Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Glass, T. A. 2010. Gestalt Therapy. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Gestalt therapy is an existential and phenomenological treatment approach that emphasizes the principles of present-centered awareness and immediate experience. To discover how one blocks one's flow of awareness and aliveness, the individual in therapy is directed to fully experience current thoughts, feelings, and body sensations. Gestalt therapy was developed by Frederick S. (Fritz) Perls and his two collaborators, Laura Perls and Paul Goodman. Originally trained in classical Freudian psychoanalysis, Perls incorporated various new cultural and intellectual movements of the 1940s and 1950s, and synthesized them into a new theory and method of therapy. Perl's broad interests in existentialism, Eastern religions, and Gestalt psychology led him away from the Freudian viewpoint to a new humanistic and experiential approach. Perls saw the human being as a unified organism, an integration of mental, physical, emotional, and sensory processes expressed in the present moment.
- humanistic/existential psychotherapy;
- gestalt psychology;
- experiential psychotherapy;