The Gestalt Counseling and Training Institute of Ann Arbor

Holistic Therapy for Mind, Body and Soul

Historical Roots

Gestalt Therapy began as part of a collective consciousness shared by several pioneers, four of whom are highlighted here, as it is their influence that helps to shape the model used at Gestalt-Ann Arbor: Laura Perls, Fritz Perls, Paul Goodman, and Isadore From. The shaping and sculpting of the Gestalt Therapy model(s), and the breath that later gave life and rhythm to this movement, arose out of their passions, trials, hardships, joys, burdens, resistances, collective intelligence, creativity, and what seemed to be a deep, insatiable longing to understand all that was called "life".

Holistic Therapy for Mind, Body and Soul

The Gestalt Counseling and Training Institute of Ann Arbor
A detailed study of each of their backgrounds would give the reader only a glimpse of a character full of color and dynamism who seemed often fearless, sometimes frightened, and always full of rebellion and compassion. Each of them chose to sidestep conventionality in favor of people or experiences which seemed challenging, interesting or different. They blended psychology with art, dance, theatre, radical (sometimes anarchic) political and social ideologies to create their unique view of the Gestalt. In varying degrees, Eastern Spiritual thought and practice, (for example, Fritz Perls' quest for the meaning of life led him to Japan for a brief study of Zen), was also a part of the unique fusion called Gestalt Therapy.
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