Gestalt Therapy Foundation

Course Outline & Rationale

This course is particularly suited to people working in counselling and therapeutic contexts, education, the helping professions, community and organisational development and generally any job involving process facilitation, or a high level of human interaction.

The skills it imparts include: self-awareness, immediacy, clear communication, the ability to give and receive authentic feedback, increased awareness of group process.

This course will introduce the basic concepts of Gestalt Therapy Theory through participation in an open-ended, process group. Each class will consist of an extended group work session led by the trainer, followed after a short break by theoretical considerations of the group’s experience in the light of Gestalt Therapy Theory concepts.

Gestalt Therapy Theory stands at the crossroads of the psychoanalytical and phenomenological methods and is very current in its applications, from psychotherapy and counselling to education, community development and organisational development. Its theoretical basis converges with recent findings on child development and neuroscience. Its experimental approach is confirmed by recent research.


  • To offer opportunities for participants to develop greater awareness of their intra-psychic and interpersonal processes in a safe learning environment where each individual’s experience can be validated and supported
  • To introduce Gestalt Therapy Theory through experiential group work
  • To encourage participants to apply their learning to their interactions in the training group and beyond.


Trainer-facilitated self-assessment and peer-assessment sessions in February and June.
Two individual reports (max 1500 words) explaining some Gestalt Therapy Theory concepts with illustrative examples drawn from the participant’s own experience in the group. First report due in February, second report in June.


Each class will include:

  • Practical session: experiential group process led by the trainer
  • Theoretical session: discussion of the group’s experience in the light of Gestalt Therapy Theory.

There is a maximum group size of 15 for this course.


Participants receive an NRC certificate on successful completion (including minimum 80% attendance)

The 100 hours of tutor-led learning may be used as evidence of personal development or continuous professional development (CPD) for the purpose of BACP accreditation or re-accreditation.

This certificate will form part of APEL (Acreditation of Prior Education and Learning) for admission into the Gestalt Centre Belfast training.

Entrance Criteria

Minimum age 25. This is a post-qualifying course, that is Counselling Diploma or Counselling Foundation Degree (or equivalent)  is a prerequisite.  Motivation to engage in group process essential. Applicants will be interviewed by the tutor.

Some important requirements

 As the learning is based on the group experience, regular attendance is important. A willingness to participate in group interaction and help create a safe environment where patterns of relating can be explored, is also required.

Duration of course

Class: 2 hours 30 minutes per week for 3 terms (practical 2 hours, theory 30 minutes) and 3 Saturday workshops (6 hours each). As an indication, the last time the course was run, the Saturday workshops were:   8 Nov 2014, 7 Feb 2015 and 30 May 2015.   Total hours: 100


This is a 32 week course. It has typically been held on  Wednesdays 6:45 – 9:15pm
It will include three Saturday workshops – dates to be arranged.
We will announce the start of the next course on our home page and Facebook blog as soon as it is known.


How to get to Northern Regional College


The course will be held under the auspices of Northern Regional College.

For details and applications procedures, please contact:

Joelle Gartner (Course Tutor)
Tel: 0780 3169 174