I have been thinking about so-called 'psychological disturbance'. Gestalt therapy theory suggests that the disturbance is at the boundary between self and other, or, more widely, of the situation as a whole. What is called psychological disturbance might more helpfully be reframed as the experience of this disturbance, or suffering.
A key idea in gestalt therapy theory is assimilation (chewing), a making mine of what was previously not me, resulting in growth. This is a useful metaphor for understanding the importance of not (just) 'taking in'. My issue with this metaphor is the focus on the person over the whole situation. I would talk instead of an exchange occurring in the situation, as in breathing or a conversation.
People come to therapy wanting to change something about the/their situation. An aim is to identify what support is available in the whole situation for some (ex)change to occur. Certain ways in which I contact the world (e.g. holding my breath, not expressing to someone how I feel) reduce what might be possible, preventing exchanges from happening. Ways of contacting extend to the meaning I attach to stories and words, seeing someone or something as X.
Classical gestalt therapy theory (over-) emphasises my response-ability in the present moment. The founder of gestalt therapy, Fritz Perls, wanted to avoid attributing responsibility elsewhere, e.g. by blaming parents. And it is true that suffering can be caused by others, for example abuse.
Exploring the past in therapy can provide a witness to my suffering, or help me understand why I react now in this way, which can help move away from a fixed image of how I am. It is important to hold others accountable without forefeiting my ability to respond. What is needed is a view of the situation as a whole and to explore (ex)changes that are supported in/by the situation.