Gestalt therapy theory is relational in its core, although some talk and practice of Gestalt therapy is not consistent with the principles. This paper reviews core relational philosophical principles of Gestalt therapy: existential phenomenology, field theory, and dialogic existentialism. The implications for practice are explored. Practices and attitudes about Gestalt therapy that are inconsistent with these principles are discussed. The article studies the triggering and treatment of shame in Gestalt therapy and Gestalt training. The article clarifies what relational Gestalt therapy is and what it is not.
Keywords: Bracketing, dialogue, field theory, individualism and interdependence, metatheory, phenomenology, relational Gestalt therapy, shame, subtext, therapeutic relationship