Experiences throughout the years

August 2023

In August we had a very inspiring three day workshop on Couple therapy. The first day Hashana Shrestha, Pratima Tamrakar and Sheila Shrestha worked with the group on Couple therapy within the Nepali context.


During the second day Frans Meulmeester worked with the group on the topic How to support couples in dealing with difficult situations like illness or one of them or of one of the children.

On day 3, our colleague Marten Bos from The Netherlands joined on Zoom and worked with the group How to support Same sex couples. He also gave information on specific issues and questions related to being part of the LBTGQ community in a rather restrictive society.


June 2023

In June, John and our new colleagye Toni joined Frans and they devided the work with the groups among them.

John worked with our group 5, who are attending the two year Counselling program, on the topic of Fertile void: how to create space for the void, this moment of emptiness and not knowing to become fertile for the client.

Toni gave supervision to our Nepali staff and students from group 2 and worked with our group 4 on a very special aspect of the body: our voice. This was totally new for our students.

March 2023

In March 2023 Frans went again to Nepal and worked with group 3 and group 4. With group 3 it was a sort of closure block: we were attending so called lose ends, which means topics that the students still like to repeat or hear more about and we worked on their final papers.

With group 4 Frans worked on the topic of How to support people in or around the process of dying and grief. During this work, we were very much aware of the huge cultural differences between Frans and the Nepali students. It was nice to share our ideas and it helped us all to become more aware of the  unique cultural aspects, like as one student shared: “We actually do not have expressions to support people in staying with their sadness or grief. Most of our expressions are focused on moving on.”


In 2022 we could finally take up our education programs again and from this moment we can use the office of our colleague Hashana, which is close to the British School in Lalitpur.

We were very happy that a new colleague, John Leary Joyce  joined our international team, while at the same time our Nepali team became more and more confident in leading training programs by themselves.

We are very happy with this development.

We can see that we are in a transit from the pioneer state, where our international trainers were leading the institute to a more stabilisation state, where our Nepali colleagues are more and more taking the lead and the international trainers will slowly move to the position of guest trainers.

Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to our dear co-founders and senior trainers Greet cassiers and Ernst Knijff. Because of health reasons and an intense existential shift in their life, they felt the need to withdraw. Travelling to Nepal became to difficult. However, they will stay involved as an advisory board.

In November 2022 some of our Group 2 students, together with still two Group 1 students graduated and gave wonderful and interesting presentations on their papers.

Topics like:

    • Sita Lama on Coming back home in your body
    •  Ganesh Amgain on Facilitating healing from sex abuse
    •  Minakshi Rana on Awareness of the here and now is a path towards healing
    •  Sheila Shrestha on Embracing anger and aggression among children and adolescents
    •  Upama Poudel on Approaching and Withdrawal in Contact Boundary
    •  Prajwal Joshi on Metaphors in Gestalt Therapy

At the end of this wonderful day, we could also launch our first book publication called: Gestalt studies in Nepal. This book contains the five theses of our first graduates: Archana Bibhor, Hashana Shrestha, Pragya Shrestha, Pratima Tamrakar and Ruban Dahal.

And we had a very nice and warm goodbye ceremony of Greet and Ernst











November 2021

For the first time after such a long interruption Fr

ans went to Nepal to meet up F2F with all the groups. This time we could use the house of our coordinator Minakshi, because we had to give up our nice office in Sanepa.

It was good to meet up, but it was clear that for some students the Gestalt education had went into the background because of this huge gap.

For group 2 it was extra difficult, because their graduation had to be postponedtill November 2022.

2020 – 2021

And the ……….. we had the pandemis. For about 2 years we were not able to come to Nepal, but we continued our education by offering webinars, workshops and supervision online.

This was not an ideal situation, because not all students have good internet or do not have the privacy to share personal issues.

March 2020

Our work in March 2020 was very much affected by the Corona virus. Because of this our trainer Giovanni had to return earlier to his country Italy.

We worked this time for the first time in our new training place in Sanepa. It is a very nice place with a lot of space and it is nice to have a place of our own after all these years.

With our group 2, Frans worked on the topic of Body and explored with them how a therapist or counsellor can be more focused on the body sensations of both him/herself as on the body sensations of the client.

With our group 3, Frans first worked on the topic of Grief and later Giovanni worked with them on the topic of Trauma.

And with group 4 Frans worked with them on the topic of Sexuality and intimacy.

November 2019

In November 2019 Ernst and Beatrix went to Kathmandu to provide the training to all our groups. They worked in a new place.

Ernst, Beatrix and our junior trainer Archana having lunch

Group 2 and group 3 coming together for a joined session

March 2019

In March, 2019 we had the pleasure and honour of having Gianni Francesetti as a guest trainer. Gianni is an Italian psychiatrist and Gestalt psychotherapist and was the former president of the EAGT.

During his stay in Nepal Gianni have been teaching about the Gestalt perspective on Psychopatholoy, which means that psychopathology is not perceived as a problem from the individual, but is actually a suffering of person and environment. All psychopathology is relational. This concept was  for many or our students a totally new perspective and challenged them to let go of a strict individualistic approach.

For us all it was a fantastic experience to have almost all of our students and graduates together in one big gathering for five days.

March, 2017

In March 2017 the first group of students finished their 4 year training program.

Five of them wrote a final work and gave a presentation about their topic such as: Creative adjustment, Anger is my friend, not my enemy!, Learning to deal with emotions and Working with students.


Four of the graduates started their education for junior trainer.

We also started with a 3rd group of 15 Gestalt students with an introduction program. Four of the graduate students got the opportunity to start as junior trainer.

November 2016 

We worked with group 1 on couple therapy, which was a huge challenge as in Nepal there is the reality of arranged marriages and love marriages.

Both have there typical problems.

In group 2 we worked on body awareness, an imported topic.

Nepalese people are often not allowed to talk about or give expression to their emotions and therefore, they are often able to describe their bodily sensations but do not make a connection between the sensations and their emotions. So we discovered a lot together.


March, 2016

After the cold winter months, people were still living in shabby, improvised cottages and tents, so we decided to help them by restoring their houses or to build small cottages. The price of each cottage was around 175.000 Nrs eac   

During our stay in March we visited several families. On the picture above you can see the house which was built for Sabitha and her family and for Sundari, an old lady and for Dilkumari, who can live here now with her little baby. We started with 3 houses, but in total we were able to help 6 families. Binaya and Minakshi took care of organizing this project.

We called this project: Bricks for Nepal!

April and May, 2015

The earthquakes in April and May of 2015 shocked us.

During our stay in July 2015 we decided to organize first aid and together with our students we created a second initiative ‘Care for the forgotten people’.

Colleagues and friends gave us money. We engaged ourselves to spend this money for immediate needs of the people by providing food, clothes and shelters in the first months.

Before the winter time was starting, we organized shelters for some families and we arranged clothes and shoes for children of 2 elementary schools. This made it possible for them to go to school in these difficult life circumstances.

Our students were taking care of the practical organization. Great job!

Greet handed the money to Binaya Rana who will be responsable for the finances.

February 2013

We finished the first year of the 4 year training.

During this year we focussed on basic priciples of the Gestalt theory and methodology and how they can be implemented in the Nepali culture.

Both students and we as core team, enjoyed the common exploration of how these basis principles can be applied and translated into an appropriate approach in counselling and psychotherapy in Nepal.

Especially within the context of the Nepali culture, where family life is very important, it is necessary to see the client and his/her topic within this context of the family structure. During this last block we focussed on the use of Gestalt constellations in working with individual clients and client systems. Our students were very pleased to get more knowledge and awareness on this systemic level of the therapeutic work.

At the end of this block, we were happy that we could give a certificate of full attendance to 8 of the participants. They were present all blocks and also attendeded all intervision meetings that were organized. For those students, who could not attend all blocks due to work or family obligations, we will organize extra blocks during the second year.

November 2012

We took care for the 3th block of the 1st year.

Our trips for this project make that we discover the country in different seasons. We were here in the rainseason, in spring and now it was a like a late summer with cold nights. The sky was clear. So finally the tops of the Himalaya were visible in Kathmandu. Beautyfull!! Normally the KTMvalley is covered by clouds and smog.

We get used to the chaotic trafic situations of 30 years old taxis, bicycles, motors, cows and  tractors.
The road is a cakewalk, the buildings are often very dilapidated. Sometimes it looks like a real warzone and than in the middle of this chaos a brandnew building arises.
It’s still confronting, the poorness and degrading lifesituations, the ecological disaster. We are  often perplex and than again we smile about the creativity of the people. They find there ways to make small shops on the street to sell vegetables, drinks, clothes.

It was the time of the Bika festival. Brothers and sisters give blessings to their younger siblings. All over the place we saw mandalas, made from seeds, flowers and colourfull pigments.
People are gathering on the street in the evening. They sing, dance and play their typical instruments. Because of this festival we had to postpone the training a few days. The students had to travel to visit the family.

This time we had the training room on the roof (5th floor) of a big building. Superbe view over the city and the mountains in front of the great budhastupa.

There we meet our group: 8 women and 8 men. I admire the motivation of these women. Before they arrive with the old busses, they took already care for the household of their whole family in law. They are eager to learn and their committment is huge.

It’s a special group of people from different casts, which seems not to be not a problem here. Bhopal (Brahman) and Lachman (Gurung) are laughing and touching each other. It would have been a problem for there grandfathers at that time. They didn’t dare to be in the same room. The theme is bodily oriented work. That is challenging for the students but finally they are more free in talking about it as well as in actions. Only man and women don’t touch each other.

We experience  a big need for dialogue also between men and women.

Learning by experience is becoming  familiar  for them. Used as they are to sessions with their clients of 2-3 hours and rather gathering information, they told us how tired they become of working. Now they discovered the process orientated approach and they often feel relieved.

The main issues in their personal life are the tension between parents and children, the women with their parents in law, the expectations of parents to hold on to the traditions, to take care for the family and to get involved in an arranged marriage.

From there professional life, they tell us about the childeren in the homes they work with, the political refugitives and the people in the mental hospitals

One person told us about her dream to build an hospital for older people.  It was very moving to listen to her.  Another person works with young people with traumatic experiences.  And again, we are impressed by their engagement.

October, 2012: A report from our student Pragya Shrestha

I would like to narrative report in short about the 5 days “Gestalt Psychotherapy” Training last October.

The topic of this block was creative adjustment – how the client/ person creatively adjust with the situation, whether it is “depression” or “substance abuse” or another problem he is suffering about.

What we learned:

  • being together with the client
  • mind mapping: a way of ordening thoughts and issues
  • letting go of judgments, interpretations, explanations to come closer to client
  • difference between creativity to survive life and creativity to celebrate life, developing your talents and qualities
  • the paradox of acceptance
  • working with guided fantasies and meditation
  • Gestalt is a process–oriented approach, not a technique
  • identification and dis-identification
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • discovering your dream and make a manifestation
  • sharing feelings/ thoughts as a possibility to remove the blockage that is stuck in the body

This block helped me to understand who I am as a person and it helped me to shape my career in the near future.

I love the enthusiasm of working in the present. Beside what I learn in my profession, this education also offers me really care for me as a caregiver.

With warm regards, Pragya.