Firstly let me introduce myself. My name is Gunter Swoboda and I am a Consultant Psychologist in Private Practice. Most of my work is in EAP's, chronic pain and in trauma.
As many psychologists I started with CBT and became concerned over the fact that most clients were simply learning to control their symptoms, they did not seem to be changing at a level where there was difference in their experience and therefor the need to constantly be vigilant over their "dysfunction" did not dissipate.
Having studied phenomenology at university and my experience in bhuddism I became attracted to Gestalt therapy not only as a set of techniques but as a way of living not defined by ideological or religious dogma.
I was appreciative of my training as it enabled me to explore more of my self and discovered the true difference of experiencing to 'talking about' in therapy.
It was also a timne when I was confronted by my trainers with the issue of experience vs. theory.
Now I, too, love to theorise and still find myself thinking about what I am experiencing, how I am relating and and what this means to me.
In the beginning of my training I felt concerned that I did this, later I became aware that my capacity of being human included my abiltiy to theorise and was no lesser experience than eating an apple in full awareness or beiing fully orgasmic.
I think the problem arises when, as a being, I theorise habitually and even compulsively without shifting zones of awareness, confusing my experience with theory. The consequences are then minimal contact either with self and or the world wherein I live.
However when fully conscious as a reflexive being, I am aware and mindful then theorising is simply an extension of my experience of myself within in relation to the the outer.
Furthermore it means that I have the choice to be theorising or not and depending on the situation whether this approriate or not.
As a sentient being the concept of not theorising is as nonsensical to me as being only aware of my thoughts and not my senses.
Its in this context that for me, Gestalt became much more than a set of wowing techniques perpertated on clients. It truely made me aware of the I-thou relationship wherein I was with my client as myself and not a "role" such as therapist or mentor.
To achieve this is a challenge that I persue in every moment of being just like breating. This may appear to be somewaht radical but the truth of this was pointed out to me by a yoga teacher who insisted that even breathing required mindfulness and that most of us starve ourselves of the life because we breath poorly. So it is for me and gestalt.
By the way I love the idea of this forum and hope to get a lot from this. Congratulations to all involved in setting this up.