Senior trainee Gestalt psychotherapist

J completed their fourth and final year of psychotherapy training at the Manchester Gestalt Centre in 2021. During their training, J took on counselling placements at Manchester Mind and LGBT Foundation. They have spent hundreds of hours working with people who sought help through those charities and will continue working with LGBT Foundation for the foreseeable future.

Some people are reluctant to come to counselling because they have been dealing with something painful and don’t feel ready to talk about it. Trained in Gestalt psychotherapy, J focuses on working with what’s happening here and now. There are often more things in our lives that will benefit from compassionate attention than we realise. Over time, those benefits can empower us and make it easier to deal with the bigger things that weigh on us.

Gestalt psychotherapy is focused on building awareness. Greater awareness gives us more choices about how we live our lives. These days, mindfulness and other types of meditation are very popular for increasing awareness, but they are usually solitary practices. In counselling and psychotherapy, we have the chance to learn more about how we relate to another person (the therapist) and to take that awareness and use it in the rest our life. By working with J, you’ll have a chance to be heard by someone who has no agenda about how you live, someone who wants to empower you to deal with whatever life sends your way.

Like all talking therapies, Gestalt psychotherapy works with thoughts and feelings. In Gestalt it is also possible to work with the breath and other physical awareness. Some of the ways we talk about the things that trouble us, for example feeling “weighed down” or “overstretched” or like we will “explode”, are often present in our physical sensations. We can sometimes learn from those feelings, especially when thinking takes us back to the same place again and again.

Here are some of the things that people have come to J for help with:

  • Acting impulsively when stressful things happen
  • Wanting to improve a friendship or other relationship that feels stuck
  • Finding it hard to ask other people for support
  • Having difficulty saying “No” to other people
  • Feeling like life is getting away from you or as if you are living for other people rather than for yourself
  • Often feeling like something awful will happen and not knowing why
  • Finding little or no pleasure in the way you currently live your life