#21 – Gestalt Therapy Interview


Victor Daniels, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology and past chair at Sonoma State University. He is co-author of the book, Being and Caring: A Psychology for Living, which is used at many universities. As editor of the online journal, Gestalt!, and teacher of a Gestalt Therapy class (which he and I co-taught years ago), he is an expert on the state of Gestalt Therapy today. The books he recommended during our interview are: In and Out of The Garbabe Pail by F. Perls, Eye Witness to Therapy by F.Perls, Every Person’s Life Is Worth A Novel by E. Polster, The New People Making by V. Satir. Victor’s home page also has a portal into the world ofGestalt Therapy. Since a good deal of Gestalt Therapy deals with dream work, the posafe music selection at the end seems particularly appropriate: “Living The Dream” by Chris Mills.


One Comment

  1. Posted March 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    An initial quibble. I don’t think gestalt is mainly a method. Maybe this was a slip of the tongue. One of the great strengths of the approach/theory laid out in the book Gestalt Therapy is that it can include an extraordinary diversity of methods. (In my view many practitioners treat gestalt as a collection of methods (or even worse only one) and this leads to a technologisation that betrays its humanist roots.)

    Two chair work doesn’t necessarily involve imitating someone else. It can be an exploration of the different parts of the self. Role play may be useful (though how the therapist knows whether the other person is being represented fairly is a bit of a problem) but this isn’t necessarily two chair work. I think the speaker may not have meant to give this impression.

    I am so glad of the clarification of being in the now. This has become such a misleading cliche.

    I wish Fritz had addressed his old past pattern of exhibitionism and being confrontational.

    It sounds like the current directions aren’t leading to theoretical innovation. This is my impression (and means to me that gestalt therapy is dying – however popular it may be).

    As to gestalt books Perls, Hefferline and Goodman is incredibly good. Not an ‘easy read’ but if you are willing to work it is an incredible achievement. Still well ahead of most people’s theory or therapy in my view.

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