Research Project


  • Dawn Gwilt


As I began planning my research project as part of my Gestalt psychotherapy training at WPP, my initial interest centred around the question of ‘what works in therapy?’ I started my literature review by looking into rupture and repair, challenge and support, and what facilitates change in therapy. Much of the ex- isting research is from the perspective of the therapist, and I wanted to redress this balance by exploring the client’s experience. What eventually emerged was the need for more research into the ways that clients make use of therapy to overcome obstacles to change, and the ways in which they make mean- ing of significant events in therapy. In my own experience of therapy, difficult moments have been key to deepening my understanding of myself in relationship, so I decided to narrow the focus of my project to a difficult moment in the therapeutic process, from the perspective of the client.


Author Biography

Dawn Gwilt

I have recently completed my Gestalt Psychotherapy training at the Welsh Psychotherapy Partnership in Cardiff, and am now working towards UKCP accreditation. I am relatively new to Gestalt, having spent the previous 20 years as a professional cellist, enjoying a mixture of teaching and performing, particularly in chamber music. What excites me most about Gestalt is the phenomenological underpinning, whereby following simple, focused curiosity can have far-reaching implications and effects.

The project in this journal was my first venture into research, and prior to this I assumed that all research tended to be dry and academic. I discovered something very different, as my love of phenomenology grew through a lived experience of slowing down and dwelling with the data in wonder. I hope I am bringing this same fresh- ness and curiosity to my work as a therapist, where I am gradually building a private practice alongside hospice work. A special interest of mine is in working with and understanding the value of shame and vulnerability, both in therapy and in life.

I‘ve recently joined the UKAGP national committee, where my primary interests are in building support for Ge- stalt trainees in the pre-accreditation stage of training, and expanding links with research and researchers within the Gestalt community and beyond. My other interests include a passion for late Beethoven string quartets, 5-Rhythms dance, walking in the beautiful British countryside, and fine dark chocolate.





How to Cite

Gwilt, D. (2014). Research Project. European Journal for Qualitative Research in Psychotherapy, (7), 22–30. Retrieved from