Trainees can expect to participate in the following over the course of a training weekend.
Saturday morning: The session meets from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for theory presentation, including a break in the middle. This session is directed toward formal theory discussion and holds the most concerted didactic aspects of the training, including attention to the reading assignments.
Saturday afternoon: The practicum begins promptly at 2:00 p.m. and lasts until 5:00 p.m. Trainees divide themselves into triads and quartets. One person is the therapist, one is the client, and one (or two) observes. The typical therapy session lasts 15 to 20 minutes, though some are as short as 10 minutes and some as long as 30. The observers and the trainers use the remainder of the time for commentary. There are usually three, 45-minute-long segments, allowing each triad member to have a turn working as a therapist. Following three triad sessions, each class meets together for 30 minutes to discuss and debrief about their experiences.
Sunday morning and afternoon: There are two sessions on Sunday - one from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and another from 2:00 until 5:00 p.m., with breaks during each of these time periods. These sessions are devoted to experiential groups in which the trainees work with the trainers on awareness/contacting. After the work is completed, trainees are encouraged to query the trainer about the theory involved in the work. This segment gives the trainees additional experience observing the work of a seasoned Gestalt therapist and connecting theory to practice.
An exception to the above is that on the first weekend of the GTIP academic training year, directors, faculty members, and trainees meet together from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday night for a welcoming, and orientation to the upcoming year.
Once a training year, part of Sunday is devoted to assessment, feedback, and evaluation.