The modern Gestalt therapy is an existential and humanistic form of psychotherapy. From the beginning, it has been an integrative approach to a great extent. Its sources of inspiration primarily include psychoanalysis (W. Reich and K. Horney), Gestalt psychology, existential philosophy (M. Buber, P. Tillich) and other sources (bioenergetics, holism, psychodrama, Zen Buddhism, etc.).
The therapy is based on therapeutic conversation and the therapist–client relationship. The therapy can be enhanced by "experiential experiments". Through these experiments, the client can often better realise what emotions he or she experiences and what he would want or need to do. Part of the therapy is also the integration of new experience into the client's present life.
A Gestalt therapist believes that people were born with the necessary resources and abilities to maintain satisfactory contact with other human beings and lead a happy, creative life. This process can be upset – sometimes during the childhood, at other times later in life. A person gets stuck in rigid patterns and creates convictions about himself or herself that get in his or her way. The purpose of Gestalt therapy is to examine and discover these patterns and the way they affect the person and his or her present life.