In my own development I am at a point where I am seeking proof, (to use your term), or otherwise, as to whether intellectual constructs such as these are useful or not. Hence my explorations. Gestalt, despite its own constructs, has historically been keen to distance itself from such fare. I believe it threw out a couple of babies with the bathwater and I’m busy trying to work out which ones.
When it is not a real person being discussed, and sometimes when it is, such discourse probably fulfills one or more of the following (amongst others):
i) An increase in fluency with the languaging and underlying concepts of a model. (I used to sit in French lessons thinking that I didn’t need to learn how to say ‘I have a sister with hair brown who is 14 years old’, because I haven’t. ) (Further, this fluency of left brain functioning does seem to lead to an increased capacity to then put all such thoughts to silence, when confronted by real people, and ‘see’, as opposed to think, what is going on - to intuit what is occurring / to see the Gestalt - a process that it is frequently wise to then double-check through intellectual means.)
ii) An increase in understanding between different models of therapy.
iii) An increase in one’s distance from the real world.
iv) An increase in one’s pleasurable feelings of being ‘really clever’ or, perhaps, a pleasure akin to the aesthetic enjoyment of certain chess moves.
I have my good days and my bad days, but my therapist ‘thinks’ I’m getting better.