Towards a research tradition in Gestalt therapy

Research from a relational Gestalt therapy perspective

Gestalt psychotherapyResearch methodologyEnglish
Book Chapter - Paid access


In this chapter I address the need for integrity and congruence between the philosophies and values underpinning Gestalt and the research methods used when engaging in research from a Gestalt perspective. This includes methods and approaches adopted from mainstream research as well as those created by Gestalt practitioner-researchers. I argue that the philosophy, theory and values of the Gestalt approach need to be congruent, explicit and consistent, so that they can be accessible to critique and guide the continuing development and application of Gestalt across a range of applications. I further argue that the philosophical bases of contemporary relational-oriented Gestalt emerge from the postmodern paradigm. They are interrelated and mutually supportive and are the foundations for the values that inspire us and in turn underpin the theory and methods of Gestalt research that guide us. Finally, I suggest that the emergence of a post postmodern paradigm: the inter-human paradigm You Are, therefore I Am, therefore We can Be, suggests a growing consciousness of interconnection and interdependence which has the potential to form the basis of a new and radically human set of Gestalt approaches to research. Gestalt approaches which are not only congruent with the philosophy and values of Gestalt therapy but hopefully capable of inspiring many and diverse research applications within the Gestalt community and across the range of Gestalt applications, including psychotherapy, coaching, consultancy, education, human rights and ecology.

APA citation

Evans, K. (2016). Research from a relational Gestalt therapy perspective. In Towards a research tradition in Gestalt therapy (pp. 64-78). Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.