The Gestalt Counseling and Training Institute of Ann Arbor

Holistic Therapy for Mind, Body and Soul


Perls first book, Ego, Hunger and Aggression, originated as a position paper to be presented at the 1936 Conference in Czechoslovakia. Perls hoped to expand upon the fundamental theories of psychoanalysis, particularly the theory of anal development and the concepts forming libido theory. His expectations, according to Laura, was that his arguments would be readily accepted and in fact, would serve to support his effort in becoming well-known in the psychoanalytic community. Perls' radical ideas were totally rejected by the Freudian community.
Laura's experimental work at the Institute for Brain-Injured Veterans in Berlin, under the guidance of her mentor, Kurt Goldstein, led her to embrace fully the organismic view of existence. She saw the basic human experiences of movement, eating, study, play, etc, as the teachers of other human qualities such as patience, awareness and assimilation. Laura Perls was the first to place emphasis on the body process as a primary variable of the Gestalt experience.
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