What is Gestalt Therapy?

Fredrick Perls
Fredrick Perls
Laura Perls
Laura Perls

Gestalt Therapy was created in the early 1950’s by Frederick and Laura Perls and Paul Goodman. It evolved from a foundation in Psychoanalysis, Gestalt Psychology, Existential Philosophy and Field Theory to create a novel mode of psychotherapy that unites and transcends its constituent elements.

Gestalt Therapy’s emphasis on the primacy of here and now experience and the unity of body, mind, and environment was a revolutionary departure from intrapsychic psychotherapies and made it a precursor to contemporary psychotherapeutic modalities. It is our goal to heighten awareness. Old and habitual patterns and adaptations that constrict spontaneity are discovered. Now more aware, we experience a fuller range of possibilities and make more creative choices.


Frederick Perls, Richard Hefferline, Paul Goodman, “Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality”, 1951

Frederick Perls: “Ego, Hunger and Aggression”, 1947

Frederick Perls: “The Gestalt Approach and Eyewitness to Therapy”, 1973

Frederick Perls: “Gestalt Therapy Verbatim”, 1969

Laura Perls: “An Oral History of Gestalt Therapy: A Conversation with Laura Perls”, 1978

Laura Perls: Keeping the Flame: Laura Perls and Gestalt Therapy, (Edited by E.M. Stern) 1982