How can we reconcile our desire for freedom with the limits or routines that orgainize our existence? How do we affirm our personality while adjusting to the world? How can we be nourished by exchanges with others without losing our autonomy? Gestalt Therapy responds to these essential questions of our daily lives. An important branch of humanistic psychology, Gestalt Therapy emphasizes the importance of communication and contact, the ways that we maintain relationships with ourselves, others and our environment. It helps individuals to develop potential by going beyond rigid patterns and to finally become creators of their own existence, each of us creating our own life rather than merely submitting to it. Gonzague Masquelier presents the history of fifty years of the Gestalt movement as well as its development in today's world. He begins with the story of its founders: Laura and Fritz Perls, and their associate, Paul Goodman. He explains how this unique therapeutic path developed little by little, through the meeting of European existentialism with American pragmatism. Then, he clearly explains the principal concepts which form the basis of this approach, illustrated by numerous clinical examples taken from his own professional experience. Finally, the author reviews the current areas of practice of the Gestalt approach: not only individual or group psychotherapy, but also within organizations, executive board rooms and the training professions. He offers an excellent synthesis of differing aspects of this important perspective within the field of psychology today.
Introduction. Part I: The History of Gestalt Therapy. Fritz and Laura Perls. The American Years. Part II: A Therapy of the Here and Now. A New Approach. The Principal Concepts. Existential Pressures. Part III: Contemporary Gestalt. The Gestalt Intervention. Fields of Therapeutic Application. Other Areas Where Gestalt Can Be Applied. The Situation in France.