At the core, Gestalt Theory provides a comprehensive conceptual framework for understanding a way to experience “the here-and-now moment” with awareness of polarities. This supports a rich “contacting” of both self and other, known as the “dual task” of all relatedness, referred to as the body/mind Gestalt Cycle of Experience. Contacting is the essence of Gestalt therapy, honoring the movement of life, the inhale and the exhale of breath, the “contact and withdrawal cycle” intrinsic to life. Gestalt therapy/theory seeks to bring that which is hidden or unconscious into the realm of awareness, or consciousness.
This is achieved through a pattern of contacting both the self and the “environmental field”, accessing subjectively the body’s intelligence while supporting its natural movement in the world. We say that as a “self-regulating organism”, figures will emerge into both foreground and background, constantly shifting. Self is defined as “dynamic process” (as opposed to a static fixedness) and will organically engage in an ongoing process of contacting both self and other on an “awareness-consciousness continuum”, moment to moment. This cycle is a basic “map” for how a person becomes aware of a need, mobilizes (or interrupts) in movement toward satisfying that need, movement toward action, making contact, experiencing satisfaction, and then supporting withdrawal and/or rest. Emphasizing the relational and existential aspects of this human experiencing in the totality, ‘holding’ that complexity while learning to practice “clean support” in each present moment toward “completed gestalts” is what supports a full sensation of contact, promoting a vitality and aliveness.