Have there been situations in your life that ended negatively for you and would you like to change everything? Or did you have to leave plans unfinished, which you now regret? All these are examples of unclosed gestalts, everyone has them, and needs to be worked on. Because every mistake, missed opportunity and unfinished business pulls back, not allowing you to live here and now. It is better to deal with the problems of the past as quickly as possible in order to continue moving forward.
What is a Gestalt?
The concept itself arose back in 1890, but Frederick Perls became the founder of the science. In the middle of the 20th century, his famous book on Gestalt therapy was published, which is considered the basis for the further development of this science. The German word gestalt literally translates as “form”, but what kind of form is this, you ask? This is a holistic perception of something: something that has a beginning and a logical conclusion. For example, feelings, thoughts, or actions of people. When they are started, continued, and finished, the person may be satisfied or dissatisfied with the result, but the action is nevertheless completed. But when something remains unfinished, it is already an unclosed gestalt.
The studies of the famous psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik were devoted to this. She proved that a person remembers unfinished business for a long time and feels a strong need to finish what he started (this is called the “Zeigarnik effect”). If such a problem is not dealt with, it will always haunt you and you will not be able to forget about your unclosed gestalt.
How to Understand Your Unclosed Gestalt
Unfinished business and unfulfilled plans create serious psychological stress. Plunging to these memories, a person constantly experiences an obsessive desire to return and fix everything. This can lead to depression and health problems.
If something is firmly stuck in your head and spoils your life, then you left the gestalt open. Remember that the main principle of this concept is the desire for completeness. Now I’m not talking about those tasks that do not require reflection, for example, that you forgot to buy something in the store and you are sad about it, no. These are more serious things, for example, you dreamed of entering psychology, but for this, you did not have the opportunity and means. This can be considered your unclosed gestalt.
Gestalt therapy also helps to recognize this phenomenon. Its main task is to help close issues with cases and situations that torment people in practical ways. Such therapy in a complex is necessary for the development of personality, the formation of awareness, and the ordering of life. There are two types of Gestalt therapy – individual and group:
- Individually, the psychotherapist helps the client find a solution, not indicating what and how to do, but trying to find a method for solving the issue that a person can use in the future so that later he can close his own gestalts.
- In a group, participants can communicate with each other, ask questions and support each other, and a specialist observes the process and can make adjustments to the conversations.
But it is not at all necessary to immediately go to the doctor if you feel the strength and intention in yourself to try to figure it out and cope with everything yourself.
How to Close a Gestalt?
Your task is to try to work out and close the gestalt on your own. It will not be easy, because for this you will have to immerse yourself in your thoughts and experiences, again feel what you might like to forget. Don’t expect the process to be fast. You will need some time, perhaps everything will happen in stages, but after much hard work it will become easier for you, and the gestalt that has not let you go for a long time will be closed.
Where to begin:
- Learn to have an internal dialogue with yourself. To do this, you can make notes or keep a diary. Tell us about the situation that worries you: write everything honestly, as it really was, without embellishing or hiding anything. Be honest with yourself and this will be the first step to solving the problem. And then try to imagine that you have a chance to replay everything. Think and write down what, in your opinion, would be more correct to do or say in order to change everything for the better. Analyze the result and draw certain conclusions for yourself. This is a great practice: it always works when you need to better understand your emotions and needs.
- Work on yourself and engage in self-development. Firstly, it is in principle useful for every full-fledged personality. Secondly, this approach makes it possible to solve current problems in a timely manner and not repeat their mistakes in the future. Personally, reading books on psychology helps me develop such skills. These are not some scientific works that are difficult for an ordinary person to understand, but accessible and understandable literature that explains many of the rules of life in simple language. Then I will tell you what interesting you can read.
- Focus on happy memories. Happiness research shows that people are more satisfied with their lives when they look positively at their past. Such emotions increase self-esteem and increase the feeling of being loved and appreciated.
- Live here and now. This is a basic principle of Gestalt Therapy that probably won’t be so easy to implement, but you have to try. All of the above tips will become a path to this seemingly unattainable height, but this is so only at the beginning when the ascent to it seems unbearable. But the further and harder you move in the right direction, the closer your goal will be.
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All these principles help if you act carefully and slowly. It happens that even with all this, a person is unable to cope with his problem, realize the causes and effects, to understand his own feelings. Then the best way out is to turn to a Gestalt therapist who knows his business and can unravel this tangle.
What to read?
Good books help to learn to understand oneself and to think correctly and constructively.
The works that I want to advise you on do not teach Gestalt psychology. For this, there is scientific literature: it is much more complex and in order to delve into its essence, you will have to re-read these books many, many times. I recommend you the following interesting non-fiction:
- Ilse Sand, With Love to Yourself: How to Get Rid of Guilt and Find Harmony;
- Mick Viking, “The Art of Creating Happy Memories”;
- Tom Chatfield “Critical Thinking: Analyze, Doubt, Form Your Opinion”;
- Rosanna Kasper, The Big Book of 30-Day Challenges. 60 Habit Formation Programs for a Better Life”;
- David Hawkins, “Let go. The practice of managing feelings and emotions”;
- Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence. Why it might matter more than IQ.”
There is everything here that will cover your basic needs, namely, how to become happy, understand your emotions and needs more deeply, and develop empathy.
Can anyone close a Gestalt?
Yes, anyone can close a Gestalt. It is a natural process of the human mind.
Are there any benefits to closing a Gestalt?
Closing a Gestalt can help improve your problem-solving skills, as it requires you to imagine missing parts and complete a whole perception in your mind. It can also enhance your creativity and improve your ability to visualize.
Can Gestalt psychology be applied to design?
Yes, Gestalt psychology can be applied to design. Designers can use the principles of Gestalt to create visually appealing designs that are easy to understand and memorable.
What is the difference between Gestalt and perception?
Gestalt refers to the whole perception that is created from individual parts, while perception is the process of interpreting sensory information from the environment.
Can Gestalt therapy help with mental health issues?
Yes, Gestalt therapy can be used to help with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and trauma. It focuses on increasing self-awareness and promoting personal growth and self-acceptance.