Theory and Methodology

GPTIM has followed the core curriculum of EAGT (1995-2003) and GPTI London.  The teaching of different themes is divided through 4 years and presented to the students by different teachers through lectures, experiments and exercises. Students are also presented with the reading list, which includes general Gestalt Literature and Literature necessary for core curriculum themes.



Overview of psychotherapies

  • Psychoanalysis
  • Analytical Therapy
  • Client Centered Therapy
  • Existential  Psychotherapy
  • Constructivist  Psychotherapy


Overview of philosophical foundations

  • German Philosophy
  • Existential  Philosophy
  • Phenomenology
  • Holism
  • Zen and Tao


Overview of psychological foundations

  • Gestalt Psychology
  • Psychology of Personality


Overview of development of gestalt psychotherapy journey

  • Gestalt Psychotherapy from Perl’s till now


Organism / Environment Field

  • Organism Self-regulation (Goldstain)
  • Field Theory
  • Influence of K.Lewin Field theory
  • Field as a process in gestalt psychotherapy
  • The therapeutic field

Figure / Ground Formation

  • Awareness
  • Sensory functioning in gestalt psychotherapy
  • Here and Now, Presence in gestalt psychotherapy


  • Contact boundaries  the experience of the between organism and environment
  • Contact functions
  • Support system
  • Contact / withdrawal experience
  • Dimension of time in contact experience
  • Contact phases and different views of Contact Cycle (ex. Cleveland school, Clarkson view)
  • Interruptions of Contact Cycleconfluence
    • deflection
    • introjections
    • projection
    • retroflection
    • egotism


Theory of Self

  • The Self in gestalt psychotherapy
  • Self as a process, function and boundary event
  • The three functions of the Self
    • ID function
    • EGO function
    • PERSONALITY function
  • Disturbances in the functioning of the ID and Personality Function and lost of EGO  Function
  • Polarities (Top dog /Underdog Experience)
  • Unfinished Business


Theory of Psychotherapy


  • Therapeutic Goal  as preference / No Should
  • How is therapy done
  • I-Thou relation
  • The awareness of What & How
  • Here and Now
  • Dialog


Psychotherapy Process

  • Techniques of patient focusing: stay with, enactment, exaggeration, guided fantasies, body techniques

Mechanism of Psychotherapy

  • Old deficit as a  New Strength
  • Frustration  / Support
  • Therapist support as a specific therapeutic intervention in contact cycle
  • Paradoxical Theory of Change



  • Theories and Paradigms of Personality
    • (basic concepts that defines personality, how personality occurs, how can we see personality, know about or even measure)

The Theories of Child Development

Object Relation development (R.Spitz, M.Klein, M.Mahler ..)
Attachment Theories (Bolby, Zazo, ..)
Social Learning (Bandura)

The Unfolding Self in Adolescents

Mid Life Transformation

  • Middle age transformation

Dying and Death

Process of Separating, Mourning and Grieving
Psychotherapy and Spirituality

·      Social Bases of Psychotherapy

·      Dogma of gender, Identity and Social Roles

·    Sexual Issues in Psychotherapy

·      Political Psyche: What is psychical in politics and how does the psyche become politicized?


·      Transition from Idea to Intervention

o       (from observation to diagnosis thought continuum of experience to self functioning and health organism)

·      I – Thou Relation, Dialog, Authentic Relation

·      Experiment

·      Body Work

·      Dream Work

·      Imagination

·      Exercises

·      Art Work

·      Theory of Change

o       Paradoxical Theory of Change

o       Organism Self-Regulation in the Organism Environmental Field

o       Field Theory Principles and Theory of Change

o       Awareness and Theory of Change

o       Change and Meaning : The figure Ground Formation

o       Importance of Here and Now

o       Impediments of Healthy change

·      Change in Psychotherapy

o       Field Process Thinking and Change in Therapeutic Practice

o       Phenomenology and Awareness


·      Gestalt Approach to Diagnosis and Assessment

o       Client in the Field (unfinished business; polarity; support system: body, cognition, interpersonal;  paradoxical theory of change; theory of self: id, ego and personality functioning;  mechanism of resistance: confluence, introjection, projection, retroflection; contact functions: touching, moving and looking; contact cycle: figure formation, foreground/background, awareness, boundaries)

o       Client in Relationship with Therapist and Significant Others (Transference, Countertransference)

o       Client History (personal, family, social, medical)

·      Psychiatric Assessment DSM-IV or ICD 10

o       Axis of Classification (symptom & syndrome, developmental Personality Disorders, Physical Illness and conditions, Stress / Psychosocial Disorders, Global Functioning)

·      Communication between Gestalt Assessment and DSM – IV

o       General Overview  – How we use Gestalt Diagnosis to DSM – IV?

o       Bizarre or Eccentric Personalities

o       Dramatic, Emotional, Erratic Personalities

o       Fearful and Anxious Personalities

·      Controversy over  Diagnosis / Assessment  : Categorical or   Dimensional Approach

o       Some Ethical Issues

o       Sane / Insane

o       What Health really means?

·      Postmodern Issues in Diagnosis


·      Theories of Psychopathology  – Overview of

o       Neurosis

o       Personality Disorders

o       Psychosis

·      Gestalt Psychotherapy Understanding of Neurosis

o       Perls approach

·      Developmental view of Psychopathology

o       Early Traumatisation

·      Stress and Coping – Gestalt Psychotherapy Perspective

·      Self and Symptom

·      Mad part in sane people`s mind – Meaning of madness when  madness is not patological

·      Differential Diagnosis

o       According to DSM – IV or ICD 10

o       Gestalt Approach


·      Gestalt Psychotherapy  Approach  – Individual Psychotherapy

o       Client in context, Assessment, Therapeutic process, Role of therapist, Mutual responsibility,

·      Gestalt Psychotherapy  Approach  -Couple Therapy  – Zinkers`s View

o       Couple as a (system ) organism in the field

o       The Beauty of the Couple

o       Gestalt Psychotherapy Process with Couple

·      Gestalt Psychotherapy  Approach  – Group Therapy

o       Group as a (system ) organism in the field

o       Individual in the Group

o       Group Process

§         work with the individual in the group

§         work with the group as a whole

o       Group Gestalt Psychotherapy safe way for development and healing

·      Gestalt Psychotherapy  Approach  – Family Therapy

o       Family as a (system ) organism in the field

o       Family Member in the Family

o       Gestalt Psychotherapy Process with Family

§         work with the individual member in the family

§         work with the family as a whole

·      Gestalt Psychotherapy  Approach to Addiction

·      Gestalt Psychotherapy in Psychosomatic Unit

·      Gestalt Psychotherapy  Approach to Life Span

o       Gestalt Approach to Children

o       Gestalt Approach to Adolescents

o       Gestalt Approach to Mid – age

o       Gestalt Approach to Elderly

·      Gestalt Psychotherapy  Approach to Victims

o       Gestalt Approach to Victims of Domestic Violence

o       Gestalt Approach to Victims of Sexual Abuse

o       Gestalt Approach to War Victims

o       Gestalt Approach to Victims of Trafficking

·      Gestalt Psychotherapy  Approach to Organizations

·      Gestalt Psychotherapy  Approach to Education


·      Client / Therapist Contract

o       Ethical Issues, ,

·      Field Process Thinking and Change in Therapeutic Practice

o       Phenomenology and Awareness

·      Psychotherapeutic relationship

o       Transference

o       Countertransference

·      Dialog – Existential Dialog

o       Inclusion, Confirmation, Presence

o       Positive and Negative Interactions in Psychotherapy – Benefits and Disruptions of Dialogical relationship

o       Family Member in the Family, Iatrogenic Shame Induction

·      Relationship with Ex-Clients

o       Ethical Issues, …

·      Formal and Physical Setting

o       Appointments, Office Setting, Billing, …


·      Ethical Issues in Psychotherapy

·      Codes of Ethics in Gestalt Psychotherapy


·      Jungian Analyze

·      Constructivist Psychotherapy

·      Family Constellation

·      Family Systemic Therapy

·      Psychodrama

·      Music therapy


·      Monotheistic or Polytheistic Psychotherapy

·      Hermeneutic Issues in Psychotherapy

·      Power Issues in Helping Professions, Responsibility of Knowing, Norms and Deviations

·      Deconstructing Psychotherapy

Research in Psychotherapy