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Gestalt therapy is an existentially based humanistic therapy arising out of Fritz and Laura Perls’s discrimination and integration of ideas from many traditions, philosophies, narratives, disciplines, and theories beginning in Germany in the 1920s. Born as a revision of Sigmund Freud’s theories, it has evolved into a major contributor to mainstream psychotherapy—from a psychoanalytical/biological/Aristotelian/deterministic foundation to a humanistic/existential/experiential psychotherapy wherein restoration and holism replace dissection and fragmentation and phenomenology (personal meaning making) replaces interpretation.

Gestalt is a German word that translates into English as “a whole,” “a pattern,” “an organization,” or “a configuration.” While the hallmark of Gestalt psychology is finding shared ways by which people organize their perceptions and phenomenology, the task of Gestalt therapy can be seen as becoming aware of and understanding ...

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