Therapy is a necessary part of addiction treatment. With so many types of counseling, however, it’s hard to keep track of them all. One type that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves is gestalt therapy. Below is more information about this helpful treatment.

What Is Gestalt Therapy?

man undergoes gestalt therapy with counselorGestalt therapy is a treatment that helps people focus on the present. Unlike other counseling methods that focus on the past, it emphasizes the here and now. Gestalt counseling helps people get in touch with what happens in their lives. It breaks them away from the control that past experience has over them.

During gestalt treatment, people typically become more self-aware. They see their negative behaviors and thought patterns. Often, they start to recognize that their behaviors block their true selves. They have no one to blame for their unhappiness but themselves.

How Gestalt Treatment Helps People With Addiction

Experts use gestalt therapy to treat both mental and physical conditions. Some of these include:

  • Low-self esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Migraines
  • Back spasms
  • Relationship difficulties

More recently, however, experts have taken note of the benefits of gestalt therapy for addiction. First, it helps people with addiction see that the choices they make cause their own unhappiness. Secondly, it helps them with underlying mental illnesses.

Addiction is a mental illness that doesn’t typically appear alone. Another underlying mental illness can spur on the addiction or vice versa. Depression and anxiety are common co-occurring disorders, which gestalt counseling treats. Overall, this psychotherapy is a good choice for a dual diagnosis program.

Experiencing Feelings in the Moment

In different types of counseling, therapists ask their clients about their feelings, and they discuss past problems. Gestalt therapy, however, focuses on solving past problems and discussing current situations.

That’s not to say that people don’t talk about past problems during gestalt treatment. Instead of just talking about them, therapists might have clients act out the moments when the problems took place. While clients act out the problems, therapists ask how they currently feel.

In fact, role-playing and guided fantasies are often important aspects of gestalt counseling. The goal is for people to get in touch with their true feelings. At the same time, they learn to take responsibility for their behaviors and accept the consequences.

The Empty Chair

Out of all of the techniques that therapists use with gestalt treatment, people know the empty chair the most. During this exercise, people sit in one chair and face another that’s empty. They imagine something or someone in that empty chair. It must be important to them or a problem that causes them distress.

With the imagery in place, therapists encourage the clients to talk with it. The conversation typically brings up a lot of emotions. At some point during the exercise, therapists reverse the roles. Clients become the objects or people in the empty chair.

The goal of the exercise is to give people a different perspective on their problems. The technique isn’t possible without role reversal.

We Can Help You at Crestview Recovery

Are you ready to start treatment for addiction? Consider getting help at Crestview Recovery. We offer a wide range of programs that can help you overcome the disease. Some of them include:

We also offer access to extended care. This program lasts upwards of 90 days and gives you a chance to truly address your problems. Everyone recovers from addiction at different speeds, and extended care gives you as much time as you need.

Don’t let addiction cause you any more trouble. Find out more about gestalt therapy at Crestview Recovery. Reach out for help at 866.262.0531.