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Fritz Perls

Fritz Perls - the founder of Gestalt therapy

Frederick or Friedrich Salomon Perls (July 8 1893, Berlin - March 14 1970, Chicago) entered the history as Fritz Perls, a famous psychiatrist and psychotherapist. He was a Jew born in Germany, who developed absolutely new approach in psychotherapy. According to this theory, one of the primary objectives of Gestalt therapy is the ability to restore the self-awareness which is lost when a psychological disorder becomes evident. This is accomplished by restoring the individual's ability to differentiate, which helps the individual to identify what is and what is not a true part of the self, what provides the individual with a sense of self-realization and achievement and what leads to frustration. Thanks to him the term of Gestalt therapy came into view. It is based on Gestalt psychology and Hans-Jurgen Walter's Gestalt Theory Psychotherapy. His wife Laura Perls also contributed to the development of the Gestalt psychotherapy.

Fritz Perls Books

«Ego Hunger and Aggression: A revision of Freud's theory and Method.» (1947)

G. Allen & Unwin ltd. London. Perls, Frederick, Goodman, Paul, & Hefferline, Ralph (1951). Excitement and Growth in Human Personality. Julian Press; New York.

Ego Hunger and Aggression: A revision of Freud's theory and Method. (1947)


Essential reading for any serious student of Gestalt therapy, Perls' first book (originally published in South Africa in 1942) contains the seeds of Gestalt therapy's theoretical foundations and introduces such concepts as the "hunger instinct" and "oral aggression" and "oral resistance."

«Ego, Hunger and Aggression: The beginning of Gestalt Therapy.» (1969)

Random House; New York.

Ego, Hunger and Aggression: The beginning of Gestalt Therapy. (1969)

«Gestalt Therapy Verbatim.» (1969)

Compiled and edited by John O. Stevens. Real People Press; Lafyette, CA.

Gestalt Therapy Verbatim


Compiled and edited from transcriptions of three workshop/demonstrations that took place at the Esalen Institute in 1968, the first section of this book includes four lectures wherein Perls presents a clear explanation in simple terms of the basic ideas he believed underlie the philosophy and methodology of Gestalt therapy. The lectures are followed by verbatim transcripts of work Perls did with workshop participants. This Gestalt Journal edition includes an introduction by Michael Vincent Miller that explores the political and cultural milieu when Gestalt therapy leapt to the "theatrical forefront" of the human potential movement.

«In and Out of the Garbage Pail.» (1969)

Real People Press; Lafayette, CA.

In and Out of the Garbage Pail. (1969)


A novel autobiography in which the author applies his theory of focusing on awareness, writing "whatever wants to be written." Partly in poetic form, often playful, sometimes theoretical, the book is a many-faceted mosaic of memories and reflections on his life - in the past and at the moment - and on the origins and continuing development of Gestalt therapy. This is an exact reproduction of the original 1969 Real People Press edition and includes all the original illustrations by artist Russ Youngreen.

«The Gestalt Approach and Eye Witness to Therapy.» (1973)

Science and Behavior Books; Palo Alto, CA.

The Gestalt Approach and Eye Witness to Therapy. (1973)