Joëlle Gartner (Director)

Joelle Gartner

Joelle Gartner (Director)

Joëlle Gartner is an experienced gestalt practitioner supporting growth and learning within the psychotherapeutic and educational field.


  Mobile: 0780 3169 174 


Professional Memberships

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy MBACP (accred.)
Gestalt International Study Centre (GISC member)
Play Therapy UK (Agreed Supervisor)
Ireland SE, EASE, SETI (SEP Somatic Experiencing Practitioner)
General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI Full member).


About Joëlle Gartner

Joëlle is a co-founder and co-Director of the Gestalt Centre Belfast with Bríd Keenan.

She has worked since 1998 as Gestalt psychotherapist in private practice with individuals, couples and groups.  She has trained counsellors and facilitated process groups since 2001, and offered clinical supervision since 2004 for private practitioners and various counselling agencies. She has also offered non-managerial supervision to people working in the community, voluntary or statutory sector.

Her practice is located in an area of high social and economic disadvantage which was greatly impacted by the conflict, and she has extensive experience of working with the legacy of conflict as it impacts on that community.

With a background in Education (secondary and adult and community education) and Community Development (a founder member of the Falls Women’s Centre), she has a professional interest in facilitating learning through group experience, and has delivered the one-year part-time Gestalt Therapy Foundation course under the auspices of the Northern Regional College (formerly East Antrim Institute of FHE) since 2002. She has promoted gestalt therapy as an approach through short introductory workshops to various interested groups (social workers, counsellors, counselling trainees). She has served on several education and mental health policy groups including the Bamford Review of Mental Health.

French-born and working in an English language context since 1975, Joëlle is keenly aware of what it means for therapist or client to work therapeutically in a language other than their mother tongue. She has delivered a workshop on this subject at the EAGT conference in Berlin in 2010.

Les clients de langue française sont également les bienvenus!

She is committed to developing therapeutic work with people and groups variously affected by trauma in a society emerging from conflict, including trans-generational trauma, which she has personal experience of through her parents and those of her extended family who survived the Holocaust. She is developing thinking on how external political conflict affects the internal dynamic of groups in the context of the north of Ireland (workshop at CEGt-SFG conference in Lille 2013 – see Publication list).


Professional Education:

2013-2015  Somatic Experiencing Practitioner training with Ireland Somatic Experiencing (ISE)
2010  Gestalt International Study Center Cape Cod Model for couples, families and organisations
2008  Dublin Gestalt Centre Clinical Supervision Certificate Level 2
2007 – ongoing  Group supervision and training in gestalt group and OD work
with Seán Gaffney PhD– advanced professional training
2003 London Metropolitan Univ. MA Gestalt Psychotherapy (1st year Module 4.1, 4.2)
2000   Gestalt Centre London   Post Grad Dip Gestalt Psychotherapy (equiv)
1998 Gestalt Trust Scotland & N.Ireland Post Grad Dip Gestalt Psychotherapy (equiv)Gestalt Therapy Certificate Module 1
1988  Univ. of Ulster  MSc Computer Science Education (Distinction)


Continuing Professional Development

Trauma and Development:

  • Oct 2015     Somatic Experiencing Practitioner with SETI Trainers
  • May 2012    Early Developmental Trauma with Dr Laurence Heller
  • Aug 2006    Character Structures with Dr Laurence Heller
  • Jul 2006    Trauma and Family Constellations with F Rupert
  • Jan 2006    Voice of Shame with Robert Lee PhD

Group work and conflict:

  • Oct 2008    Workshop on conflict and difficult conversations with Philip Lichtenberg PhD
  • Jun 2007    Gestalt group therapy training with Bud Feder PhD
  • Sep 2000    Workshop on conflict and difficult conversations with Philip Lichtenberg PhD

Embodied dialogue in psychotherapy:

  • May 2011    Using the Body in Psychotherapy with Jim Kepner PhD
  • May 2009, Nov 2010    Embodied Awareness in Psychotherapy with Michael Clemmens PhD
  • Apr 2009, Sep 2010    Breath, Voice and Body Processwith Susan Gregory

Training and Supervision

  • Feb 2011     Finding Your Developmental Edge (‘train the trainers’ workshop with Seán Gaffney PhD)
  • March 2010    Supervision of Sexual Minority Therapy, with Dominic Davies (Pink Therapy)