Our approach at IVC draws upon Gestalt Theory to work with individuals, groups and organizations.
What does this mean?
Each organism – be it an individual, a group or an organization – strives to grow, and to self-actualize. Growing means living up to your potential, developing your power and your talents, in other words self-actualizing. In order to fulfill this drive to grow one needs contact with the environment: what is beneficial is taken up and what impedes growth is rejected. For example, in a family a child receives food and shelter but also attention, love and opportunities to develop. In an organization, team members collaborate in order to achieve common goals.
Often, the exchange between organism and environment is not optimal. Education, culture and unfinished experiences influence our abilities, restricting them, sometimes even damaging them. Over and over we find ourselves having to adjust creatively; this means adjusting our abilities and our needs to the environment we find ourselves in.
This process of creative adjustment is continuous. Each significant change in life causes a new imbalance and thus a new adjustment is needed. For example: a second child is born in the family, you lose one of your parents, there is a conflict at work, a new manager is assigned to your organization: each time you are challenged to find a new balance. And this is not always automatic.
The Gestalt therapists and consultants at IVC aim to re-activate the frozen or blocked creative adjustment process and then to keep it mobilized. They intervene at an individual, group and organizational level. To gain insight into what is really going on, Gestalt practioners observe the situation in its totality: the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
Gestalt theory views an individual as a whole person, with thoughts, feelings and a body, embedded in his environment, history and culture.
The same principle applies to an organization: in Gestalt one looks at the culture and history of an organization as well as at the individuals involved and their reciprocal relationships considering also the group dynamics. IVC trainers and practioners start from the premise that a change in one part brings about a change in the whole and vice versa. Moreover, the context or background is also continuously in movement. All of these aspects are taken into consideration in Gestalt theory.