Gestalt growth work embraces a health model, calling forth the health that already exists in even the most fragmented person. Gestalt work is not so much turned toward what is wrong with a person, but toward what's blocking the health that is surely present. Diagnosis of illness is much less important than becoming aware of where new life is just waiting to break out.
There is a lot of bamboo growing in our yard on Staten Island. It spreads as fast as whispered secrets, sending shoots around rocks, under the porch and even under the siding of the house. We can whack it out one week and it will begin to grow back by the next. The strength of its drive to grow is amazing.
We are not so different from bamboo; deep within us is found a similar astonishing urgency to grow. Gestalt work focus on this urgency to grow rather than on pathology. Obviously, however, not everyone grows according to an abstract standard of perfection. Like bamboo, we have to grow around our particular obstacles, but each of us, no matter what our stunting handicaps, emotional maiming, age, or physical condition, is somehow striving to be a whole person. Just as our bodies mobilize for healing when we have been physically injured, we can be confident that this same energy for wholeness is expended on wounds of emotion and spirit. In this context, discomfort or pain or anxiety are certainly not imaginary, but are a sign that something is pushing for resolution inside.
Gestalt work is fundamentally and radically holistic, giving lively attention to the exquisite interrelationship between emotions and body. In fact, the word "gestalt" itself connotes wholeness.
Consenting to Grace An Introduction to Gestalt Pastoral Care...Tilda Norberg