The Basic Concepts of Gestalt Therapy Analytical Essay

The Basic Concepts of Gestalt Therapy
Looks at how Fritz Perls' Gestalt therapy differs so much from psychoanalysis.
# 149321 | 1,035 words | 3 sources | APA | 2007 | US
Published on Dec 06, 2011 in Psychology (Therapies) , Sociology (Theory) , Psychology (History of Psychology)

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This paper explains that, although the founder of Gestalt therapy Fritz Perls was trained in psychoanalysis, he also was influenced by existentialism especially the I-thou relationship, the idea of personal choice and responsibility, the personal growth and human potential movement and Lewin's field theory. Next, the author illustrates the way that Gestalt therapy considers the whole individual to be more than the sum of her parts. The paper relates the core concepts of Gestalt therapy, which are contact, contact boundaries, contact boundary disturbances, awareness and the present.

From the Paper:

"There were quite a few forces that had a major influence on Perls in the development of psychological development. While working as a medic Perls was influenced by Kurt Goldstein. Goldstein viewed the soldiers with brain injuries from a Gestalt psychology perspective, focusing on the perceptions that the soldiers had of themselves and their environment. Perls was also influenced by Wilhelm Reich, and ideas on nonverbal behavior. Another contributing influence was Sigmund Friedlander's work on creative difference. Perls wife Laura, who was a writer and teacher not only influenced him, but also helped him on a great deal of his work on Gestalt therapy. From a theoretical and philosophical point of view Perls development of Gestalt therapy was influenced by Lewin's field theory, phenomenology, and existentialism.
"The objective of Gestalt Therapy, in addition to helping the client overcome symptoms, is to enable the her-him to become more fully and creatively alive and to be free from the blocks and unfinished issues which may diminish optimum satisfaction, fulfillment, and growth. Gestalt therapy is concerned with the whole individual, who is viewed as more than the sum of her parts . In order to gain a full understanding of Gestalt therapy you have to have knowledge of the main concepts of this theory. These concepts include contact, contact boundaries, contact boundary disturbances, awareness, and the present."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Gestalt therapy. (2007, January 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:49, January 30, 2007, from
  • Jones, S. L. & Butman, R. E. (1991). A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal: Modern Psychotherapies. Illinois: Intervarsity Press.
  • Sharf, S. R. (2004). Theories of Psychotherapy and Counseling Concepts and Cases (3rd ed.). California: Brooks/Cole-Thompson Learning.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Basic Concepts of Gestalt Therapy (2011, December 06) Retrieved October 24, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Basic Concepts of Gestalt Therapy" 06 December 2011. Web. 24 October. 2020. <>