Emotional Connection – A Gestalt Perspective

Emotional Connection - A Gestalt Perspective

Some people say that we are too disconnected from our emotional selves. 

This in turn can create internal havoc for us, contribute to multiple layers of masks worn, and relationships being unfulfilling. 

But what does emotional disconnect actually mean and look like?

For many, it is an embodied experience that is felt before it is thought of. As a child, we’re taught to sit down and be still despite our bodies needing to run around, be loud, and be physically playful. In that moment of forced stillness comes an internal conflict. One is to be good and listen to the teacher, the other is to engage in active creativity. 

This is not only a childhood experience. 

We are conditioned to reign in our emotional selves and show our happiest moments. You only need to check your social media feeds to see the long list of smiling faces. But we know that people are experiencing a whole range of feelings that are hidden from public view.

By ignoring these feelings it can impact our mental health, self-confidence, sense of judgment, and relationships. 

Conversely, allowing buried feelings to come to the surface can be frightening, overwhelming, or outright annoying. 

So, where does Gestalt Therapy come in to help?

If lack of emotional awareness is key to burying feelings then the most logical approach is to gently and respectfully connect to them again. 

This is through: 

  • Awareness
  • Choice 
  • Connection
  • Integration

Which are cornerstones of the practice. 

AWARENESS

The initial goal is for clients to expand their awareness of what they are experiencing in the present moment. In practical terms, this means your Gestalt Therapist would have a keen hawk eye for noticing and naming possible emotions that surface in the sessions. In some way this important step allows you to feel less conflicted of your emotional self. 

CHOICE

Identifying Your YESs and NOs

The next stage of Gestalt Therapy is to identify what your YESs and Nos are

The best relationships are when two trees grow side by side together where the branches overlap. Not entwined. When we’re entwined we compromise our own needs and thoughts. It can then create a disembodied emotional response and we lose track of our boundaries OR our YESs and Nos.

CONNECTION

When we connect with others, what are we bringing from our past?

This will affect how we communicate and feel in the presence of others. Sometimes we have a sense of vitality, whilst other times we feel exhausted when connecting to people. In Gestalt Therapy, we seek to understand and be gently curious about your relational patterns.

INTEGRATION

What comes next?

Integration in Gestalt is a balanced blend of cognitive awareness, (your thought processes) and your authentic embodied experience. 

This supports us to move through adversity; supporting emotional flexibility. 

Gestalt therapy can be especially helpful for those who have experienced trauma. It helps reach emotional equilibrium, keep safe, and regulated. Furthermore, the therapy will assist in healing emotional scars, for personal growth and interpersonal connections.

Where to from here? 

Reach out to Mind Up and book an appointment with Michelle who would warmly welcome you to her Gestalt Therapy Treatment.