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Synopsis

Goldststein, Koffka, Köhler, Lewin and Wertheimer were scientists who, at the turn of the 20th century, founded the gestalt approach in psychology. Fritz Perls (1944) recognized the potential of the gestalt approach in psychotherapy and founded what is now the widespread system of gestalt therapy.

 

Perls’ understanding of gestalt theory was broadened by Zinker with recognition of stages of development of each gestalt so that what is now termed the Cleveland cycle of experience was recognized.

 

Ray Edwards has proposed two innovations. First, it is shown that completion and grounding of the gestalt cycle of events facilitates re-energization of depressed people. Second, attention to Gendlin’s felt-senses, aided by use of David Grove’s clean subset of language, facilitates freeing post-trauma patients from the effect of recurrent nightmares and/or fl ash-backs. The relevant felt-senses are termed proto-fi gures and are usually phenomena like “butterfl ies in the stomach,” “lumps in the stomach or throat” and/or “clouds are hanging over me.”

 

This present book sets these innovations in full historical context and reveals the gestalt system to be scientific in character.

 

Malcolm Parlett, Ph,D. First Editor of the British Gestalt Journal commented on an earlier version of this book – This is a thought-provoking read, a quirky and vividly argued alternative version of gestalt therapy that challenges most of the assumptions of contemporary Gestalt psychotherapy and will send many a reader fl ying to a computer to type a rebuttal. But Ray Edwards’ book is defi nitely worth a look at, not least for its acerbic criticisms and references to our past traditions. I recommend the self-published manuscript by an impressive maverick octagenarian gestalt thinker with strong opinions, complete with its copious spelling errors and  other forgiveable selfi ndulgences.

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