The Great Pause and the Big Picture

The Great Pause. Certainly many of us have felt that parts of our lives have been on pause. Our social lives. Travelling abroad. Perhaps our jobs? The list goes on. Face-to-face therapy was also on pause for many of us during this time. Even the idea of seeing someone may have felt impossible or overwhelming with so much else happening in the world.

As a therapist, the biggest change was seeing clients almost exclusively over Zoom, with all the challenges and flexibility that came with it. I’ve decided that I’m ready to see vaccinated clients face-to-face again. I now have consulting rooms in both Chelmsford, Essex and Shoreditch, London. I have availability at both locations and am interested in seeing new clients.

One of the advantages of Gestalt in the current situation is that it draws on Field Theory. Quite simply, Field Theory acknowledges that there is a big picture and we are in it. Like any big picture there can be any number of big themes, small details and central figures. Unlike a painting this big picture is subject to change, and what was merely in the background is sometimes now the central figure.

San Sebastiano – note the many characters in the background, and those who are more central, or figural.

You could think of an example of this thusly: COVID is part of the your background whether you like it or not. However, it may not be the central figure that’s holding your attention. The central figure could be anything from childcare commitments, to struggling in a relationship, to anxiety about work. COVID would suddenly move from the background to the foreground if someone in your family suddenly displays symptoms. In this way the field, or background, and the central figure are always in a state of flux, shifting subtly or dramatically.

I’ve found that keeping an awareness of the big picture during the last two years has enabled me to understand just how much myself and others are up against, socially, politically, and virally.

Perhaps you’ve decided it’s time to make sense of your big picture, the various themes in your life, and even reexamine the small details?

You can find me on Counselling Directory HERE.

What is Gestalt?

What of the questions I am most often asked is ‘What is Gestalt counselling?’ Here’s a brief introduction to some of the core parts of what I do.

Gestalt therapy operates on four pillars. The first is that it is a relational model, meaning the therapist is in relationship with the client. I will at times comment on how I am feeling or what I am thinking in context to the material the client brings to the sessions.

The second pillar of Gestalt is Phenomenology. I will track a client’s body language, their tone of voice, demeanour and ask them to check in with bodily sensations. Our bodies contain much information if we take time to attune to ourselves. Many people complain of carrying their stress in their shoulders, this is just one example of an arising phenomena and how it is carried in the body.

The third pillar of Gestalt incorporates Field Theory, meaning that nothing in one’s life is isolated, rather all parts of our life have an effect on each other. In this way Gestalt takes the whole person in to consideration. Thoughts, feelings, our histories, our families, work life and private life all form part of a person’s field.

The last pillar of Gestalt is the use of experiments. Gestalt is most famous for it’s use of the empty chair, a way of expressing ourselves to an imaginary person or difficult aspect of ourselves. I also hope to work in other creative ways such as using flip charts for drawing and other non-verbal expression.

These pillars of Gestalt are based on a foundation of the Here and Now. While events from our past and worries about the future may cloud our mind, it is important to remember that we are alive in the present moment. You may know this as mindfulness which has proven very popular in the last five years.


Welcome to Holding on to Hope

My name is Den and I am a male Gestalt counsellor. I offer counselling sessions over Zoom and in person in Chelmsofrd, Essex and Shoreditch, London.

I am passionate about talking cures and believe that therapy can be space to reflect and ultimately to grow as a person. Therapy need not just be there for times of crisis but can also be a place of personal exploration and development.

Under no circumstances should you lose hope… The Dalai Lama