Fritz and Laura Perls started the first Gestalt Institute in their Manhattan apartment, and Fritz Perls began traveling throughout the United States in order to conduct Gestalt workshops and training.
In 1960 Fritz Perls left New York and moved to Los Angeles, where he started to offer workshops at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, in 1963. Perls became interested in Zen during this period, and incorporated the idea of brief awakenings into his practice. He also traveled to Japan, where he stayed in a Zen monastery. Eventually, he settled at Esalen and even built a house on the grounds.
- The core of the Gestalt Therapy process is enhanced awareness of sensation, perception, physiological feelings, emotion and behavior, in the present moment.
- Relationships are emphasized, along with contact between ones true self, the environment you are presently in, and the connections with others in our lives.
THE GESTALT PRAYER
I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
If not, it can’t be helped.
(Fritz Perls, “Gestalt Therapy”, 1969)
Richard Bandler, John Grinder, Robert Dilts and others studied with Fritz Perls for several years in the late 60’s and early 70’s. As Richard Bandler and John Grinder developed Neuro Linguistic Programing (NLP) in the early 70’s they modeled many of their systems upon Perls work as well as the therapeutic work of Virginia Satir and Milton Ericksen (The father of Hypnotherapy). Bandler and Grinder also drew upon the theories of Dilt’s, Gregory Bateson, Alfred Korzybski and Noam Chomsky, particularly transformational grammar, as well as ideas and techniques from the teachings of Carlos Castaneda.
Combining the Transformational Skills & Tools from NLP, the Awareness achieved through Gestalt Therapy, and the “will to meaning” gained through Victor Frankl’s Logo-Therapy and other Humanistic & Existential approaches to therapy with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that has proven to be so effective with changing behavior and overcoming addiction, one can bring about huge shifts in awareness and mental processes that support deep and lasting changes in behavior and life.
- Gestalt Prayer (mindbeatz.wordpress.com)
- The Esalen Connection: Fifty Years of Re-Visioning Madness and Trying to Transform the World (madinamerica.com)