Is Gestalt therapy more effective than other therapeutic approaches?

Gestalt psychotherapyResearchSystematic reviews and meta-analysisEnglish
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We identified two randomised controlled trials (RCTs), one pseudo-randomised controlled study and four comparative studies with concurrent controls that compared Gestalt therapy to another therapeutic approach or no therapy.

The studies were conducted for the following conditions/situations: depressive disorders, unresolved emotional issues with a significant other, inmates and childbirth training.

The studies compared Gestalt therapy to the following: cognitive group therapy, no therapy, attention-placebo treatment, discussions of human behaviour, free group activities (sports, hobbies etc) and respiratory autogenic training.

The outcomes assessed were: emotional arousal, depression, anxiety, self- concept, state of relationships, symptom distress, self-ratings, body image, locus of control, health workers ratings, duration of labour and type of delivery.

Six of the seven studies reported that Gestalt therapy resulted in an increase in some positive outcomes when assessed against comparators.

The studies were of variable quality. The main potentials for bias were lack of randomisation, the intervention and control groups differing at baseline, loss to follow-up and small sample sizes.

APA citation

Hender, K. (2001). Is Gestalt therapy more effective than other therapeutic approaches? (p. 27). Melbourne: Centre for Clinical Effectiveness. Southern Health / Monash Institute of Health Services Research.