiola Jaworska, Dominika Struzik, Ula Krasny
- Celebrating June - the Pride Month, Piotr Mierkowski reminds of the important links between gestalt therapy and the LGBTQ+ rights movement
- ”Gestalt Therapy’s Early Acceptance of Diverse Sexualities – Daniel Rosenblatt Remembered” - an article by Malcolm Parlett
- Psychotherapy in the Shadow of Shame - Daniel Bąk’s hugely important contribution to working with LGBTQ+ community in the situation of institutionalised oppression in Poland
- ”Freedom to be Queer in the UK - at what cost?” - challenges facing queer migrants when moving to the UK from hostile environments - Part of Enhancing Mental Health series of presentations organised by Pink Therapy with Ronete Cohen and Piotr Mierkowski.
- “Bill Viola / Michelangelo: expressing the inexpressible by Ben Okri” - Winter 2018 issue of Royal Academy magazine