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How Gestalt psychotherapy would develop on the conceptual basis of Gestalt Psychology. The life and works of Georges Wollants (1941-2018)
Journal Title: QUADERNI DI GESTALT 
Author/s: Gerhard Stemberger 
Year:  2019 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  14 Pg. 103-116 FullText PDF:  232 KB
DOI:  10.3280/GEST2019-001007
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This article attempts to trace the life and work of the Belgian Gestalt therapist Georges Wollants (1941-2018). Georges Wollants has a special position in the international gestalt therapeutic community insofar as he defines the concept of Gestalt therapy in many ways dif-ferently than is usual. This is particularly evident in his major work Gestalt Therapy – Thera-py of the Situation. In this book he already asks in the introduction what kind of Gestalt thera-py would have evolved if, from the outset, the insights, principles and applications of the Ber-lin School of Gestalt Theory were integrated into the practice of Gestalt Therapy in the formu-lation of their basic concepts. The fact that Georges Wollants was so close in his thinking from the beginning to the Ber-lin School of Gestalt Theory (Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Köhler, Kurt Koffka, Kurt Lewin), has its roots in Wollants’ intellectual background in the phenomenological psychology of the Dutch Utrecht School (Jan Hendrik van den Berg and Frederik J.J. Buytendijk) and the Bel-gian Leeuwen School (Albert A. Michotte and Joseph Nuttin). Their phenomenological psy-chology was closely connected with the Gestalt theory of the Berlin School, their proponents respected each other, had friendly ties and cooperated in many ways. Against this background, it was difficult for Georges Wollants to understand or even accept that Gestalt therapy in its theoretical development was not clearly based on this Gestalt theory of the Berlin School, and its references to this Gestalt theory hardly ever went beyond a caricature. Wollants has criti-cized this again and again his whole life. In his book he wanted to show that a Gestalt therapy on genuinely Gestalt theoretical basis (in the sense of Gestalt theory of the Berlin School, building on the work of Wertheimer, Köhler, Koffka, Lewin and Metzger) is possible and what that would mean in theory and practice.
Keywords: Therapy of the Situation, Gestalt psychology, Berlin School, phenomenology, environment.

Gerhard Stemberger, How Gestalt psychotherapy would develop on the conceptual basis of Gestalt Psychology. The life and works of Georges Wollants (1941-2018) in "QUADERNI DI GESTALT" 1/2019, pp. 103-116, DOI:10.3280/GEST2019-001007

   

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