Person-Centered Therapy and Gestalt Therapy

Institution affiliation:

Person-centered therapy and the gestalt therapy

The distinguishing feature of the Person-Centered therapy is itsunstructured functioning, in that the perspective it presents is thatthe complaint is the stimulator for growth, and that the long termhealing can be influenced by the person themselves (Coon &ampMitterer, 2014). On the other hand, the Gestalt therapy is astructural therapy. This is because the therapist works basicallywith the nuclear family, and the therapy is focused on changing thestructure of the relationship and interaction between the familymembers. Therefore, its philosophy is to improve the awareness of theclient as part of the nuclear family, so that they can become moreresponsible for their thoughts, feelings and actions. Therefore,unlike the Person-Centered therapy, the aim of the Gestalt Therapy isto enable the client, as a member of the nuclear family, to come outgenuinely, and to accept that they are different from everyone elsein the family.

Both of these therapies have merit. However, while thePerson-Centered therapy is unstructured, the Gestalt therapy is morestructured and therapist-drive. The latter employs techniques andexperiments, which are fixed into the session by the therapist (Coon&amp Mitterer, 2014). The Person-Centered therapy takes into accountthe family as a whole, while in contrast the Gestalt therapy allowseach member to exercise freedom of expression, self-fulfillment andegoism. Therefore, the biggest contrast between the two is that whilethe Person-Centered therapy takes into account the whole family, theGestalt therapy encourages the client to view them as independentmembers of the family unit. Generally, it is easier to note how thesetwo models contrast rather than compare, as the differences betweenthe two structures, principles and philosophies are blunt.


Coon, D. &amp Mitterer, J. (2014). Psychology: Modules for activelearning. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

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