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Gestalt Practitioners Diploma

A 2-year practitioner programme for people who want to apply Gestalt therapy theory and methodology to their work with individuals and groups.

Frequently Asked Question

What is the Gestalt Approach?

Gestalt practitioners are skilled in :

  • attending to the interaction with others in the here-and-now,
  • noticing patterns that emerge in this interaction,
  • considering the whole situation the client brings to the encounter,
  • supporting the development of curiosity and exploration,
  • encouraging experimenting with difference.

For more details see our What Is Gestalt page.


What is the aim of this training?

The course aims to provide students with the training in Gestalt theory, methodology and practice and to support their skills development so that they can apply the Gestalt framework to their specific professional context. The learning will happen in a group setting and will be largely experiential.

  • Year One will focus on Gestalt practice with individuals.
  • Year Two will focus on Gestalt practice working with groups.

Who benefits from this training?

People working in contexts including: counselling and psychotherapy, youth and community work, education, nursing, social work, coaching, organisational development or consultancy, pastoral work, law e.g. victim support, advice and welfare rights, community development, political work, mediation, negotiation.


What are the admissions criteria?

  • Current membership (and accreditation if applicable) with a recognised professional organisation, that is: an organisation with explicit Ethics Code, Professional Standards and Complaint Procedures. Applicants who have not yet professionally accredited must show evidence that they could meet the requirements for, and are working towards, accreditation of their relevant professional organisation.
  • Current working context which will provide practice in one-to-one and group settings.
  • Personal supervision arrangements (other than line management supervision) in place with a Gestalt trained supervisor from the GCB recommended list
  • Access to personal psychotherapeutic support with a Gestalt therapist from the GCB recommended list.
  • Current professional indemnity insurance if working independently, or appropriate agency insurance cover.

Applicants who have not yet accredited must show evidence that they could meet the requirements for accreditation of their relevant professional organisation and are actively working to accredit.


How do I apply?

There are four aspects to the application process. These are designed to support you to make an informed decision about joining the training.

  • Application Form:
    An application form is available on request. It is not available from the web site. The application form must be completed in full and returned to GCB before your application interview. Please contact the Belfast Gestalt Centre at info@gestaltbelfast.org for details.
  • Pre-Selection Workshop
    The Pre-Selection workshop is designed to see if the course meets your needs and to familiarise you with the demands of the training. An application form for the Pre-Selection weekend can be obtained by mailing us. This will be taken as an expression of interest in the training. We will schedule a pre-selection workshop as soon as there is sufficient number, and give plenty of notice to applicants.
  • Application Interview
    Following the Pre-Selection weekend there will be an interview with the Directors of GCB. The final decision should be made within 48 hours.
  • Contracting
    Upon acceptance of a place on the course, you will enter into a contract with GCB, accepting the course content, structure and costs. This will be completed and signed by you and GCB at that time.

Who will be teaching the programme?

The teaching faculty are all very experienced and highly qualified Gestalt Therapists, Supervisors and Organisational Development (OD) Consultants, Authors and Researchers.

  • Seán Gaffney PhD (lead trainer),
  • Bríd Keenan MA Reg. MBACP(Accred),
  • Joëlle Gartner MSc Reg. MBACP(Accred),
  • Marie Quiery MA MBACP(Senior Accred).

International Guest faculty will participate in residentials.


Where is the training held?

Venue: Daneo Human and Spiritual Development Service, 614 Crumlin Road, Belfast BT14 7GL

Corrymeela for the residential.


What qualification do I get at the end of the training?

At the end of the training you will be a Gestalt Practitioner as validated by the Gestalt Centre Belfast and externally moderated. It can be included in the Continuing Professional Development requirements of your awarding body. It is accepted as accreditation of prior experience and learning (APEL) into Gestalt academic courses such as Metanoia's MSc.


How am I assessed?

By the end of Year 1, students will be able to (assessment objectives):

  • conduct a gestalt session of 45-50 minutes with a client, demonstrating appropriate use of gestalt methodology
  • write up this session, and show how Gestalt theory has informed their interventions
  • give and receive feedback, account for their learning
  • at the assessment workshop, conduct a short session with a peer using a gestalt approach, and afterwards self-evaluate, and receive feedback from assessors and peers.

By the end of Year 2, students will be able to (assessment objectives):

  • conduct a gestalt group session of 60 minutes with a client group, demonstrating appropriate use of gestalt methodology
  • write up this session, and show how Gestalt theory has informed their interventions
  • give and receive feedback, account for their learning
  • at the assessment workshop, conduct a short session with a group of their peer using a gestalt approach, and afterwards self-evaluate, and receive feedback from assessors and peers.

What is the course curriculum?

Year One
Theme: Gestalt theory, methodology and practice (one-to-one)
Topics

  • Introductions. Setting the scene. History and roots.
  • The Here and Now focus. Awareness and consciousness.
  • The embodied experience. Phenomenology. Boundary Dynamics 1
  • Cycle of Experience. Boundary Dynamics 2
  • Gestalt Psychology. Paradoxical change.
  • Field Theory
  • Field and life-space
  • Residential (includes guest faculty): applications of Gestalt

Year Two
Theme: Gestalt theory, methodology and practice (groupwork)
Topics

  • From individual to group
  • Group process and group dynamics
  • Practising interventions and describing group process
  • Practising interventions and describing group process
  • Working with difference in groups
  • Working with groups in organisations
  • Family of origin and this group
  • Gestalt experiments in groups
  • Residential: From group to individual.

Total Time: 290 hours (145 hours tutor-contact-time per year).