Clinical Psychology 6 (2013), 1-2, 111-124

Professional Paper

The Application of Gestalt Therapy Principles in Coaching

Sandra Čanić - MOVIS, Split

Fulltext (croatian, pages 111-124).pdf

The purpose of this article is to provide a succinct overview of the application of some of the most important principles of Gestalt therapy in coaching, a relatively new and insufficiently recognized professional development method in Croatia. The first part of the article gives definitions of coaching, describes coaching goals and the profile of a coaching expert. Coaching emphasizes the development of the client’s professional self (e.g. development of business skills, preparation for a new role etc.). Therefore, in coaching, the focus is on the client as well as the client’s organisation. Successful coaching requires a number of psychological, therapeutic, consultant, business knowledge and skills. The second part of the article describes the way in which some of the classical terms from Gestalt therapy such as ”field”, ”the figure and the ground”, ”awareness”, ”paradox of change”, ”presence” and ”contact” contribute to the understanding of the process of coaching. Furthermore, it explains the way in which a coaching expert, trained as a Gestalt therapist (i.e. Gestalt coach), supports a client’s change and development. First of all, Gestalt and coaching share a common perspective of the client as a healthy and complete individual, capable of responding creatively to demands from the environment. A prerequisite for change is the client’s awareness and acceptance of his or her situation, which in turn liberates energy and a capability for the consideration of new choices. Gestalt coaching work is process work based on dialogue, enhanced by the coach’s questioning, sharing observation, experimenting and, above all, his or hers ongoing authentic presence.

Gestalt, coaching, awareness, contact, change

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