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Research increasingly supports gestalt therapy’s effectiveness, equating it with other therapy forms despite initial academic scepticism of research quality (Raffagnino, 2019). Efforts to enhance research quality have led to the development of the gestalt fidelity scale, assessing therapy outcomes (Fogarty, 2015).

Evidence indicates that Gestalt therapy, an experiential approach, matches Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in effectiveness (Saxon et al., 2017). The client-therapist relationship significantly influences outcomes, often more than the therapy type (Bordin, 1979).

An updated list of studies (as of February 2022) demonstrates Gestalt therapy’s benefits across various areas:


  • Bordin, E.S., 1979. The generalizability of the psychoanalytic concept of the working alliance. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice 16, 252–260.
  • Fogarty, M., 2015. Creating a fidelity scale for gestalt therapy. Gestalt Journal of Australia and New Zealand 11, 39–54.
  • Mulder, C.L., Emmelkamp, P.M., Antoni, M.H., Mulder, J.W., Sandfort, T.G., de Vries, M.J., 1994. Cognitive-behavioral and experiential group psychotherapy for HIV-infected homosexual men: a comparative study. Psychosomatic Medicine 56, 423.
  • Nazari, I., Makvandi, B., Saraj Khorrami, N., Heidari, A., 2023. Effects of Gestalt Group Therapy and Reality Therapy on Perceived Self- Efficacy in Women with Breast Cancer. Women’s Health Bulletin 10, 52–60.
  • Nazari, I., Mohammadi, M., Nazeri, G., 2014. Effectiveness of Gestalt therapy on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms on veterans of Yasuj city. Armaghane Danesh 19, 295–304.
  • Paivio, S.C., Greenberg, L.S., 1995. Resolving “unfinished business”: Efficacy of experiential therapy using empty-chair dialogue. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 63, 419–425.
  • Paivio, S.C., Nieuwenhuis, J.A., 2001. Efficacy of Emotion Focused Therapy for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse: A Preliminary Study. J Trauma Stress 14, 115–133.
    Raffagnino, R., 2019. Gestalt Therapy Effectiveness: A Systematic Review of Empirical Evidence. Open Journal of Social Sciences 7, 66–83.
  • Rosner, R., Beutler, L.E., Daldrup, R.J., 2000. Vicarious emotional experience and emotional expression in group psychotherapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology 56, 1–10.<1::AID-JCLP1>3.0.CO;2-7
  • Saadati, H., Lashani, L., 2013. Effectiveness of Gestalt Therapy on Self-efficacy of Divorced Women. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, The 3rd World Conference on Psychology, Counseling and Guidance, WCPCG-2012 84, 1171–1174.
  • Saadati, H., Younesi, J., Foroghan, M., Lashani, L., 2013. Effectiveness of Gestalt Therapy on Happiness of Elderly People. Iranian Journal of Ageing 8, 7–15.
  • Saxon, D., Ashley, K., Bishop-Edwards, L., Connell, J., Harrison, P., Ohlsen, S., Hardy, G.E., Kellett, S., Mukuria, C., Mank, T., Bower, P., Bradburn, M., Brazier, J., Elliott, R., Gabriel, L., King, M., Pilling, S., Shaw, S., Waller, G., Barkham, M., 2017. A pragmatic randomised controlled trial assessing the non-inferiority of counselling for depression versus cognitive-behaviour therapy for patients in primary care meeting a diagnosis of moderate or severe depression (PRaCTICED): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials 18, 93.
  • Watson, J.C., Gordon, L.B., Stermac, L., Kalogerakos, F., Steckley, P., 2003. Comparing the effectiveness of process-experiential with cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy in the treatment of depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 71, 773–781.