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The curious paradox is that, when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.


Carl Rogers


Gestalt therapy is a humanistic and experiential form of psychotherapy and was developed by Fritz and Laura Perls in the 1940’s. It is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on our experience in the present moment emphasizing awareness of one’s experiences, personal responsibility, and acceptance of all aspects of the self.

The primary aim of this form of therapy is to help clients become more aware of what they are experiencing in the present moment. Through this heightened self-awareness, clients gain insight into how their habitual ways of thinking and acting interfere with their personal growth and learn what adjustments they can make to achieve their full potential.

Uplift's practitioner and creator of Natural Born Movement, Gonzalo Rey, uses the Gestalt Therapy as a healing modality in his work. 

Gonzalo Rey
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Offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. It provides effective skills appropriate to a variety of healing professions including mental health, medicine, physical and occupational therapies, bodywork, addiction treatment, first response, education, and others.



Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person’s ability to function with resilience and ease. Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear and conflict.


The Somatic Experiencing® approach facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.


Dr. Levine was inspired to study stress on the animal nervous system, when he realized that animals are constantly under threat of death, yet show no symptoms of trauma. What he discovered was that trauma has to do with the third survival response to perceived life threat, which is freeze. When fight and flight are not options, we freeze and immobilize, like “playing dead.” This makes us less of a target. However, this reaction is time-sensitive, in other words, it needs to run its course, and the massive energy that was prepared for fight or flight gets discharged, through shakes and trembling. If the immobility phase doesn’t complete, then that charge stays trapped, and, from the body’s perspective, it is still under threat. The Somatic Experiencing® method works to release this stored energy, and turn off this threat alarm that causes severe dysregulation and dissociation.

Dr. Peter A. Levine
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