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Stephan van Heerden
Gestalt Therapy Practice

A new kind of empathy

Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: Welcome

Who is Stephan van Heerden?

I am a social worker in private practice.    I specialize in Gestalt Process Therapy, of which I am the founder. I don't work with problems, but with people. For two decades now, I have the privilege of guiding children and adults to greater awareness. I also offer further professional development courses in my therapy models, such as Gestalt Colour, -Dino and -Astro Therapy.

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Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: About Me
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What is Gestalt Therapy?

Gestalt therapy is a holistic psycho-social therapy with the main goal to enhance the client's awareness. Gestalt refers to a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. Gestalt therapy regards the person as a holistic unit and therefore involves all aspects of the cliënt in the therapeutic process. Gestalt healing occurs through full expression and addressing of the problem and pain at cellular and muscle levels, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Gestalt Process Therapy utilizes universal experiences from human culture to create projections and metaphors in which the person's natural ability to experience, to be aware and to contact reality, is restored.
Gestalt Process Therapy utilizes themes such as colour, fossils and space, to create projections and metaphors, empowering the client to access unfinished experiences and being equipped to complete them. Incomplete experiences impede aspects of the human experience cycle, including sensory awareness, self-knowledge, integration, initiative, responsibility, emotional expression and contact. Gestalt Process Therapy restores the client's awareness, in order to naturally progress through the experience cycle to deal with personal challenges such as trauma, loss and change.

Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: About Therapy

My Gestalt therapy methods

Gestalt process therapy involves a series of sequential processes, which systematically increase the client's awareness, concentration, and self-knowledge in order to complete unfinished experiences. Each of the processes comprises a complete therapy process, but also connects to each other to further increase the client's awareness.
Gestalt Colour Therapy reaches the client's subconscious and true needs with the help of colour.
Gestalt Dino-therapy uses a fossil projection to uncover the client's deep-rooted masks and replace them with genuine characteristics that match the true needs of the individual.
Gestalt Astro-therapy uses a space projection to restore the client's emotional expression and contact-boundary disturbances. These and various other processes help the client to systematically become more aware and discover their own solutions.

Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: About Therapy

Who can benefit from Gestalt Process Therapy?

Gestalt Process Therapy's method of raising the client's awareness makes it suitable for any problem or condition, as everyone can benefit from dealing with their problems, needs and pain with greater awareness, self-knowledge, responsibility and choice.
For example, there are cases where the client's aggression subsides, attitudes toward work or school work and authority change, serious problem behaviour are eliminated, and concentration problems, forgetfulness, helplessness, depression, self-esteem problems, sports performance problems, psychosomatic symptoms, health problems, eating disorders, obsessions and self-injury are resolved.
The therapy is suitable for children from the age of 7, teenagers and adults.


Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: Services

Services I Offer

Therapy sessions
in person or online

I provide therapeutic services to children from the age of 7, teenagers, adults, couples and families. 

All therapy sessions can take place online. 

Clients are facilitated to discover the root of their problem, understand their true needs and discover and implement solutions themselves.

Clients in the midst of any problem that threaten their self-esteem, happiness and security can benefit from the therapy, be it traumatic experiences, loss, pressure and stress, depression, problem behaviour, performance problems, poor concentration, psychosomatic symptoms or health problems.
The focus during therapy is not on problems, but on the expansion of the unique individual's awareness and self-knowledge and therefore clients spontaneously participate in the process and do not feel confronted.

Gestalt Process therapy courses for further professional development

I offer training in my therapy methods. Social workers, psychologists, remedial educators, counsellors and occupational therapists can benefit from the courses. 
Three options are available to do the courses, online or in person:
1.) Courses can be done on a one-to-one basis with the dates and times of the training sessions scheduled to suit the individual course participant's needs. With the one-to-one course, the course participant also experiences the complete therapy process as a client, which further deepens the learning experience.
2.) Groups can request that the courses be offered for them on their own preferred dates.
3.) Course participants can join courses that take place on scheduled dates that are advertised.

Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: Services

Feedback from therapy clients

_Dit gaan baie goed met my dogter. Danki
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_In Gestalt Astro therapy, the image of
Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: Services
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Feedback from participants in professional development courses

"This is a very effective, structured tool. Impact inshort term therapy." H. Somers,


"Unique and practical. I appreciate its simplicity and how practical it is. " Chesly Shabangu,

Social Worker.

“Aw amazing techniques! I like the fact that it teaches theclient about responsibility.” Seapei Mabobo,

Clinical Psychologist.

“Dear All, It is one of the best workshops and really valuable technique that I ever came across. Spoil yourself - it opens yourmind to Gestalt therapy and it is an untapped resource for social work because the child and person involved find their own clarification, definitions, answers and direction - these are essential tools. It brings about wonderful healing capacitywith the right facilitation. Rina Steenkamp.”

Social Worker

"I have attended many courses over the years, of which only a few were valuable and even less, absolutely life changing. This course will always be remembered as one of the most precious gifts that I received as a therapist. It has not only broadened my skills, but it also highlighted the power of effective facilitation in accessing unfinished business in a non-threatening but very effective way. If you allow your own personal process to emerge, you will also go home with enhanced awareness and insight that will not only benefit you, but your client's as well. You cannot be the same person after this enriching experience! " Charise Meistre,

Registered Counsellor.

“I use the technique with children who have, because of emotional problems, fallen behind with their work or children with lack of confidence preventing them from advancing academically. It works wonderfully!” J.Herbst;

Remedial Educationalist

“A month after the course I have already done 30 Gestalt Colour therapy sessions. It is unbelievable to see the change in such a short time.” Dr N. Dunn,

Specialized Counsellor.

“Immediate change, more rapid insight and awareness whichare internalized and integrated on a deeper level,” A. Craven,

Clinical Psychologist.

"Stephan van Heerden's Gestalt therapy courses are by far the most significant therapy courses I have attended." Suria Barnard,

Forensic Social Worker.

"What a revelation or a revolution within you! It can turn your life around for the good or for good! If you have any chance of attending the Gestalt therapy workshops by Stephan van Heerden, do so. It will not only change yourself, the way you see the world, but will change the lives of those you work and interact with. Worth every cent!" Seugnet van der Merwe,

Social Worker.

Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: About Therapy
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Professional Development Courses

Learn on a one-to-one basis, or as part of a group, the application of various highly effective Gestalt therapy processes and techniques suitable for children and adults. The training is offered online.

1.) Gestalt Colour Therapy:

With the help of colour, the client's awareness, concentration and self-knowledge are increased to such an extent that he or she begins to take responsibility for previously unconscious behaviour, habits, symptoms, feelings, choices and thought patterns. Concrete solutions are discovered by the client, as well as the motivation to carry out new insights and choices.

2.) Gestalt Synchronizer:

People are left helpless when they are confronted by a tangle of unprocessed feelings and experiences that do not allow them to live constructively, purposefully and with awareness from day to day. Guide your clients to quickly regain equilibrium during disruptive challenges by allowing them to synchronize their thoughts, feelings and actions to function purposefully with less anxiety.

3.) Gestalt Dino therapy:

The client discovers the masks with which he or she unconsciously blocks own awareness, growth, well-being and health and discovers what healthier, more appropriate and workable alternatives exist to those masks that cause the stagnation. The client develops the energy and mobility to take action and move in the direction of his or her true identity.

4.) Gestalt Curator:

Use any art creation of the client in an awareness process to increase his or her awareness, self-knowledge, self-regulation, integration and responsibility.

5.) Gestalt Astro therapy:

Time, change and distance are the breeding ground for trauma that fragments the client's personality. During Gestalt Astro therapy, the client is guided to integrate fragments of his or her personality, which lie scattered over different periods of his or her life, in order to be able to focus positively on new challenges as a more complete person.

6) Gestalt Family Image:

Help family members in a creative way to gain insight into each other's needs, reduce anxiety between family members, increase mutual empathy and let family members discover how they unconsciously maintain their own and each other's problems and how they can contribute to each other's growth.

Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: About Therapy
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Gestalt Colour Therapy

Gestalt Colour Therapy uses colour to gain access to aspects of the client which, due to trauma, are difficult to reach through verbal therapy alone and which are distrustful of help, support, advice and empathy.

Colour helps to communicate faith and respect to the client's subconscious and the client's resistance is used as a co-facilitator.
By systematically raising the client's awareness through colour, he/she is facilitated to gradually gain understanding and access to his/her subconscious emotions, thoughts, actions, symptoms and needs. Conflicts in the subconscious are resolved; the client experiments with alternative emotions, actions and thoughts to restore equilibrium. Concrete solutions are discovered as well as the motivation to carry out new insights and choices.

Sometimes a counselor, friend or family member tries to convey a message or advice to someone with the best of intentions but without much success. During Gestalt Colour Therapy, the client discovers the answer and wisdom through his/her own experience and awareness and feels motivated to accept responsibility for his/her own well-being and growth. Real learning, through own experience, takes place and the client's attitude and actions change for the better. Gestalt Colour therapy is in no way related to mystical powers, bodily meridians and universal meanings of colour.

The therapy is suitable for adults, teenagers and children from the age of 6 years.

Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: About Therapy
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Gestalt Dino Therapy

Gestalt Dino therapy increases a client's awareness and self-knowledge with the help of a Dinosaur projection and metaphor. 
The fossil is trapped in the rock and sediment of ancient history; modern man is trapped in the joy and trauma of his or her background and history. People tend to 'fossilize' or stagnate in their past, in historical sediment, especially as a result of trauma and loss or when circumstances and their environment suddenly change.
Deeper awareness and self-knowledge are needed to move the client towards his / her true identity, fulfillment and well-being. Gestalt Dino therapy specializes in raising the awareness, integration and mobilization of children, teens and adults.
It brings forth a projection and metaphor that accurately and meaningfully assesses the client's adjustment, functioning, and well-being. It demonstrates in concrete terms the real interaction of the client's physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual aspects. It shows how clients use masks to protect themselves from reality, change and hurt. It reveals how the client's mask came into being and how to get rid of it.
The client discovers what his or her relationship with other people and the environment looks like; his or her handling of challenging situations, adaptation, unique qualities, emotional blockages, fears and security.
Gestalt Dino therapy demonstrates in concrete terms whether the client's efforts are aligned with his or her true, unique needs and how he or she subconsciously impedes his or her own functioning and growth. It shows what motivates the client; how his or her energy is tapped and where the client's fears lie. The root of the problem is discovered and can be addressed.
Gestalt Dino therapy is suitable for adults, teenagers and children from the age of 8 years.

Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: About Therapy
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Gestalt Astro Therapy

With the help of Gestalt Astro therapy, the client is empowered to enter unfinished, traumatic experiences with greater awareness, self-knowledge, maturity and contact ability and to complete the unfinished experiences. During Astrotherapy, the client not only discovers unfulfilled and incomplete experiences, but also positive experiences from earlier life phases that are now utilized as sources of self-support, self-knowledge and new perspective. Conflicts between different life phases are eliminated and fragments of the personality, which due to trauma lie scattered over different life periods, are integrated, so that the client feels whole again and can function as a unit.
True healing only occurs when pain is expressed holistically through all aspects of the individual. Gestalt Astrotherapy specializes in restoring the client's contact support functions and engages these functions on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.
During Gestalt Astro therapy, the client experiments with new contact mechanisms, which enable him/her to contact unfinished experiences, take responsibility and act so that they no longer limit his or her learning, growth and well-being. Unique to the Gestalt Astro therapy program is that the client's contact support functions are expanded. The client is not stripped of defense mechanisms, but given an 'exoskeleton' that supports his/her fragile 'endo-skeleton' and allows him/her to experiment with more daring contact, growth and emotional expression. Heightened awareness empowers the client to experience final contact and equilibrium, even in cases of intense helplessness, loss, despair and trauma.
A structured metaphorical journey, based on the client's space projection, is used to guide the client in a non-threatening and non-confrontational way, to discover experiences from different life periods and situations, integrate these experiences and transformed into resources for self-support, self-regulation, new perspective and for the discovery of the client's true identity.
In some cases, clients have discovered how experiences in the womb and during their first years of life influence their current actions, thoughts and emotions. In cases of clients with memory problems, speech problems and physical symptoms, they discovered how certain unconscious emotions and thoughts and unwritten philosophies exacerbated their problems and how restored awareness and self-regulation brought relief and improvement.
There is absolutely no connection between Gestalt Astrotherapy and astrology.
Gestalt Astrotherapy is suitable for adults, teenagers and children from the age of 10 years.

Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: About Therapy
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Stephan van Heerden Gestalt Therapy Practice: Contact

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