Cycles of Awareness and career changes - Gestalt Psychology

14 May 2020

Cycles of Awareness and career changes - Gestalt Psychology

A Gestalt method I would use for life and career coaching is the cycle of awareness. In order to to fully transform, one needs to be aware of the underlying needs, and take an action to address those. This cycle aligns well with other coaching models, and indeed the concepts, including that of “mobilisation” could be well integrated into the use of the T-GROW and OSCAR models in relation to goals setting and actions.

The cycle of awareness would form the basis of understanding the desire to change, and then taking a number of steps to satisfy this desire. As part of the cycle, the mobilisation concept would be well suited to clients once we have fully identified the transformation requirements and have set goals and milestones.  

An example of this would be a client who wishes to make a career change. Using the Gestalt cycle of awareness, it can explain the process of psychological transformation to build an understanding as to why the client is feeling the way they are. Having sensed the need to change, and created an awareness that this need can be satisfied, explored the viability of the options and having selected the pathway, mobilisation becomes a Gestalt phase which is key to the achievement of this change. 

For example, a client decides it’s time to walk away from a career in Accounting, as it no longer satisfies their personal ambitions, and chooses to open a bakery. This transformational activity has already surfaced as a result of key reflections which are part of the Gestalt cycle of awareness. The client may not understand how these sensations have arisen, and they need to be further surfaced to understand why they feel unhappy with their current situation, and why this awareness is beginning to manifest. 

Having explored this in more detail, and ensuring the decision is bounded by reality, clear actions are required to effect the change, and therefore the integration of goal setting models during the Gestalt “mobilisation “ phase for the client can help them begin to try and achieve the results they seek. 

As we continue the process, the client may or may not achieve satisfaction, it depends on their progress against identified goals, and whether or not those goals, in the end, address the underlying sensation and awareness of the need for change. If satisfaction is achieved, which culminates in the career change ambition, then, according to Gestalt the client can withdraw, and end the process.  There is of course the chance that this activity fails, and the need is not satisfied, and therefore, the cycle begins again, until satisfaction is achieved.



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