What is Gestalt?
Gestalt is a school of psychology founded in the 20th century that provided the foundation for the modern study of perception. Gestalt theory emphasizes that the whole of anything is greater than its parts. That is, the attributes of the whole are not deducible from analysis of the parts in isolation. The word Gestalt is often interpreted in psychology as “pattern” or “configuration.”
Gestalt psychology is in part an attempt to add a humanistic dimension to what was considered a sterile approach to the scientific study of mental life. Gestalt psychology further seeks to encompass the qualities of form, meaning, and value.
Gestalt psychology is a powerful philosophy which offers a unique and highly effective way of working with individuals, teams and whole organisations. It offers a method of understanding leading to lasting interventions, rather than quick fixes. It is indeed a whole new way of thinking about the world of people and organisations.
Gestalt and me
I am often asked why I have adopted and embraced the theory and philosophy of Gestalt into my practice. I find it hard to give a comprehensive all embracing and complete answer to this question and the ever flowing and constantly changing nature of working with people is a large part of the fit for me. I think a large part of it is my fascination with the subtle interconnectedness of everything which is almost certainly rooted in my life long interest in agriculture, horticulture, land management, environmentalism and a fascination with all aspects of the natural world.