Gestalt therapy is phenomenological, not merely cognitive. It is difficult for the dominant paradigm, which is highly cognitive, to understand that one's experience is simply his or her experience (however they happen to experience it). The meaning a person with a developmental disability makes of his or her sensory and proprioceptive experience is their own (in whatever way it is mediated by intelligence); how any given Gestalt therapist processes that with a client will depend on the amount of support available to the client in their relationship with the therapist and in the context of their meeting, and the degree to which a phenomenological method is employed. In fact, many of the elements of DBT can be assimilated into Gestalt therapy, and DBT has been adopted by DD programs to help their clients adapt to the needs of daily living. The problem with many non-Gestalt therapists is that they hold to a caricature of Gestalt therapy, do not really understand it, and then impose a judgment out of ignorance or bias against it.
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