Thank you for your interest in Pacific Gestalt Institute’s weekend training program. This program is open to licensed and pre-licensed psychotherapists only. We request all new applicants to complete a few basic questions to help us in deciding the fit between your learning goals and what we have to offer as well as your group placement.
We also like all of our applicants to understand what our training program entails before they apply. The following few paragraphs will tell you a bit more about our training program while the page 2 is the actual application and page 3 are the directions for submitting your application and deposit.
Each online training weekend is comprised of 3 components. One component is reading and discussion of an aspect of gestalt therapy theory. Another component is a group experience in which trainees may work as demonstration patients with the faculty, do structured experiential exercises and they may also work as client and therapist pairs with each other under the supervision of the faculty. The final component of each training weekend is clinical practice in small breakout groups, again under the supervision of faculty. Each component, even the experiential component, is oriented towards teaching about and exploring gestalt therapy as a practice.
Each weekend builds on the skills learned in the prior weekend. As with any school of psychotherapy, learning the skills and attitudes congruent with that approach is a cumulative learning process. No weekend in our training program stands on its own. And in fact, competency as a Gestalt therapist develops over the course of several years. So one year of gestalt therapy training is a good start but it is not a completion. This is why we also offer advanced training in subsequent years.
Like most gestalt therapy training programs, we value in-depth experiential learning. Aspects of gestalt therapy theory are complex, and without direct experience, the concepts are difficult to grasp in a useable format. Our learning process is replete with experiments, with practicing a gestalt approach with each other in small groups, and with practicing in your larger “home” groups, as well. You might also find yourself being asked to work as a “model” patient with the trainer in your home group. Inevitably, this mode of learning means you will be vulnerable at times. This is all a bit of a balancing act, because the training group is not a therapy group, yet the learning requires that we sometimes make ourselves vulnerable in similar ways to therapy. Before committing to the program, please “check-in” with yourself to consider whether you are willing to participate in such a way. If so, a rich experience awaits.
Gestalt therapy is an experiential approach that calls upon the therapist to be aware of their own thoughts feelings and sensations, and to have emotional resilience and emotional courage. Therefore, a major portion of our training program is experiential. While we focus on understanding the process of therapy and on psychodynamics, we are also focused on developing your skill with attending to your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and difficult complex emotions.
We also emphasize developing your awareness of situational factors that shape the therapeutic conversation. These factors include the therapeutic relationship itself, life situations, and social and cultural situations. The focus on all of these aspects of your awareness process is meant to support your work as a Gestalt therapist. This is also why we strongly encourage trainees to undertake their own personal therapy with a Gestalt therapist whenever possible.
Please make your deposit online and also fill out this application. The deposit will hold your place in the training while your application is processed and a brief telephonic or in person interview is conducted.
Once accepted into the program, any cancellation notice must be received 30 days in advance of the program starting date and an administration fee of $75 will apply. There are no refunds after that date or for missed weekends during the training year.
If it is determined that our weekend program is not a good fit for you, your deposit will be refunded in full.