The Istituto di Gestalt H.C.C..


Studies in Gestalt Therapy - Old issues
(for new editions go to www.


International Journal, since 1992

Issue no. 1, 1993, $ 15.00 Issue no. 3, 1995, $ 20.00  Issue no. 6/7, 1997/98,$20.
Issue no. 2, 1994, $ 15.00 Issue no. 4/5, 1996, $20.00 Issue no. 8, 1999, $ 40.00

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Issue no. 1, 1993

   - Time and Relation. Relational Deliberateness as Hermeneutic Horizon in Gestalt Therapy
          by GIOVANNI SALONIA    When the patient can fully be himself in front of the therapist
and can feel the therapist in his reality and integrity...
The time of the relationship and the -time lived-
becomes kairòs... ultimate realization of the Mit-Dasein
A long trip is necessary -Therapy is a trip! - to reach...
the fullness and the light of the present from both
the patient and the therapist.                                    
   - Training in Gestalt Therapy. How the Perspective of Dental Aggression Changes the Traditional Concept of Training
          by MARGHERITA SPAGNUOLO LOBB        The theory of the Self in Gestalt Therapy gives us the possibility of
transmitting a professional model in a non-introjective way. Carrying
on a professional activity as participation in an existential
project - which is also a collective one - allows the person to
rediscover his individual social integration and bis individuai politicai
character... and the society to re-establish a work-culture. Teaching
psychotherapy is giving the aspiring therapist the possibility of
becoming an -artista in Otto- Rank's sense.
   - From We to I-Thou. A Contribution to an EvolutiveTheory of Contact
          by GIOVANNI SALONIA        Although the interest of F Perls in dental development and its
relational implications was one of the fundamental intuitions at the birth
of Gestalt Therapy, an evolutive theory remains to be formulated in our
approach. The study of this sector serves to provide a better
understanding of the more serious psychopathologies.    
   - Specific Support in the Interruption of Contact
          by MARGHERITA SPAGNUOLO LOBB        In Gestalt Therapy support becomes a specific therapeutic
intervention in every interruption of the contact-withdrawl cycle. Its aim
is to restore spontaneity to the organism and complete the desired
contact with the environment. What is the most appropriate therapeutic
intervention in neurotic confluence, m introjection, in projection, in
retroflexion and in egotism?
   - Karen Horney and Frederick Perls. Tales of Heretics
          by PIETRO CAVALERI        Among the psychoanalysts who radically revised Freudian
orthodoxy, some, like Karen Horney, had a major formative influence
on the thought of F. Perls. However, the relationship between the
two has been given oniy slight consideration. A deeper analysis
of the innovative aspects of Horney's work points to several historical
and epistemological factors which lead us to conclude that
Horney was a direct influence on the thought and therapeutic
approach of F. Peris.
   - Hermeneutics, Gestalt Therapy and Literary Text. Toward a Different Interpretation of Pirandello’s Humour
          by ANTONIO SICHERA        Knowing the fundamental value of mutuality, Gestalt Therapy has
inspired a creative reading of literary text. The traditional metaphor
of the Author/ Father, belonging to the psychoanalytical frame of
reference, can be replaced by the one of the Author/ Therapist...

Issue no. 2 1994

by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb & Giovanni Salonia
   -Isadore From’s Contribution to the Theory and Practice of Gestalt Therapy
       by Bertram Müller         
It did not seem necessary to him to look around for something new and better than Gestalt Therapy.. What Gestalt Therapy needs Is fewer borrowings from other techniques and methods and more development of Its own. can we enable the patient to experience for himself what wouid otherwise have had to be interpreted as is done in psychoanalysis?
  -What is the Future in Gestalt Therapy?
       by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb & Giovanni Salonia   
For a Gestalt therapist, asking about the future means asking what can be assimilated from the present experience. Gestalt Therapy contains in itself the necessary principles for the drawning up of a theory of development that provides a new perspective for the resolution of social problems. What are we teaching our students? -You can chase the devil from your garden but you'll find him again in your son's.
  -The "Suffering Being" and the Human Animal: Comparing Certain Theories of Otto Rank
   and Gestalt Therapy
       by Douglas Davidove     
In theory and practice, much of Gestalt Therapy appears to be derived from the contributions of Rank. However, differences between the two approaches are too important to be ignored. This essay traces some of these significant differences, ultimately to the diagnostic criteria of fear and anxiety.
  -The Borderline Case. A Consideration from the Point of View of Gestalt Therapy
       by Paola Miriam Polo     
-I wander around the desert and am calm
with only the wind as a barrier
Oh, sad rider,
In fact I had given my heart
To the moon
And I exchanged the moon far a storm
And the storm far stranger weather still
And then the weather for a sword
That would come with me
Beyond the realms of reality... -
I. FOSSATI (1990). the confessions of Alonso Chisciano. EPIC

Issue no. 3, 1995

by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb & Giovanni Salonia
  -In Remembrance of Isadore: His Earlier Years
       by Hunt Cole              I lived with Isadore from the mid-October day when I first carne to Paris in 1959 to the hot June day he died in New York in 1994, but this piece ends in the earlier place at that earlier time, I shall finish my story in time for the next international edition of this journal.
  -Hopes and Concerns of Two Friends: An Interview with Joe Wysong
       by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb   I agree with Isadore and am also especially interested in studying the influence of pragmatism on Gestalt therapy theory. Few in Gestalt therapy recognize the extent of the effect on Paul Goodman of the thinking of American pragmatists William James, John Dewey, and, to a more limited extent, C.S. Pierce.
 - The Strength of Weakness
       by Giovanni Salonia    In order to overcome pain we must have the courage and the purity to live through it without pointless pretence. Isadore was not afraid of reality, however fragile, however hard. We shall do well to take him with us on our voyage into the third millennium.
  -Elegiac Reflections on Isadore From
       by Michael Vincent Miller  If I were forced to try to capture the essence of Isadore's sensibility in a word, I would choose the word
  -From Daughter to Mother
       by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb   His
theory was not just theory: it was experience too... Isadore's example is a
reference point where male and female elements bring each other to perfect
  -The Rationale in Verse
       by Ruggero Bianchi     Forms, were for him the root and substance of all attitudes and behaviour, but not in the sense of rules; rather as an expression of interior freedom and integrity.
  -Glance and Voice
       by Mia Peluso               Like Socrates, Isadore had the quality of dry humour. His apparent meekness concealed vast knowledge; in this respect too he was a prince, accustomed to giving.
  -A Translator’s Diary
       by Bianca Tarozzi        What he admires is the unconsoling intellect: that was why he deeply respected Goodman and was distrustful of Perls (- scoundrel with genius-). His intelligence is of the heart.
  -The Word that Spoke Gestalt is Silent Now
       by NOËL K. SALATHÉ     Just as Paul Goodman was Aristotelian in his pronouncements, in his meticulous but not readily approachable writings, to the same degree Isadore From was Socratic in passing on this difficult teaching.
  -Re-reading "Requiem for Gestalt"
       by Antonio Sichera       We reprint here a paper by Isadore From, published in the Gestalt Journal/ Spring 1984/ with an -exegetical- comment by Antonio Sichera.

Issue no. 4/5, 1996

                                                              Dedicated to "The New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy 1996 

by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb & Giovanni Salonia
The work of Isadore From. A Critical Appreciation
by Perry Klepner
Editorial Comment
by Karen K. Humphrey
Remembering Isadore’s Gestalt Therapy
by Philip Lichtenberg
Isadore From. A Critical Appreciation
by Richard Kitzler
by Mary Lou Schack
by Michael vincent miller
Response to Philip Lichtenberg’s Paper
by elaine rapp
Response to Richard Kitzler’s Paper
by elaine rapp
by gerome gold
Reflections and Memories. The Contribution of Isadore From
by Joel Latner
In Remembrance of Isadore: His Later Years
by Hunt Cole
Isadore From. An Undeclared Family Therapist
by ed lynch and Barbara Lynch
From the "Discomfort of Civilisation" to Creative Adjustment
by margherita spagnuolo lobb,
giovanni salonia, antonio sichera

Issue no. 6/7, 1997/98

                                                                                             Hermeneutics and Clinical
by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb & Giovanni Salonia
Comparison with Gadamer: Towards a Hermeneutic
Epistemology of Gestalt Therapy
by Antonio Sichera
Paul Goodman: An Approach to Language
by Hugh Adlington
Gestalt Theory and the Aesthetic Paradigm of Change
by Michael Tophoff
Polar Dialectics in Gestalt’s Psychotherapy
by Pietro Cavaleri
Annie’s Story: A Case Study from a Somatic
and Developmental Perspective
by Ruella Frank
The GPHI-R Scales Analyzed and Correlated
With Four Clinical Instruments
by Kevin P. Prosnick, Ansel L. Woldt, Thomas J. Mraz,
Amey L. Park
Issue no. 8, 1999

Workshops, minilectures, panels based on the 6th European Conference for Gestalt Therapy
                                                   (held in Palermo, October 1-4, 1988)

EDITORIAL - by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb
PROGRAM of the Conference

Gestalt Therapy: Hermeneutics and Clinical – by Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb


 "The Framework with Children and Adolescents in Gestalt Therapy"

by Alain BADIER

The Frame on different ways and levels, going to structure the psychotherapeutic relationship and experience with children; where the fantasy opens a place for play, creating contexts and making possible to integrate the reality into a new maturity.


"Growth and Changes that Occur in the Life Cycle of a Couple"

by Antonio CASCIO

The growth of a couple and the possibility to experience deeper levels of intimacy depends on the life cycle the couple very often is confronted with.

Thats why you have to redefine this life cycle, in a way to make them self- sufficient and warm, to give and receive support.


"A Glance on Shame. An Encounter with the Complexity of this Emotional Experience"

by Sandra FELLIN, Luisella IMPARATO, Vanna MARIOTTI, Marta PEDUZZI, Giuliana RATTI

Shame can be provoked by so many events in our lifes and so, it is something very normal - just a subjective experience - but still difficult to face… because we also know, that nothing can paralyses more than shame.


"Teachings of Traumatherapy"


The therapeutic action with trauma and shame is like working on the dark side of the moon. The therapist often follows only small spots of light .. and walks the fine line between hurt and healing.


 "On the Training of Gestalt Therapists"

by Norman FRIEDMAN

As we know, the two fundamental terms and concepts of Gestalt Therapy are "Awareness" and "Contact" and they are the two sides of the same coin. So the purpose of the therapy is to restore the awareness and the contact functions to a healthy state.

For it, shoud there be a fit betwen the nature of the treatment and the structure of the training which is supposed to prepare people to perfom it?

What is the real nature of Gestalt Theory and therapy, its fundamental aim?

And what about the national and cultural differences which affect the teaching and practice of Gestalt Therapy…

Three models to propose: the academic model, the guild model and the combinations.


"Dreams as Unfinished Business (or Unachieved Gestalt)"

by Serge GINGER

Dreams considered as inconcient unachieved Gestalt, kind of retroflection of feelings intended also to the therapist, introduced by an historical explanation; neurophysiological research about the functions of dreams, Perls and I.From where also interested in.


"Love, Admiration or Safety: A System of Gestalt Diagnosis of Borderline, Narcissistic and Schizoid Adaptations that Focuses on What is Figure for the Client"


With clinical examples to illustrate, a very simple way of diagnosing Borderline, Narcissistic and Schizoid adaptations only by observing their therapeutic relationship.

The "interpersonal Gestalt" as an ongoing process which involve at each moment the mechanism of figure/ground formation.

In fact, Borderline, Narcissistic and Schizoid adaptations differ from other in what becomes figure for them during their interactions with others…

A system of Gestalt diagnosis, Gestalt therapists can use in session.


"The Clown. A Mate to the Therapist. Argument for a Clownesque Therapy"

by Ernst KNIJFF

Does a "normal" person exist?

The clown believing everything, being naive and spontaneous is the essence of perfect and imperfect, like children are.

Here you can learn to become a child again or to use the qualities of the clown in therapy…


"Will Gestalt Therapy dare to Enter a Post-Modern Way?"

by Jean Marie ROBINE

Modernism remains on the premise of old adages, opposed to the post- modern ways of thinking of Gestalt Therapy. How to become a post- modern therapist…

"Power Relationship and Vulnerability"

by Freda SHARPE and Mary PRICE

Power or vulnerability are given by the contexts. What does power in fact really mean?

An 11 years work for a better understanding of power relations: the power relationships with Gestalt Therapy and practice and the importance in the therapeutic relationship.

Exercices to show where our power is, in a way to find an ethical basis for work.


"Neglected Treasures of Gestalt Therapy"

by Eva TITUS

Better understanding of the aspects represented in the concepts of "paradox" and "emptiness" with different schemes analysing the situation and formulating the opposites in their own abstract laws and presumptions.

Dual or non dual interpretation of the two different viewpoints to Gestalt concepts and their consequences and how to work with the original key-concept in dissociative disorders therapy.


"Sexuality and Gender Issues in Gestalt Therapy. A Clinical Case Example of the Woman Who Was Michelangelo’s David"

by Lee ZEVY

Could gender and sexuality be partial structures of self? This presentation shows the creative relationship of a woman with her therapist, how she continues to evolve in therapy…

It explains also that psychoanalytic postmodern revisions of sexuality and gender have focused attention on contextualising the definitions of both these categories in a way to accomodate the variety of sexual and gender possibilities.

All this is nothing new for Gestalt Therapy theory which always work with the creative potential of human being, including sexuality and gender and the constant we are left with is, that sex and gender are constantly mutating forms and can only be understood in relation to the phenomology and creative adjustment of each individual.




"The Teaching of Gestalt: an Argentinian Model"

by Edoardo CARABELLI and Silvia SALINAS

A summarising of the argentinian training in Gestalt Therapy which had to include an 400 hours program during three years (making clear the differences between mind and feelings); a perfect integration of the theory; psychotherapy experience; meditation, philosophy, transpersonal psychology and much more…


 "Work with A Seriously Disturbed Patient in Gestalt Therapy: The Evolution of a Therapeutic Relationship"

by Valeria CONTE

How to construct the contact between therapist and neurotic or seriously disturbed patient and how to let evolve the therapeutic relatioship… because the "cure" is often in the way in which the therapist "is" in the relationship.

With different phases of a 6 years clinical case, the author demonstrate that it is very important in a first time to preserve the patient from outside invasions, to create an internal space with always the same day, the same time and the same room, only observing how close the patient will come to the therapist in their relationship.

In a second time then to construct or re-construct the confines between the outside world and the inside world of the patient… between what nature gave and life took away.


"Envy: from Feeling to Structure of Personality"

by Antonio FERRARA

Investigations about envy, one of the feelings that procures most suffering and specific forms of pathology.

The person often continues to look out of itself, also for what at times it already possesses, in a painful attempt to receive from the other. It’s a kind of rigid manipulative behavior, that goes on to making part of a specific organization of personality, which ends up associating envy to suffering in its character structure…

The therapeutic result then comes from the attainment of a form of equidistance between the two points that may allow realistic satisfactions and the acceptance of daily life.


"Theater as Field. Implications for Gestalt Therapy"


Interrelationship of theater and therapy: both aspects illustrates hermeneutic and phenomenological concepts.

The focus is on theater as field experience: the figures that emerge in the performance/audience field, with many structural similarities between theater and Gestalt therapy.


"Developmental Theory in the Light of Pragmatism and Interruptions of Contact:

An Integration"

by Richard KITZLER

Analysis of the concept of resistance. Its ramifications for a developmental theory in Gestalt psychotherapy theory. The difficulties of opposition that attempt to describe Unity and Awareness and to bring them to the field of action and experiment.

The narrative captured in Gestalt Group psychotherapy as it is developing in the so called New York model of group interactive conferencing.

Short "historical" comparison of the American pragmatism.


"Personality Disorders and Interruptions of Contact: A Possible Combination? "

by Riccardo MANCUSI, Marco TOSELLO and Enrico VIGGIANO

If you presuppose that the organism tends to a positive equilibrium, trying to sadisfy its own needs, personality disorders must be described as a model of interior experience and behaviour.

So the diagnostic process at the beginning of treatment is very important and the diagnostician is always an integral part of the diagnosis.

Comparison and differences between psychiatric nosography and Gestalt approach.


"The Dumb Word"

by Giovanna MARIOTTI and Marta PEDUZZI

This paper relates how the expressive- artistic and the bodily dimensions become therapeutic in the work with patients suffering from serious mental dissorders.

The creative process stimulate and involved them in therapy situations.


"Yes, Hermeneutics Belong to us, but… Critical Appreciation about the Foundative and Regulative Function of Certain Hermeneutic Paradigms Applied to Clinical Practice"

by Maria Felice PACITTO

"The opening of being" which is garanteed by hermeneutics is the rationality of the theoretical construct: give to psychotherapy the characteristic of flexibility…

Some studies in hermeneutic contemporary and its relationship with epistemology: historical temporal dimension and linguistic, both with foundative function in clinical practice.


"Gender Identity Disorder. A Phenomenological Lecture"

by Anna Rita RAVENNA

Transsexualism seen as an own identity, where not always surgery and hormonal therapies are necessary.

The therapist just have to believe that there are several ways of development: the biological, but also the psychological one… in the here and now of one’s own uniqueness…


"Pain and Fear: Dialogues and Metaphors"

by Doris SUCHEKI

Pain or fear are messages the patient experiences from and in his/her body, from and in his/her mind, because every human being is a functional integrated of mind and body.

All these signals point out internal disharmony, but are also an opportunity to grow up.

How to hear the language of symbols,drawings, body movement and so on and makes possible to express the inexpressable.

Therapeutic proposal to create a space for new alternatives…


"Aesthetic and Pragmatic Aspects of Gestalt Therapy Interventions"

by Michael TOPHOFF

Does the psychotherapeutic approach based on Gestalt Theory correctly translates theoritical concepts into therapeutic pragmatics?

Description of the aesthetic as well as the pragmatic aspetcs of therapeutical interventions.


"Women and Gestalt Therapy"

by Mercedes VELASCO and Angeles ARECHEDERRA

Two women therapists speaking about their women experience, reminding that also if women did a lot of conquests in their lifes, there is also a lot of violence against them in the world.

Gestalt Therapy can be a hope for a more human being, with two different forms of Gestalten may be: one fixed in the masculine identity as figure and one in the feminie as ground.


"Psychometrics of the Gestalt Boundary Process Questionnaires"

by Ansel Woldt

The Gestalt contact styles questionnaire, a 76-item inventory containing valid scales to measure Confluence, Projection... seventeen studies have used the GCSQ-R in empirical research.





FROM THE PANEL "Gestalt Group Therapy: A Political Challenge"

a contribution by Giuseppe IACULO

Growing up as a human being implies to assimilate a culture sometime very limiting and oppressive for the individual development, so that they can no longer be seen as separate entities, but as parts of an interaction.

Psychotherapy take care of the organism and its difficulties with contact, but cannot change the environment.

The role for Gestalt Therapy, with his new creative theoretical contribution, is to read the tensions between individual and society and overcome this conflict.

The function of politics is to transform the social conditions in which the organism lives and this change is in itself a political signifiance.

* * *

FROM THE PANEL "The Spiritual Dimension of Gestalt Therapy: A Creative Adjustment Arising in the Present or an Old Soul?"

"The Spiritual Dimension of Gestalt Therapy"


Gestalt Therapy is a holistic therapy with a great spiritual foundation based on teachings from buddhism and taoism.

In Gestalt therapy and buddhism awareness is considered a mental activity, like a creative experience in the present. One way to have a fuller spiritual experience is to empty the ground more completely as the work progresses: this would correspond to insight meditation, where we follow our awareness.

Another way is analogous to concentration meditation, staying with a focal point which would be the figure of concern.

The article includes a description of the experience in the panel as practice of the theoretical part.

* * *

"Spirituality and Gestalt Therapy"

by Romolo TADDEI

Spirituality and Gestalt Therapy are called on to meet and discuss.

Both create the conditions in which unsatisfied and distressed people can find alternative ways of being: Spirituality speak with the meanings, Gestalt Therapy prepare the ground to verify this meanings.

* * *


FROM THE PANEL "Diagnosis in Gestalt Therapy: Map or Territory?"

"Diagnosis in Gestalt Therapy. Map or Territory?"

by Michael RUH

To make the diagnosis implies a referring to a theory of personality. The Gestalt theoretical point of view is a holistic and dynamic one.

Applying the theory of personality, diagnosis in a Gestalt theoretical sense means the description of the dynamic facts and the dimensions of the given life space.

Also field diagnosis is an essential part of the therapeutic work, powerful to find out the right therapeutic strategy and interventions for the patient.

* * *

FROM THE PANEL "Gestalt Therapy with Couples and Families"

"From Belongingness to Individuation: How to Stay a Couple"

by Valeria CONTE

To be a couple requires a lot of adaptation.

The first way is based on the phobia of belongingness; the second, on the phobia of autonomy; then followed by a phase of symbiosis and then by a phase of differentation.

In this phase, the couple discover their autonomy as individuals and so it is possible for them to live the phase of belongingness where the achieved autonomy has allowed the individualisation of both of them.

But may be also,that in fact, the choice of a partner is nothing more than the interweaving of two existential fears forever…

* * *

 FROM THE PANEL "Gestalt Institutes: A Hermeneutics of Common Ground?"

a contribution by Marta SLEMENSON

Let’s only think for a moment in Hermes, the God to which hermeneutics is related…

* * *

FROM THE PANEL "Gestalt Therapy in the Many European Countries: 17 Nations in Dialogue"

a synthesis by Anna Rita RAVENNA

Answers of different national representatives to 33 questions about the state of Gestalt Therapy practice and are synthetized here.

* * *

"The Current Situation of Gestalt Therapy in Greece"

by Despina KOVAIOU

* * *

FROM THE PANEL "The European Certificate of Psychotherapy"

"Short General Informations about the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP)".

by Serge Ginger

* * *

APPENDIX: Pre-Conference Workshop

"Working with Group Process: The Model of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy"

a contribution by Richard Kitzler and Joe Lay

The interest in group therapy arose in the early’50’s. Demands like the moral superiority of the minority as an integral part of the majority evolved the New York model of group development.

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