Guidance for contributors
New Gestalt Voices is a platform to support mostly those who have not published before to share their writings in relation to Gestalt therapy and other applications of Gestalt practice. We also plan to enable sharing of other forms of creativity via this dedicated web-space, including images and audiovisual material. In addition, we will be publishing a twice yearly e-journal in PDF format.
Our aspirations for New Gestalt Voices are conveyed by the reasons we set it up. The current Gestalt written field is dominated by a small number of voices relative to the size of the profession. Although barriers to new writers may be as much perceptual as actual, and indeed there is much that the current Gestalt publications are doing to support new writers, the narrowness of the field fosters a sense that Gestalt writing is mostly for the already established.
Experiment in breaking down barriers
In response to these dynamics, we conceive New Gestalt Voices as an experiment in breaking down barriers, both perceived and real. Conversations had through the process of putting together the Journal have suggested the following as emphases that potential new writers find supportive:
Supporting forms of creativity other than writing, including drawings, audiovisual, and mixed media pieces (writing inspired by visual images). We don’t want a fixed format to constrain the outcome.
Emphasising the dialogic nature of writing. Sometimes it appears that the written word is reified in comparison with conversational interventions, such that people are put off for fear of having to get it absolutely right before they publish. Instead, we want to emphasise the temporal and situational nature of contribution, akin to an intervention in a process group: “this is my truth as I see it now, it may change in future”. As in process, we are keen to support and enable response, in real time via the website, rather than having to wait for the next edition.
We want to provide support and potentially some mentoring over the course of the writing process. We have a number of offers from peers and established gestaltists, and will endeavour where we can to match writers with experts on particular content.
Sharing personal content is inevitably a big experience and brings up anxiety. We would like to encourage writers to bring awareness to the process of writing for publication, and particularly to the moment when their writing is put out into the world. We hope to aid reflection and provide support from the student community to help writers find a comfortable level of personal sharing, and ensure there is sufficient support for people wanting to share edgier aspects of their stories and process.
For the PDF Journal we ask that writers stick to the following timetable for submissions: