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Fritz Perls

fritz perls, fritz perls quotes
Friedrich Frederick Salomon Perls July 8, 1893 – March 14, 1970, better known as Fritz Perls, was a noted German-born psychiatrist and psychotherapist Perls coined the term 'Gestalt therapy' to identify the form of psychotherapy that he developed with his wife, Laura Perls, in the 1940s and 1950s Perls became associated with the Esalen Institute in 1964, and he lived there until 1969 His approach to psychotherapy is related to, but not identical to, Gestalt psychology, and it is different from Gestalt theoretical psychotherapy

The core of the Gestalt Therapy process is enhanced awareness of sensation, perception, bodily feelings, emotion, and behavior, in the present moment Relationship is emphasized, along with contact between the self, its environment, and the other

Contents

  • 1 Life
  • 2 Bibliography
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 Further reading
  • 6 External links

Lifeedit

Fritz Perls was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1893 Perls “grew up” on the bohemian scene in Berlin, participated in Expressionism and Dadaism, and experienced the turning of the artistic avant-garde toward the revolutionary left Deployment to the front line, the trauma of war, anti-Semitism, intimidation, escape, and the Holocaust are further key sources of biographical influence

He was expected to practice law, following his distinguished uncle Herman Staub, but instead he studied medicine Perls joined the German Army during World War I, and spent time in the trenches After the war in 1918 he returned to his medical studies graduating two years later, specializing in neuropsychiatry as a medical doctor, and then became an assistant to Kurt Goldstein, who worked with brain injured soldiers Perls gravitated toward psychoanalysis

In 1927 Fritz Perls became a member of Wilhelm Reich's technical seminars in Vienna Reich's concept of character analysis influenced Perls to a large extent1 And in 1930 Reich became Perls' supervising senior analyst in Berlin2

In 1930 Fritz Perls married Laura Perls born, Lore Posner, and they had two children together, Renate and Stephen In 1933, soon after the Hitler regime came to power, being of Jewish descent, and because of their antifascist political activities in the time before,3 Fritz Perls, Laura, and their eldest child Renate fled to the Netherlands, and one year later they emigrated to South Africa, where Fritz Perls started a psychoanalytic training institute In 1936 he had a brief and unsatisfactory meeting with Freud4

In 1942 Fritz Perls joined the South African army, and he served as an army psychiatrist with the rank of captain until 1946 While in South Africa, Perls was influenced by the "holism" of Jan Smuts During this period Fritz Perls wrote his first book, Ego, Hunger, and Aggression published in 1942 and re-published in 1947 Laura Perls wrote two chapters of the book When it was re-published in the United States, however, she was not given any recognition for her work5

Fritz and Laura Perls left South Africa in 1946 and ended up in New York City, where Fritz Perls worked briefly with Karen Horney, and Wilhelm Reich After living through a peripatetic episode, during which he lived in Montreal and served as a cruise ship psychiatrist, Perls finally settled in Manhattan Perls wrote his second book with the assistance of New York intellectual and author, Paul Goodman, who drafted the theoretical second part of the book based upon Perls' hand-written notes Perls and Goodman were influenced by the work of Kurt Lewin and Otto Rank Along with the experiential first part, written with Ralph Hefferline, the book was entitled Gestalt Therapy and published in 1951

Thereafter, Fritz and Laura Perls started the first Gestalt Institute in their Manhattan apartment Fritz Perls began traveling throughout the United States in order to conduct Gestalt workshops and training6

In 1960 Fritz Perls left Laura Perls behind in Manhattan and moved to Los Angeles, where he practiced in conjunction with Jim Simkin 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 mini-satori a brief awakening 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 One of his students at Esalen was Dick Price, who developed Gestalt Practice, based in large part upon what he learned from Perls7 At Esalen, Perls collaborated with Ida Rolf, founder of Rolfing Structural Integration, to address the relationship between the mind and the body89

Perls has been widely cited outside the realm of psychotherapy for a quotation often described as 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 Verbatim, 1969

In 1969 Perls left Esalen and started a Gestalt community at Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island, Canada

Fritz Perls died of heart failure in Chicago, on March 14, 1970, after heart surgery at the Louis A Weiss Memorial Hospital10

Bibliographyedit

  • Perls, F, Ego, Hunger and Aggression 1942, 1947 ISBN 0-939266-18-0
  • Perls, F, Hefferline, R, & Goodman, P, Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality 1951 ISBN 0-939266-24-5
  • Perls, F, Gestalt Therapy Verbatim 1969 ISBN 0-911226-02-8 Note: Gestalt Therapy Verbatim was translated from English to Spanish by Francisco Huneeus, and was given the title: "Sueños y existencia", which means: "dreams and existence" ISBN 84-89-333-04-1
  • Perls, F, In and Out the Garbage Pail 1969 ISBN 0-553-20253-7
  • Perls, F, The Gestalt Approach and Eye Witness to Therapy 1973 ISBN 0-8314-0034-X

See alsoedit

  • Barry Stevens therapist

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Bernd Bocian: Fritz Perls in Berlin 1893 - 1933 Expressionism - Psychonalysis - Judaism, 2010, p 205 ff, EHP Verlag Andreas Kohlhage, Bergisch Gladbach ISBN 978-3-89797-068-7
  2. ^ Perls, F, In and Out the Garbage Pail, Lafayette, CA: Real People Press 1969
  3. ^ Bernd Bocian: Fritz Perls in Berlin 1893 - 1933 Expressionism - Psychonalysis - Judaism, 2010, p 292, EHP Verlag Andreas Kohlhage, Bergisch Gladbach ISBN 978-3-89797-068-7
  4. ^ Bernd Bocian: Fritz Perls in Berlin 1893 - 1933 Expressionism - Psychonalysis - Judaism, 2010, p 211, EHP Verlag Andreas Kohlhage, Bergisch Gladbach ISBN 978-3-89797-068-7
  5. ^ Edward Rosenfeld: An Oral History of Gestalt Therapy Part 1 A conversation with Laura Perls
  6. ^ Autobiographical Chronology by Friz Perls
  7. ^ Excerpts from an interview with Dick Price conducted by Wade Hudson
  8. ^ Perls, Frederick 1969 In and Out of the Garbage Pail Real People Press 
  9. ^ Claire, Thomas 1995 Bodywork: What Type of Massage to Get and How to Make the Most of It William Morrow and Co pp 40–56 ISBN 9781591202325 
  10. ^ New York Times Obituary

Further readingedit

  • Petruska Clarkson, Jennifer Mackewn: "Fritz Perls", 1993, SAGE Publications ISBN 978-0-8039-8453-0
  • Bernd Bocian: "Fritz Perls in Berlin 1893–1933 Expressionism – Psychonalysis – Judaism", 2010, EHP Verlag Andreas Kohlhage, Bergisch Gladbach ISBN 978-3-89797-068-7

External linksedit

Library resources about
Fritz Perls
  • A Life Chronology, by Frederick Perls
  • Frederick Perls: A Son's Reflections, by Stephen Perls
  • Growing Up Rugged: Fritz Perls and Gestalt Therapy by National Book Award winner Ernest Becker Delivered as a talk shortly after Perls's death in 1970
  • Obituary in the New York Times
  • Psychiatry in a New Key from the Unpublished Manuscripts of Fritz Perls
  • Finding Self Through Gestalt Therapy, a transcript of a talk given at the Cooper Union by Frederick Perls in 1957
  • Planned Psychotherapy by Frederick Perls A talk given in the late 1940s at the William Alanson White Institute in New York City, "Planned Psychotherapy" predates the articulation of Gestalt therapy by a few years Perls discusses in detail his developing use of focusing on the "here and now"
  • Fritz Perls: Gestalt Therapy A nearly forgotten interview with Fritz Perls the co-founder of Gestalt Therapy by Adelaide Bry

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