I am tickled six shades of pink, Brian, that you have started this forum. Usually one doesn't think of Gestalt work in the same breath as cognitive therapy or behavior therapy (my specialities). The people who practice the one or the other are typically different individuals, with differing theories and (God forbid, ideologies), without much cross-fertilization taking place.
But let's take a closer look . . .
The cognitive side of CBT involves identifying the thoughts, beliefs, ideas, assumptions, expectations, attitudes, and mental imagery that contribute needelssly to a patient's suffering. (Or to the pointless suffering he inflicts on others).
Sometimes we need the *emotionally evocative* power of Gestalt work to mobilize and draw out the gut-grabbing cognitions that are entwined with the patient's greatest capacity for affect and for effective behavior.
The Gestalt work I do in my own practice -- which I think of as being psychodrama with a very small cast -- quite routinely turns out to be the turning point in a course of therapy that was getting bogged down in avoidance of the really visceral stuff I knew had to be there.
In short, I use Gestalt maneuvers in the service of treatment goals that are in themselves best defined as cognitive and behavioral, but where in order to make headway there is a clear need to provoke a level of emotional intensity and expression strong enough to break out of the sodden sludge of blind habit and fear of change or novelty.
In other words, I see Gestalt therapy, not as a complete or free-standing system, but as a very rich source of technology that can be brought to bear with a great variety of patients, psychiatric conditions, and theroretical orientations.
I think I've tried to wrap too much up in those previous sentences, but it's now 1:45 a.m. in Brooklyn and tomorrow could easily be a day from hell if I don't get my beauty sleep.
So ciao for niao, Brian.