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The Gestalt Outlook

Introduction Gestalt Therapy

Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality

Frederick Perls, Ralph Hefferline, & Paul Goodman


– both for the writing and the thorough understanding of this book –

is an attitude which as a theory actually permeates

the content and the measure of this book.

Thus the reader is apparently confronted with an impossible task:

to understand the book he must have the “Gestaltist” mentality,

and to acquire it he must understand the book.

Fortunately, the difficulty is far from being insurmountable,

for the authors have not invented such a mentality.

On the contrary, we believe that the gestalt outlook is the original, undistorted, natural approach to life, that is,

to man’s thinking, acting, feeling.

The average person, having been raised in an atmosphere

full of splits, has lost his Wholeness, his Integrity.

To come together again he has to heal the dualism of his person,

of his thinking, and of his language.

He is accustomed to thinking of contrasts – of infantile and mature,

of body and mind, organism and environment, self and reality,

as if they were opposing entities.

The unitary outlook which can dissolve such a dualistic approach

is buried but not destroyed and, as we intend to show,

can be regained with wholesome advantage.

Page xxiv