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The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE by Diane Brennan, Leni Wildflower

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FRITZ PERLS AND GESTALT THERAPY

Approximately translated, gestalt is German for “form.” Gestalt therapy was founded in the 1940s by Fritz and Laura Perls. Rooted in the idea that the mind has a capacity to see things in their wholeness and to construct forms out of fragmentary information, it is concerned with helping the individual observe herself in the broader context of a web, or field, of relationships. It can be seen as a process of experimentation and observation. In contrast to a tradition of experimental psychology that has tended, on the model of the physical sciences, to break things down into their component parts, the Gestalt approach is essentially holistic.

The philosophy underlying Gestalt therapy is existentialist in its view ...

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