Relational Gestalt Therapy in India – By Vanaja Ammanath

Relational Gestalt Therapy in India A Guide to Group Practice

Relational Gestalt Therapy in India
A Guide to Group Practice

By Vanaja Ammanath

ISBN: 9781032390840

Book Description

This fascinating book examines the place and practice of Relational Gestalt Therapy (RGT) within an Indian cultural context, and how it can be applied in a group setting.

The book begins by introducing the foundational concepts of Gestalt Therapy, namely Phenomenology, Field theory and Dialogic Existentialism. Through stories and vignettes, it then invites the reader to enter the circle of the group, a profound way of learning akin to the old Indian folk tradition of village communities sharing stories and bond as a social group. Drawing from these narratives, the book not only elaborates on the theoretical concepts of GT, but also offers culturally sensitive guidance for Indian practitioners wishing to conduct group therapy.

Written by a practitioner with over 20 years’ experience, this will prove essential reading not only for practitioners working in India, but also anyone with an interest in how Gestalt Therapy can be applied in group settings in different cultural contexts.

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1. Circle of Belongings

2. Relational Gestalt Therapy

3. Relationality and Indian Culture

4. Being and Becoming a Relational Therapist

5. Framework for facilitating groups

6. Phenomenology, Field Theory and Adjacent Possible

7. Dialogic Existentialism  8. Enduring Relational Themes

9. Experimentation



The Author

Vanaja Ammanath has been in private practice as a therapist for the last twenty years. She has been working as a visiting faculty for Christ University, Montfort College, various government organizations, and NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) in Bangalore, India, for more than two decades. As part of her ongoing education, she has been attending the Pacific Gestalt Institute’s residential retreat in California for five years before the 2020 pandemic. As the founder of the Institute of Relational Therapy, India, she also facilitates training programs for counselors and psychotherapists in Relational Gestalt Therapy. In addition to her private practice with individual clients, she has been conducting group therapy for teachers, religious groups, trainee therapists, and students for over fifteen years now.


“What grace Vanaja displays as she intergrates her meaningful Indian Hindu culture with the ideas and clinical applications of Gestalt Therapy! Her beautiful, clear writing belies her sophisticated understanding of a complex theory. Add to that, her clinical touch is deft, sensitive and enticing. I can tell that I would benefit as a patient, and I am certainly enriched by her lovely explicaiton and application of Hindu, India- infused gestalt theory.”

Lynne Jacobs, PhD. Los Angeles, CA.

“Vanaja Ammanath’s Relational Gestalt Therapy in India: A Guide to Group Practice is a dynamic synthesis of core concepts of Gestalt therapy embedded in the fabric of personal experience and insightful observations about contemporary Indian culture. The authentic narration is bound to draw beginner and experienced practitioners alike to reflect upon their practice through the lens of multicultural competence.”

Dr Nithya Poornima Murugappan, (Former) Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology. NIMHANS, India.