Person-in-EnvironmentIn Gestalt therapy the model of an individual is always of that individual in his/her environment or "field" or "life space" (Lewin 1951). Thus, the focus of therapy is a complex of material from the individual, from the environment, and from the interactive processes between. Out of that complex of material, the therapeutic focus is the figure that the client presents, keeping in mind the multiplicity of factors that are related to that figure. Furthermore, according to Lewin, "behavior depends neither on the past nor on the future but on the present field which has a certain time-depth. It includes the 'psychological past,' 'psychological present,' and 'psychological future' which constitute one of the dimensions of the life space existing at a given time." The "present field" is the "here and now" of the Gestalt therapy dictum. And the complex of material about the individual and his/her life space at any given moment is dealt with as in Lewin's theses, as "mutually dependent upon each other," actually as one field.
In this sense an individual is not the sole arbiter of his/her world; the world is co-created. Although only the individual is present in the therapy session, the material presented is his/her construction out of his/her perceptions, assumptions and beliefs but not his/her sole creation. The data for those perceptions, assumptions and beliefs come from the life space.
Furthermore, it does not matter what figure emerges to be the focus for therapy or personal work. The whole of the individual and the individual's life space is attached to that figure. Whatever is necessary for closure of gestalten will emerge.
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