Master of Gestalt Therapy
Four-Year Master Course
Time frame: February to December
The Master of Gestalt Therapy includes and builds on the Graduate Certificate of Gestalt Therapy (one-year) and requires an additional three-years of study.
The Master of Gestalt therapy is a specialist qualification, which teaches Gestalt theory, methodology and practice in an intensive program. Students who have completed this course are qualified Gestalt therapists, eligible for membership and registration with relevant professional associations. Students will be taught specialised theoretical knowledge and the methodology of Gestalt therapy. They will be asked to show a demonstrable ability to apply these in their work as a therapist with individuals, groups, couples, families. Students will also be introduced to a Gestalt approach to working in organisational settings, corporations and with communities. The Master of Gestalt Therapy is aligned to Australian Qualifications Framework 9 (AQF 9).
The Master of Gestalt Therapy is open to people who have a relevant undergraduate degree. Entry to this course is contingent upon the successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Gestalt Therapy, personal aptitude and prerequisite academic experience. Entry into the Master program from the successful completion of the Graduate Certificate program is by invitation.
Developing therapy skills involves gaining clarity about a student’s personal process and how that may interfere with their therapy work. This process takes time, the full education into Gestalt therapy is therefore conducted over a minimum of four years. This applies to all students, including students who have already qualified in other forms of therapy, or in psychology or social work. No exemptions are given.
Students can check out their eligibility to enrol in the Master of Gestalt Therapy by visiting GTB’s Policy No 8: Procedures for Selection and Termination of Students.
The teaching and learning methodology used, is guided by Gestalt therapy theory and practice and professional association requirements. This course is highly experiential and includes components of theory, clinical practice, clinical supervision and personal therapy.
The Master of Gestalt Therapy incrementally develops student knowledge and understanding and ability to apply that knowledge and understanding in individual, intimate systems and group settings. It also engages students in an analysis, synthesis and evaluation of the theory and practice of Gestalt in itself and in comparison, to other psychotherapy and organisational modalities.
Theoretical learning processes will include short didactic presentations with accompanying notes and bibliographical references, experiential exercises and group discussion/experiences. Experiential learning processes support theoretical content in order to enable students to apply their knowledge. Self-directed learning via reading and written assessment is used to build on students’ current knowledge and draws on a variety of professional and work settings.
Teaching and learning strategies focus on maximising student participation in the learning experience and on providing the opportunity for reflexive practice.
Practical learning processes will involve students engaging with cohort members, other students in the program and members of the general public. Specific tasks will be presented which aim at staged integration of theoretical and practical learning.
Learning processes also involve students engaging in group processes. During these processes they will be encouraged to use their interpersonal skills to engage with other group members, interact with the group members at a system level and make process observations that will influence the group direction.
The Master of Gestalt Therapy is provided in part-time intensive mode.
The intensive mode involves:
- Monthly weekend tuition for each year cohort.
- Students will engage in additional hours of study both on their own and in a small study group.
- Residential is attended by all year cohorts. Students will attend a 6-day residential. The residential is an important component of the program and gathers all GTB students in one venue.
Clinical Practice and Supervision
- Student will complete clinical practice and supervision.
- Students will engage in one-to-one therapy sessions with a Gestalt therapists.
- Year 4 Literature Review and Individual Project – Students undertake a literature review in Year 4, with one-to-one academic writing supervision from a member of academic staff. This supervision hones student skills in writing and research within the field of psychotherapy to support their Gestalt professional practice. Students undertake the literature review in an area of their interest that is relevant to Gestalt therapy. Students are then required to design and implement a project of their choice e.g. program writing, workshop, conference paper, journal article, in which their knowledge of Gestalt therapy is further explored and applied. The literature review and individual project provide students with a capstone experience in the application of knowledge of Gestalt therapy.
The course requirements are that students attend tuition in person for at least 90% of scheduled weekends and 90% of each residential. Attendance at tuition for specific subject content may be compulsory. Students will be advised of these weekends at the beginning of the relevant year of study.
Provision of tuition over weekends allows for the integration of theory and practice so that students can synthesise learnings with their own life reflections and insights and those of their cohort. This work can be personally challenging and needs to be undertaken in a forum that provides time and support from academic staff.
The program is organised to provide time and space to integrate both professional and personal learning. This is particularly important to achieve for graduates who will be working in therapeutic and other practice settings.
Weekend course delivery mode facilitates attendance by students who work and students who do not reside in Brisbane city. The success of this design is evidenced by the enrolment of students in the Master of Gestalt Therapy from outside of Brisbane.
Each year of study includes six (6) days of a residential program within semester two. Residential are held off-campus in a rural setting and involve all students and academic staff. They are an experiential program that complements and enhances the weekend tuition and learning experience with interactive applications of theory and practice. The extended live-in experience provides opportunity to deepen this work.
Learning occurs within year cohorts, mixed year groupings, and through activities involving the whole community. Open explorative processes complement a schedule of planned experiential activities, seminars and discussions. Student experience is shared and explored with academic staff support and supervision. Students have the opportunity to build awareness of their strengths and limitations as these may relate to their life and work with clients. Students also have opportunity to work through relational issues, including issues of conflict between one another.
The residential is a space for intense practice of the skills of the Gestalt therapist. This occurs within each of the year groups. Senior students in particular have the opportunity to practice, receive feedback and be assessed on their one-to-one therapy and group facilitation skills. This work is supported by academic staff direction and supervision. The practice experience for senior students is enhanced by working with individuals and groups across the years of training. Important elements of the students’ assessment requirements are fulfilled at the residential. Students in other years benefit from observing the work of their senior colleagues as well as academic staff.
The residential program is designed to provide a learning environment that is framed by contemporary Gestalt therapy and adult learning principles. It is underpinned by the values of responsibility and community. It contributes to the building of a community of learners that in time will transition into the community of professionals.
Clinical practice and supervision
The Master of Gestalt Therapy builds student experience as a therapist over the four-year course.
Students commence by experiencing Gestalt therapy in individual and group settings in the Graduate Certificate Program.
In Year 2 students commence the experience in the role of therapist within their year cohort and then move to working with clients in short session in direct supervision and in video supervision.
In Year 3 students work with clients for one-hour sessions, under the close supervision of academic staff both in direct supervision and in video supervision.
In Year 4 students commence practice in Semester 1 as a therapist over at least eight sessions with one client and undertake professional supervision. Year 4 students then continue to work as a student therapist with supervision in Semester two undertaking at least 20 hours of clinical practice and five hours of supervision. Year 4 clinical practice provides a capstone experience in the application of student knowledge and skills in the practice of Gestalt therapy.
The clinical practice and supervision components of the course are subject to assessment and successful completion is essential for graduation. The set hours of practice and supervision meet psychotherapy professional requirements.
Students are required to engage in one-to-one therapy, which is a recommended professional requirement. Therapy assists students to actively reflect on their learning experience and to address personal issues that have the potential to impact on their work with clients. Therapy is undertaken with an external therapist listed on the Gestalt Therapy Brisbane’s Therapist List.
It is a requirement of the course that students in Years 1-3 engage with other members of their cohort in study groups (for 30 hours per year). This group work provides further opportunity for students to practice and reflect on their learning. Study groups are arranged at times that suit small groups of students. An academic staff member will visit study groups as required.
Gestalt Therapy Education Year 1
Please see the Graduate Certificate in Gestalt Therapy as it is nested in the Master of Gestalt Therapy program.
Gestalt Therapy Education Year 2
Prerequisite: Fulfilment of the Course Requirements of Graduate Certificate Course or equivalent, and requirements as detailed in policy 8A.
Course Structure Year 2
Year 2 delivers 168 hours of face to face tuition which includes the following elements:
- Seven weekends (Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday)
- a six-day Residential
- additional hours of study both on their own and in a small group of their Year 2 cohort (30 hours).
- a minimum of 10 one-to-one therapy sessions with a Gestalt therapist.
Students begin their clinical practice with clients under academic staff supervision during Year 2.
Gestalt Therapy Education Year 3
Prerequisite: Fulfilment of the Course Requirements of Year 2 or equivalent
Course Structure Year 3
Year 3 delivers 179 hours of face to face training which includes the following elements:
- Seven weekends (Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday) and
- a six-day Residential
- additional hours of study both on their own and in a small group of their Year 3 cohort (30 hours).
- a minimum of 10 one-to-one therapy sessions with a Gestalt therapist.
Students expand their clinical practice with clients under academic staff supervision during Year 3 with students spending two weekends focusing on their work with clients.
Gestalt Therapy Education Year 4
Prerequisite: Fulfilment of the Course Requirements of Year 3 or equivalent.
Course Structure Year 4
Year 4 delivers 197 hours of face to face tuition made up of the following elements:
- Seven weekends (Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday)
- a six-day Residential.
- additional hours of study both on their own or in small groups.
- a minimum of 10 one-to-one therapy sessions with a Gestalt therapist
Students further expand their clinical practice with clients under academic staff supervision during Year 4.
Master of Gestalt Therapy is aligned to the Australian Qualifications Framework 9 (AQF 9) which includes of the following units:
TG200 Gestalt Psychotherapy I
PG200 Application of Gestalt Psychotherapy I
TG201 Gestalt Psychotherapy II
PG201 Application of Gestalt Psychotherapy II
EG200 Experience and Reflection on Psychotherapy
TG300 Diagnosis and Treatment
PG300 Gestalt Practice I
TG301 Psychotherapy: Different Populations
PG301 Gestalt Practice II
EG300 Experience and Reflection on Psychotherapy
TG400 Theory, Research and Practice
PG400 Gestalt Practice and Supervision I
TG401 Psychotherapy: Common Clinical Issues
PG401 Gestalt Practice and Supervision II
SP400 Supervision of Practice
EG400 Experience and Reflection on Psychotherapy
Higher Education Accreditation
Gestalt Therapy Brisbane has been re-accredited to deliver the Graduate Certificate in Gestalt Therapy and the Master of Gestalt Therapy by TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency) for an additional period of seven years as at March 2014.
Higher Education accreditation was granted to GTB in 2008 by the Office of Higher Education, Queensland Education Department for a period of five years. This accreditation continued the accreditation for a master program received by the Gestalt Association of Queensland Inc (GAQI) in 2004 . In January 2012 this accreditation was transferred to the national body, TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency).
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) is Australia’s regulatory and quality agency for higher education. TEQSA’s primary aim is to ensure that students receive a high quality education at any Australian higher education provider. To find out more about TEQSA
Gestalt Therapy Brisbane’s 4-year education program is accredited by PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia). PACFA is a peak body that seeks to interface with regulators, the community, and other professional bodies to enhance awareness of psychotherapy and counselling as professions. PACFA sets overall standards for practice, education, and ethics, for professional organizations and educational institutions in the field, and has developed its own accreditation process.
GTB students and graduates can seek professional association membership as student members, intern members, provisional members or clinical members of PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation Australia). Graduates, and students of Gestalt Therapy Brisbane can apply directly for membership of PACFA. Once a member of PACFA, GTB trained Gestalt therapists will be eligible to apply to join the College of Psychotherapy within PACFA.
Students may also like to enquire as to their eligibility to join another professional association such as:
- ACA (Australian Counselling Association).
- APRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency).
- GANZ is an association of Gestalt therapists. It promotes Gestalt therapy and supports the work of Gestalt therapists.
For more information on PACFA or GANZ, see: PAFCA and GANZ links