In Search of Good Form: Gestalt Therapy with Couples and Families, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

In Search of Good Form

Gestalt Therapy with Couples and Families, 1st Edition

By Joseph C. Zinker

Gestalt Press

352 pages

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With In Search of Good Form, Joseph Zinker emphasizes seeing and being with as keys to a phenomenological approach in which therapist and patient co-create and mutually articulate their own experiences and meanings. He considers Gestalt field theory, the Gestalt interactive cycle, and Gestalt concepts.


"This is a rich and generous book. It is full of wisdom without being pushy, humane without being maudlin, instructive without being dull, clear without oversimplification. Zinker's discussion of the theory and practice of working with couples and families is itself an embodiment of good form. Both neophyte and seasoned professional of whatever theoretical persuasion are likely to enlarge their appreciation for the beautiful drama of working with couples and families as a consequence of reading it."

- Ira S. Rosenbaum, Associate Professor of Psychology, Central Michigan University

"I've never heard a Gestalt therapist so clearly articulate aesthetic principles, while at the same time embedding these principles in concrete examples and practical suggestions. In Search of Good Form is extremely practical for practicing therapists, while also being philosophically interesting and original."

- Ilene Serlin, Saybrook Institute Graduate School and Research Center

"In this age of 'managed' care when therapy is being thought of more as a business than a profession, Zinker brings a fresh artistic perspective to couple and family therapy. Not only does he provide a useful, down-to-earth theoretical method, but he tells us how and when to intervene."

- Joseph Melnick, The Portland Center for Conseling and Family Therapy

Table of Contents

Wheeler, Foreword. Part I: Theory. Our Common Ground. In Search of Good Form. Systems: Couples and Families as Holistic Phenomena. The Interactive Cycle. Awareness and Change. Resistances to Contact. Boundaries and Boundary Management. Part II: Practice. Intervening in Couple Systems. Intervening in Family Systems. Lying and Truthfulness in Intimate Systems. Loss, Grief, and the Use of Ritual. Conclusion: The Aesthetics of the Gestalt Approach.

About the Author

Joseph C. Zinker, Ph.D., is a founding fellow of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, where he served as chair of the postgraduate training faculty. He teaches the Gestalt model of couple and family therapy in workshops and training programs throughout the world. His previous book, Creative Process in Gestalt Therapy (1976) remains a classic work in the field.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Interpersonal Relations
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General