Gestalt therapy has flourished in Australia and New Zealand for more than 50 years. Its vibrancy is evident in the development of a number of education and training institutes that attend to the training needs of those interested in this dialogical and holistic modality. GANZ, since its formation in 1998 has paid regard to the quality of training offered by providing institutes with a set of Education and Training Standards and processes whereby programmes could gain GANZ accreditation.
GANZ Education and Training Standards 2007 hold that, “The effective practice of Gestalt therapy requires significant personal development, sound theoretical learning and the acquisition of practical skills” (Education and Training Standards, 2007, section 2.1.3.). In order to achieve these goals GANZ Education and Training Standards direct that students undergo a minimum of 600 hours of training over a minimum of four years.
This training will provide 200 hours of person-to-person theoretical teaching and will place the Gestalt modality within the broader field of psychotherapy and counselling. Cognisant of an experiential methodology in Gestalt therapy training in the a minimum of 100 hours of experiential learning is required. “Experiential activities refer to clinical training, such a modelling by clinicians, counsellor-client practice, clinical placements, role-plays, concrete and specific feedback” (section 2.4.3).
The training will provide students with a minimum training standard of 40 client contact hours and 10 hours of supervision. These minimum requirements will allow graduates to join GANZ as Graduate Members. Students may also exceed these minimum requirements during their four years of training in order to become Members of GANZ (i.e. they will attain 200 client contact hours and 40 hours of supervision).
Gestalt training in New Zealand as well as meeting the GANZ training standards is also accredited by NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority). This accreditation enables graduates of the Gestalt Institute of New Zealand to apply for registration with the Psychotherapy Board of Aotearoa New Zealand (PBANZ).
GANZ training standards for Australian based Gestalt therapy courses have also been audited by PACFA (Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia) and meet the minimum requirements for training of this professional association. PACFA is a peak professional association for counsellors and psychotherapists.
The federation aims to promote the development of professional psychotherapy and counselling practice in Australia. The association provides industry news, useful guidelines for practitioners and a national register of counsellors and psychotherapists. Students who graduate from a GANZ approved training programme and become GANZ Members are eligible to apply for listing on the PACFA National Register.
A number of GANZ approved training programmes have also obtained PACFA accreditation directly for the courses they offer. Please follow the link to identify the Institutes in Australia who have GANZ and PACFA accredited courses.