Frequently Asked Questions

 ”I appreciate this integrated model of spirituality and psychotherapy.” ~ A psychotherapist

”I appreciate this integrated model of spirituality and psychotherapy.” ~ A psychotherapist

What does the word “gestalt” mean?
“Gestalt” is a rich word with many interconnected meanings. It can connote personal health and balance, or re-integration of "lost" parts of the self, or a holistic approach that takes in body, mind, emotions and spirit. Gestalt can also refer to perception: the way your brain makes a pattern (something whole) out of randomness, as when you look at a cloud and see a bunny.  Finally, the word gestalt can point to the way your needs, particularly your needs for healing, shape the way you see the world. Fritz Perls (German psychiatrist – 1893-1970) understood the word in each of these meanings when he developed Gestalt psychotherapy.

What happens at a Gestalt Pastoral Care retreat?
GPC retreats are a good way to try out Gestalt Pastoral Care in your own growth process. They last from one to three days, with six to eight participants, and occasionally a few observer-intercessors.   You will have ample time to be the focus of the group if you wish to be. GPC retreats are non-coercive and each person’s yes or no is always respected.  Depending on the length of the retreat, there may be time for rest, solitude, enjoying nature and play. Click here to learn more.

 "The Opening to Grace Retreat was more than I could have ever imagined.  More love, more truth, more hope, more, more, more…" ~ MW

"The Opening to Grace Retreat was more than I could have ever imagined.  More love, more truth, more hope, more, more, more…" ~ MW


Is Financial Assistance available?
The Board of Trustees of GPC is committed to growing the number of skilled and graced ministers who practice Gestalt Pastoral Care healing ministry in the church and in the world.  As such, we offer financial aid to those seeking to further their training towards ministry certification on the basis of need and promise.  Committed to encouraging all levels of GPC in underserved communities, we also offer financial aid for entry-level retreats to members of those communities. 

The process begins with making your needs known to the retreat or training course leader of the program you wish to attend, and then completing a Financial Assistance Application Form.  Click here for a Retreat Financial Assistance Form and here for a Training Financial Assistance Form.  

Do I have to be a minister or psychotherapist to be accepted for the training?
No. Though many of our applicants are ministers, therapists, religious workers, teachers, and others associated with social service professions, we have witnessed individuals from a variety of life paths learn to integrate Gestalt Pastoral Care in wonderful and effective ways.  For fourteen years Tilda Norberg taught GPC to prison inmates, who found ways to give informal help to fellow inmates. 

Are private sessions available?
Yes.  Most of our Gestalt Pastoral Care Ministers have private practices. Click here for more information

Can you provide retreat leadership for a particular group? 
Yes, we enjoy providing specialized retreats tailored to your group’s need.  In addition to our Opening to Grace retreats, we offer retreats on a variety of topics.   Click here for more information

Can I help send someone who can’t afford a retreat or training? 
Yes indeed! Contact the leader of the Gestalt Pastoral Care program for details if you want to sponsor a friend. For general contributions to Gestalt Pastoral Care, checks should be made to Gestalt Pastoral Care Associates, Inc., and sent to GPCA, Inc., PO Box 140636, Staten Island, NY 10314 or simply visit our homepage and click on the Donate Button.  Your contributions are tax-deductible.

Can I earn CE credits through taking the GPC training? 
You may be able to earn CE units by checking with your accrediting/licensing organization.  Upon successful completion of training courses, you will receive a Certificate of Completion, which includes contact hours. 

Can I get college or seminary credits for the GPC training? 
Some of our trainees have received college or seminary credit for our training program. Each institution varies in how it handles this, but typically you would arrange to write a paper detailing what you have learned and submit our syllabus and our Certificate of Completion. For those working to fulfill ordination requirements, sometimes our GPC Foundation course has served as a unit of CPE.

How can I make a general donation to Gestalt Pastoral Care? 
See our Support GPC page.  You can also visit our Home Page and Click on the Donate Button.  All donations are tax-deductible.

Gestalt Pastoral Care is holistic:
we pay attention to body, mind, spirit and social context
since they are interrelated and since God is at work in all these areas.