Our Therapy Practices

Through the groundbreaking use of integrative evidence-based therapies, like Gestalt Therapy, our Veterans Rehab helps meet Veterans needs.

Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy sessions can help clients become more self-aware of their emotions and behaviors.

What is Gestalt Therapy?

Created in the 1940s by Friz and Laura Perls with Paul Goodman, is an experimental and humanistic therapy type. Originally it was designed to be used as an alternative to conventional forms of psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Gestalt therapists use different techniques to create self-awareness in patients and help with personal growth.

Gestalt therapy addresses the past by examining how those events affect the person in the present. This type of treatment is centered on the present moment and the Veterans increase of awareness as they experience their current thoughts, emotions, and perceptions to understand how this impacts their reaction and behavior.

Many different conditions are treated by gestalt therapy, including:


Our Veterans Rehab programs teaches clients to look at a conflict or emotion in an abject way through different exercises and experiments. Our Rehab Centers have found this type of therapy successful with Veterans and Medical Professionals. The therapists at our Rehabs induce a feeling or reaction that can be examined more deeply by the therapist and patient.

The Ultimate Goal of Gestalt Therapy

The "Here and Now"

The concept of gaining awareness in the "here and now" is a large part of gestalt therapy. By utilizing the exercises and experiments used in treatment, Veterans can uncover suppressed or masked feelings or emotions. Focusing on the present allows patients to learn how to trust their feelings and develop a sense of self-awareness.

Experience and Perception

No one can be completely objective. Past experiences and their environment will always influence people. Trying to forcibly change a Veterans ideas or perceptions of their experiences can be detrimental and stunt that person's treatment. During a therapy session, counselors will listen to a patient's "truth" without enforcing their judgment or influencing the Veterans experience. They accept what the patient says as the truth and then help them accept and trust their thoughts and emotions. Doing this eases the distress that the patient is feeling.

What's The Context?

Context Matters. Gestalt therapists want their patients to discuss their experiences in a safe and accepting space. At the same time, they understand that the context of that experience is essential and will work with the patient to become more aware of the incident and their perceptions and reactions. Therapists let patients work through this on their own, offering guidance when needed.

Techniques of Gestalt Therapy

The Empty Chair Exercise is a very effective technique in treatment centers.

Gestalt therapy techniques usually involve different types of experiments and exercises that will cause an emotion or reaction. This is done to help patients discover which past experiences could have triggered their anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem. These exercises and experiments encourage patients to push past any mental roadblocks that could keep them from accomplishing their treatment goals.

One type of experiment or exercise is the empty chair technique. The empty chair technique is a form of role-playing. The Veteran is placed across from an empty chair and is then asked to imagine that someone they know, such as a friend, relative, or colleague, is sitting in the empty chair. The therapist then instructs the patient to create a dialogue between themselves and the person they imagine is sitting there.

Doing this helps the Veteran connect with that person’s thoughts and behaviors, allowing them to become aware of the whole situation rather than just their view. Therapists can also instruct the Veteran to place “themselves” in the empty chair, essentially talking to themselves about the situation and why they reacted or felt they did. This can help the Military Veteran become more self-aware of their feelings and emotions.

Benefits of Gestalt Therapy

Using gestalt therapy is extremely beneficial for people who have difficulty staying in the present and obsessing over past experiences. Gestalt therapy allows people to remain in the present and not focus on the past. It is used to:

  • Improve communication skills
  • Build a tolerance for negative thoughts / emotions
  • Increase ability to understand emotions
  • Become aware of the patient’s own needs
  • Improved self-control
  • Ability to monitor and regulate mental health

Gestalt therapy improves a Veterans ability to create better awareness of their thoughts or emotions and how that corresponds to their actions and behaviors. Once this is understood, patients will:

  • Monitor their thoughts and actions in the present
  • Uncover repressed feelings
  • Trust their emotions
  • Create a sense of freedom and control
  • Engage in conscious and thoughtful activities in “real-time”.