You don't need to be sick or suffering you just need to have an inner yearning for more. Clarissa has worked with personal development for over 20 years using Gestalt therapy and many other ancient wisdoms to help her clients (and herself) become fuller, livelier and more present human beings. She is skilled in mindfulness and understands from the inside out the many blocks to personal growth.
It is never too late to start working to release your true inner self and live a life of joy and contentment.
Personal Development is about working on our 'issues' and becoming a fuller expression of our true self. It is about regaining our energy and spontaneity through the process of integration ~ working through where we are blocked to regain parts of ourself that have been lost or damaged over the course of our lives. As we do this we gain access the energy that was tied up in keeping things down while we 'held ourselves together' and as result feel freer and a greater sense of inner peace.
How did you get to be this way? As we grow up parts of our self get stuck. Depending on the quality of our early relationships and the interaction of life events with our unique personality we can safely say that not many have had an ideal childhood or lives. As adaptive humans we developed strategies to cope with the negative things that may have happened to us over the course of our lives. Eventually, however, these strategies become redundant and start to get in the way of us moving forward.
What happened in the past matters, but what matters more now is how the past interferes with your present.
Many people worry that psychotherapy means regression to their childhood and blaming their mother for not being loving or their father for being too harsh, but that's not the way I work. The fact is what happened in the past does matter, but we can't go back and change that. However, we can look at how those things might be playing out in your life today, and thats where the real source of change lies. By looking at what's happening in the here and now, (not necessarily regressing to the past), problems, conflicts and divided selves can be identified. Until you are aware of what's really going on inside you, you don't really have any power to do things differently.
We all have a natural urge to heal and grow. Personal growth isn't just about overcoming obstacles it's also about becoming more effective and free to live out our full potential.
GESTALT is a longer term psychotherapy. If sessions are attracting a medicare rebate then Counselling will include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy which are short-term evidence-based focused psychological strategies that are eligible under the the Medicare Better Access to Mental Health Care scheme to attract a medicare rebate for 6-10 sessions per year (some health funds will continue to subsidise treatment). Clarissa can provide short term psychological strategy counselling and it's open to you to proceed with longer term psychotherapy once your medicare rebates have run out. Many people present with a problem after years of suffering and while some might feel significant relief after 6–10 sessions others may need treatment to be continued for a little longer.
About Gestalt Psychotherapy Gestalt is an emotionally focused existential therapy that aims to promote awareness, increase response-ability ~ our ability to respond spontaneously and appropriately to the environment or our inner needs, and maturation. Gestalt therapy encourage's personal growth leading to a more fulfilling life and satisfying relationships. It It is useful for help with immediate crises and long-term chronic issues.
With Gestalt we seek to reinstate wholeness to the person by helping them to become fully integrated. People are not seen as sick or dysfunctional but as having adapted functional ways of dealing with situations that served them well in the context that they occurred. The problem is now they are stuck in behaving that way. The personality becomes split and part of them is frustrated, conflicted or rigidly repeating what they know is not good for them. This ties up energy that would otherwise be directed toward growth and can lead to the common symptoms of depression, anxiety and many other psychological issues.
Gestalt is also great for looking at how you defend against being real, working with your internal splits (which often underly and fuel anxiety), looking at unexpressed parts of self, including your shadow self that will take on a life of its own and work against your best intentions often sabotaging your relationships. Gestalt also works with the many defence mechanisms all humans use in rejection of self, unwanted aspects of self and others, the anxiety that results from splits in the personality and the depression that comes from rejecting parts of our self and suppressing emotions. Unresolved issues from the past are recognized as unfinished issues that yearn for resolution in the present and often create the repeating patterns of our current problems. Gestalt is the ideal relationship therapy utilising the therapeutic relationship to identifies issues that occur in the person's day to day relationships. We are always working to improve your relationship, to yourself and to others. Gestalt therapy aims to turn power relationships into loving relationships and to find a sense of wholeness and authenticity.
Gestalt Therapy is not Fritz Perls (for those who have seen those dreadful youtube videos) it is simply the most comprehensive system of personal growth and development that has yet to be replicated in post-modern therapies. Gestalt offers the deepest understanding of the thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and spiritual longing for meaning and connection to the essential self and what it means to be human; Gestalt develops therapists who have authenticity and know from the inside out what it means to go through stuff and come out the other side a fuller person.
Many 'new' therapies these days echo parts of the in-depth comprehensive training in Gestalt.
Mindfulness is a very popular solution to many modern day problems and it's promoted as if it is a new discovery, however Gestalt therapy has long recognized and utilized the function of mindful awareness.
ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) is another 'recent' popular therapy that echoes many of the principles of Gestalt. In Gestalt we have long known in the paradoxical theory of change where unwanted behaviours dissolve or transform once they are fully accepted. That people operate on values and often have conflicting sets of values (even split between parts of self). And that raising awareness of who we are and what we do facilitates a more fulfilling life. With Gestalt we increase mindful self awareness, for without knowing what we do we are powerless to change it. However, we never try to change. Forced change won't last. With acceptance we explore the use of our current behaviour, what has it been doing for us and what we might replace it with. We work with opposing parts of the self that have become fragmented, tying up our energy in an inner conflict.
Somatic Psychotherapy focuses on bodily sensations that sit unfinished in the person interfering with growth and satisfying relationships. This is but part of Gestalt methodology, to work with somatic or bodily symptoms and expressions knowing that emotions are more than or just as important as the thoughts and beliefs we have. In Gestalt we know that unfinished traumas and unmet needs will surface in the present and keep repeating in patterns until they are seen, understood or 'completed'.
People have been healing their lives with Gestalt Therapy for over 60 years. It is a highly effective therapy.