The Gestalt Training Program consists of five years of part-time study on evenings and weekends. The program is scheduled between the months of September and April, followed by a five-day residential workshop in a country setting early in May for Years One, Two and Three, and in June for Year Four and the One-Year Training for Professionals group. The first three years of The Five Year Training Program may be taken for intensive personal growth for students not intending to go forward into the Professional Development Training of Year Four and Five which is geared to becoming a Registered Psychotherapist. Years One to Three, or equivalent, are prerequisite training for entrance to Year Four and Year Five.
Gestalt Approach to Personal Growth
Year One is a year unlike any other where a return to creativity and spontaneity are encouraged through experiential learning within a supportive, diverse and dynamic group. The emphasis is on foundational Gestalt theory as it is applied to one’s personal growth and life goals within and outside of the group. The focus of training is on embodied awareness, boundaries, and increasing sensitivity to self in connection with the other.
Introduction to Field Dynamics
Year Two builds upon the personal work of Year One as group members learn to apply their embodied awareness of self with others, to group process theory and awareness of the field. Individuals learn to develop curiosity to understand and explore their responses to group members and to understand the group as a support for ongoing growth. Each individual is then able to take safe risks in exploration and expression of forms of contact. The “army of one” syndrome is replaced with the concept of the necessity of support from the field.
Applied Gestalt Leadership
This year you will learn to change your role from peer/student to leader/therapist, working now with Year One and Two. Leadership and co-leadership stance and style are developed in supervised practice. Students gain a deeper understanding of group process and learn to apply professional ethics and boundaries to their relations with students in Year One and Two as well as with peers in their own year. Practice throughout the year with supervised Gestalt therapy sessions give increased confidence with the method and with self.
Training and Supervision in Gestalt Therapy
Students in Year Four are trained academically and experientially in the fundamentals of therapy practice and a range of diverse clinical applications of the work. Gestalt applied theory is more deeply explored including safe and effective use of self and principles of self disclosure and embodied relationality. Students are supported in the principles and practice of therapy under supervision, and receive practical training on how to setup and maintain a practice, as well as the rights and responsibilities of future membership in the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. Students are approved to see clients in January of Year Four and obtain liability insurance as well as a supervisor. Membership in the Student Clinic provides clients for new therapists, and students obtain their own client base as well. The fourth year program also includes clinical group supervision.
Advanced Gestalt Psychotherapy Training
The intention of Year Five is for new and training therapists to broaden their awareness of the field as a whole, develop their ability to combine their Gestalt training with other specialized skills and applications, while they continue to build and maintain a practice, refine their skills in embodied relational Gestalt, and strengthen professional boundaries and use of professional resources. This is also a year in which students who have substantially completed the requirements for graduation from the GIT may apply for Qualified (RP) status with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).