Gestalt Institute of Toronto

1. We are the oldest established Training Institute in Toronto

The Gestalt Institute was established in 1973 as a charitable educational institute with a Board of Directors and an experienced faculty. Over the years we have graduated over 140 successful Gestalt psychotherapists as well as people who have taken the training into a variety of other fields including consulting and teaching.
The Gestalt Institute of Toronto has been recognized by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario as meeting all entry to practice requirements and competencies. Students apply for Qualified RP status in their 5th Year.

2. Experiential Learning

This is the lively engagement in present centered activities in which past associations and present feelings come together in meaningful connection with others. Our Program is not only sound academically but taught in an experiential and experimental format. Evidence based research shows that experiential knowing through embodied relational learning produces lasting change.
In this way the entire five years focuses on living creatively and artistically within the living co-created present. This is the backbone of Gestalt psychotherapy. Our goal is to train people in the art of being human so that they can guide others with compassion, humility and respect. Not everyone enters the program to become a therapist. Since our inception, our first three years have also provided support for students seeking to discover their own unique paths.

3. The Training Group

This is where it all happens. It is a space, in the words of Gordon Wheeler, “specifically devoted to experiencing new relational meanings.” Your group is “home base” – a community of shared purpose to return to when the rigors of life need to be integrated and shared. Your group is also an experimental laboratory for personal work, interpersonal challenge and support, a creative space where the imagination of what could happen is finally risked out in the world.

4. Our Students

Come from a variety of backgrounds:

  • Organizational and IT managers who desire to connect their heart with their minds
  • Health care professionals seeking a more human approach to balance their medical model
  • Artists and actors deepening a natural healing aspect to their work
  • Students of psychotherapy who feel the relational and experiential approach is more satisfying to their learning needs and who seek a program recognized by the CRPO
  • People seeking to master relationships in general, increase relational skills, overcome their inability to take support as well as overcome their fear of groups, who may or may not choose this as a career.


5. Our Graduates

Work in a variety of clinical settings. Not only do they form successful careers as psychotherapists but also specialize in family work, work with children, combine art, movement and drama backgrounds with Gestalt, and work in corporate settings. Recent evidence-based research cites Contemporary Gestalt therapy “from the ground up” approach as highly effective in working with trauma sufferers and victims of violence.

6. Our Values

  • Heart – to learn to trust that the open heart is a strong heart
  • Play – to reclaim the spirit of play we had as a child, with an elder’s wisdom
  • Experiential – to do, to act, to ask “what if?”
  • Experimental – to try it! to be open and curious to the unknown
  • Leadership – to recognize and develop our natural leadership
  • Faith – to know that I am ready for anything and the ground will always be under my feet


7. Our Principles

  • Life is challenge through which we continually grow
  • Experience is learning
  • Humans are inherently relational and the most powerful experiment is to know who we are through our undefended response to one another.


8. Part-Time Training

On evenings and weekends is intended to support family and work schedules while providing intensive and practical training.

9. Personal Growth

Students enter the program with expectations to meet personal challenges that can enhance their confidence and flexibility in their lives. Change becomes possible only when there is support, and the co-creation of individual support within the group is a focus throughout the training. From the Gestalt perspective it is not possible for me to grow until we meet.

10. International Community

Our students come not only from Canada but from countries where Gestalt therapy training is growing – such as China, Russia, Iran, England, Croatia, Scandinavia and more. This offers an expanded international community of support and students are encouraged to participate in international organizations, conferences and webinars. In being a home for Contemporary Gestalt, the Gestalt Institute of Toronto has become part of an exciting field of philosophical and action oriented possibilities in Europe and the United States.

The Gestalt Institute of Toronto was registered in 1973 as a private educational institute and a registered charitable organization. Currently it has a Board of Directors that works with the Faculty to establish policy and direct planning. All tuition fees and donations are deductible for income tax purposes as permitted under the Canadian Federal Income Tax Act.