About Gestalt Coaching

Championed by Master Certified Coach Dorothy Siminovitch, Gestalt Coaching is a presence-focused approach that seeks to identify critical choice-points for actions that exist “in the moment” but promise long-term effects. Gestalt coaching mastery requires an “awareness intelligence” that simultaneously—intuitively and accurately—tracks both self-awareness and client awareness throughout the coaching encounter. And it enables the coach to be ready in-that-moment to offer the meaningful observation or intervention that moves the client forward.

A Gestalt coach brings the gift of an integrated presence to the coaching encounter: expression, behavior, and use of self are aligned with core values and with full access to cognitive and emotional life. The coach’s presence empowers clients to share their interior, and to have the experience of being heard through the avowed premise that they are already healthy, whole, and resourceful.

Gestalt Coaching Meets Today’s Challenges

When you work with us, you will:

  • Learn experientially and experimentally.
  • Identify your own goals to guide your change and development processes.
  • Understand your resistances and habits that interfere with growth and change to change.
  • Recognize moments of awareness that can lead to deep knowing and transformational change.
  • Learn how to take small steps to manage and achieve big projects.

Our Mission

  • To provide excellent and transformative Gestalt-based coaching and consulting services to individuals, teams, and organizations
  • To provide world-class leadership training and development through coaching for awareness intelligence
  • To create a cross-cultural, broad-based network of intellectual exchange with outstanding leaders and thinkers in coaching and consulting to help evolve Gestalt theory, concepts, and practices.

As the first ”integration” theory to successfully oppose widespread reductionism in the behavioral sciences during the 1950’s, Gestalt is an organic model that focuses on bringing into conscious awareness and choice one’s exterior and interior reality in order to achieve personal coherence and satisfaction (Perls, Hefferline & Goodman, 1951).

Gestalt Concepts that Describe and Support these Organic Processes of Integration are:

  • Paradoxical Theory of Change – A paradox is something (a statement, a situation) that appears to be self-contradictory or absurd, yet is actually valid or true. The Gestalt understanding of change was developed by Arnold Beisser, who defined the process this way: The Gestalt practitioner “believes change does not take place by ‘trying,’ coercion, or persuasion, or by insight, interpretation, or any other such means. Rather, change can occur when the [client] abandons, at least for the moment, what he would like to become and attempts to be what he is.” That is, authentic change begins with full acceptance of and investment in one’s current state of being rather than the dogged, cognitive pursuit of a desired future state.
  • Cycle of Experience – The Cycle of Experience is a core Gestalt conceptual tool for tracking correspondence between awareness, choice, and self-responsible action.
  • Resistance – Whether with or without awareness, sporadically or chronically, our Cycle of Experience may be interrupted. Any change, even if desired, provokes resistance as a natural response.
  • Experiment – Although change is an inevitable part of life, people sometimes intentionally or unintentionally continue patterns of behavior that do not serve their desires or goals.
  • Unit of Work – Unit of Work is a Gestalt procedural frame of reference, used in conjunction with the Cycle of Experience, to organize coaching interventions around client issues that present habitual or chronic patterns of frustration (themes).
  • Presence and Use of Self – Gestalt-based coaching can be called “transformational” coaching in that it seeks to elicit client change through awareness, choice, and integration in ways that are profound, liberating, and self-sustaining. Presence and use of self are the integrative concepts that drive all competencies and ways of being.

Learn More about Gestalt Coaching and Gestalt Concepts

Read my book, A Gestalt Coaching Primer: The Path Toward Awareness Intelligence – 2nd Edition.

Meet Dorothy – Master Certified Coach

headshot of Dorothy Siminovitch, Master Certified CoachDorothy E. Siminovitch, PhD, Master Certified Coach, is founder and president of Gestalt Coaching Works, LLC. She is an international coach, consultant, speaker, and author. Dorothy is the founder and co-owner of the Gestalt Coaching Program in Istanbul, an ICF coach training program which she serves as Director of Training and as faculty. She is co‐founder of the Gestalt Center for Coaching, which delivers ICF accredited coach training workshops and extended programs internationally. She has recently joined Hudson Coaching Institute as faculty for a core coaching program. 

Dorothy earned her PhD through Case Western Reserve University’s prestigious Department of Organizational Behavior. She pioneered the application of Gestalt theory, concepts, and practices in the service of professional coaching. She began delivering Gestalt coach training in 1996 after earning her Master Certified Coach credentials from the International Coach Federation (ICF). Dorothy honed her rich coaching, teaching, and consulting skills while serving in leadership and primary educator roles at renowned Gestalt study centers, and she has expanded her knowledge and wisdom by co-presenting with fellow thought-leaders in the coaching field. She provides world‐class training in innovative and adaptive Gestalt-based coaching, resulting in transformative personal and professional development and learning for individuals, groups, and organizations.

Dorothy specializes in coaching for signature awareness of one’s presence, leadership peak performance, overcoming derailment, and working with high performance leaders, groups, and teams. She presents additional training and development opportunities to ICF conferences and chapters and by invitation to commercial and non-profit organizations worldwide. Her book, A Gestalt Coaching Primer: The Path Toward Awareness Intelligence (2nd Edition), is recognized as a profound introduction to professional coaching for those well-practiced and novices alike. She is co-developer and co-author of the Awareness 20/20™ leadership assessment instrument, a quantitative analysis of leaders’ awareness and the demonstrated ROI benefits of the self-aware leader.

Dorothy is best known by colleagues, clients, students, and presentation participants as someone whose inviting warmth inspires trust, hope, and intuitive wisdom. She was recently honored by the ICF-Toronto Chapter with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award in Coaching. Engaging and observant, she practices a passionate commitment to being aware in the moment, to bringing her transformational presence to bear in every encounter, and to perceiving and offering new possibilities and choices.

ICF Toronto Charter Chapter

Lifetime Achievement Award


This award is in recognition of Dorothy’s pioneering thought leadership and progressive dedication to excellence, globally and locally. Her ground-breaking connection of Gestalt psychology with coaching ignited an impactful intersection of modalities that continues to impact and advance the coaching profession. ICF Toronto recognizes and commends Dorothy on her contributions to vertical development thinking, somatic intelligence, and reflective learning. Dorothy demonstrates inspiring qualities of integrity while being collaborative, connected, highly respected, and committed to the growth and development of the coaching profession.

“To spend time with Dorothy is to give yourself the gift of time with a warm, deeply caring, honest and direct person. She’ll gently push buttons no one has pushed before in you, building awareness of your most pernicious patterns, then hold and support you while you work yourself out of your own way. Dorothy uses her mastery of these gifts and skills in many venues: as an executive coach, organization development faculty member and consultant/practitioner.”
– Mark Hollen | Organization Development Consultant and Principal, MH Consulting