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Nascholingstraject Module 10: Light from black holes. Gestalt Therapy with depressive experiences

Depression is a very common suffering: according to the W.H.O., it’s the fourth most urgent global health problem and by 2020 it will have risen to the second place. Why is this suffering so spread and increasing so fast in our society?

Depressive experiences have a range of different manifestations that require different treatments and supports. Therapists have to know how to distinguish them and to be oriented in working with these sufferings: what risks, resources, tools, therapeutic position, kind of contact and relationship they have to be able to consider in order to work with this ‘contagious’ experience?

During the workshop we explore depressive experiences from a Gestalt therapy perspective.

We propose theoretical frames, practical experiences, supervision and work on personal depressive fields with the aim to present an overview on this suffering and its treatment.

Theoretical content:

  • History and complexity of the diagnosis
  • Epidemiology and social perspective
  • Phenomenology of depressions and their relational fields
  • Depressions’ Gestalten:
      • Mourning and reactive depression
      • Melancholic depression
      • Depressive experiences in personality styles (narcissistic, borderline, dependent,     hysterical, obsessive compulsive, schizoid)
  • Gestalt therapy perspective on depressive experiences: figure/background dynamic, intentionality, self-functions, creative adjustment, specific support
  • Psychotherapeutic and pharmacological approach


The workshop provides theoretical frames and practical skills that improve specific competences for psychotherapists working with this suffering. Specifically, the workshop’s goals are:

  • To have an overview of depressive experiences from a Gestalt Therapy perspective
  • To be more aware about personal experiences related to depression
  • To receive supervision on patients suffering from depression
  • To increase professional possibilities for working with this suffering

Oefeningen    Theoretische achtergrond