When I say that I am an Equine Gestalt Recovery Coach, most know that Equine means horse and many are aware of the responsibilities of a recovery coach, but what is Gestalt?  In my opinion, Gestalt is an essential piece of this title.  The dictionary translates Gestalt as an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts.  It’s also a German word for wholeness.  If this is still confusing, you are not alone, and I hope that my description will give you some insight into the importance of this way of recovery. 

What I am finding out, as I dig deeper and deeper into the true meaning of gestalt, is that it relates to how we feel inside,  a connection between our hearts and our bodies.  Still lost? I was for a while in my recovery because I never listened to my body, so learning this technique was difficult. 

At the beginning of my recovery, I imagined that I had many pieces of my self all scattered, hidden and lost.  Every area of my life needed some tender loving care.  I was at a complete loss as to how to start. I was ready to start putting my life puzzle together.  I began to “gestalt” my life; to become whole. 

In order to find happiness and joy in my recovery, and I knew I had to work my way through each area of my life.  The first missing piece of my puzzle that was missing was my why; why did I feel the need to get drunk?

So I had to go back to the beginning and ask myself when had I started to abuse alcohol? My party years began in my teens; I became aware that when I put a buzz on, I became comfortable around people, or at least I talked myself into that belief.  Without alcohol, when I was amongst a crowd, I felt as if I disappeared.   I became afraid to speak, then I would drink, and the uneasiness disappeared.  I could be loud and outgoing, and I did not want to run and hide.   

Gestalt allowed me to search deep inside and grow an understanding about who is Kathy, and why do I want to hide in crowds? What about being in large groups makes my stomach tie into a knot and my words become scattered?  What can I do to change my reaction? 

I  have to dial in and listen to my body.  Knowing that I can control my body by breathing and relaxing, I now understand that being quiet is a side of me that I honor.  I now know what I expect from myself. I can set an intention on what my expectation of myself might be for the gathering. I also permit myself to be quiet. I may have several intimate conversations instead of participating in large group discussions. 

To know this side of myself, I was able to put many pieces of my puzzle together.  I was able to have an understanding that drinking was only a bandaid to a self-confidence problem. To recognize and to change the way I looked at my behavior I am able to change the way I react, and appreciate my true self.