The essence of Gestalt Therapy is to make what is implicit explicit. For example, for clients who find themselves engaged in internal negative dialogue or negative self-talk, the Gestalt approach would bring this internal conversation to life. In using "the empty chair," sitting in one chair is the negative voice and in another chair is the responding voice. The Gestalt therapist facilitates a mindful awareness of the experience, for example, bringing awareness to how the clients feel in their body when they express the voice of the critic or what they mindfully experience in their body as the responder's voice. At the same time, they move back and forth, from chair to chair. As the client becomes mindfully aware, they have the opportunity to resolve conflict and integrate parts of themselves into a sensed whole self.
In couples therapy, the Gestalt therapist facilitates a mindful awareness of the dance or pattern between partners in the present moment. Perhaps one partner becomes the critic or sends an implicit message, "if only you would change, we would be happy." Or for another example, one partner withdraws affection sending an implicit message to the other partner. Or, one partner pursues emotional contact while the other withdraws into the distance. Initially, before making it visible, the dance is not explicit and leaves it to the other partner's imagination. The Gestalt therapist helps the couple make the dance explicit by bringing, to their mindful awareness, the impact of their actions on their partner's feelings, thoughts, and behaviours in the present moment or termed the "here and now."
Working with youth, the Gestalt therapist might approach this implicit to explicit awareness through art. The therapist asks the young person to draw a picture representing how they feel right now, in the present moment, "here and now." Then, the therapist facilitates them to give this picture a voice to make explicit the implicit by having them speak and feel what they see in their picture.