Click here to download

The Concept of "Field" in Gestalt Therapy: Developments and Implications
Author/s: Mercurio Albino Macaluso 
Year:  2020 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  17 Pg. 57-73 FullText PDF:  240 KB
DOI:  10.3280/GEST2020-001005
(DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation:  clicca qui   and here 

In psychology, "field" is a controversial concept, since it is used with different meanings depending on the different theoretical perspectives. Even in Gestalt literature the concept of field does not yet have a clear and unequivocal definition. The author tries to systematize it, describing the different readings of it and its evolution in the Gestalt literature. He, then, anal-yses some aspects and implications, starting with three epistemological currents that have marked the development of science: holism, ecology and quantum mechanics. In this way, he highlights the richness and topicality of the Gestalt field concept and contextualizes it from a historical and cultural point of view. The Gestalt theory of the field belongs to a holistic vision of human nature and reality, according to which mind, body and external world are not reali-ties with independent existence, but complementary and inseparable aspects of the contact pro-cess. The author shows how the Gestalt holistic perspective is very similar to the view of quantum mechanics, which considers subject and object as inseparable aspects of a single pro-cess. The author then analyses the ecological dimension of Gestalt Therapy, referring in par-ticular to the meaning that Gregory Bateson attributes to the term "ecology". In this way, points of contact and differences between the Gestalt and the ecological vision of Bateson are highlighted. Finally, the author points out that the advent of quantum mechanics has chal-lenged traditional scientific thinking, based on the principles of classical physics. The discov-eries of quantum physics show the limits of a purely objective conception of the universe, un-dermining our own idea of matter. Perhaps, in the future, it will be quantum mechanics that will provide us with a better understanding of field psychological processes.
Keywords: Field, holism, ecology, self-regulation, quantum mechanics.

  1. Lewin K. (2011). Teoria dinamica della personalità. Milano: Giunti (ed. or.: A Dynamic Theory of Personality. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1935).
  2. Bateson G. (1976). Verso un’ecologia della mente. Milano: Adelphi (ed. or.: Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Chicago: Chandler Publishing Company, 1972).
  3. Bateson G. (1984). Mente e natura, un’unità necessaria. Milano: Adelphi (ed. or.: Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity.New York, NY: E.P. Dutton, 1979).
  4. Capra F. (1982). Il Tao della fisica. Milano: Adelphi (ed. or.: The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism. Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications, 1975).
  5. Capra F. (1984). Il punto di svolta. Scienza, società e cultura emergente. Milano: Feltrinelli (ed. or.: The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture, New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1982).
  6. Francesetti G. (2014). Dalla sintomatologia individuale ai campi psicopatologici. Verso una prospettiva di campo sulla sofferenza clinica. Quaderni di Gestalt, XXVII, 2: 31-56., DOI: 10.3280/GEST2014-00200
  7. Goodman S.E. (2014). Crescere con Paul Goodman. Riflessioni di una figlia sulla vita e il lavoro del padre. Quaderni di Gestalt, XXVII, 1: 113-125., DOI: 10.3280/GEST2014-001012
  8. Latner J. (1988). Questa è la velocità della luce: teorie del campo e dei sistemi nella Terapia della Gestalt. Quaderni di Gestalt, 6/7: 209-239 (ed. or.: This is the Speed of Light: Field and Systems Theories in Gestalt Therapy. The Gestalt Journal, 6, 2: 71-90, 1983).
  9. Legrenzi P., Umiltà C. (2009). Neuro-mania. Il cervello non spiega chi siamo. Bologna: Il Mulino.
  10. Lévy-Bruhl L. (1966). La mentalità primitiva. Torino: Einaudi (ed. or.: La Mentalité primitive. Paris: Félix Alcan, 1922).
  11. Lewin K. (1961). Principi di psicologia topologica. Firenze: OS (ed. or.: Principles of Topological Psychology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1936).
  12. Macaluso M.A. (2012). Oltre il modello Perls-Goodman. Dal campo organismo ambiente al campo relazionale. Quaderni di Gestalt, XXV, 2: 67-84., DOI: 10.3280/GEST2012002005
  13. Macaluso M.A. (2015a). La teoria del sé in Gestalt Therapy. Il sé, l’Io, l’Es e la personalità. Quaderni di Gestalt, XXVIII, 2: 61-78., DOI: 10.3280/GEST2015-002004
  14. Macaluso M.A. (2015b). La spontaneità dell’incontro terapeutico come fattore chiave di cambiamento. Quaderni di Gestalt, XXVIII, 2: 79-93., DOI: 10.3280/GEST2015002005
  15. Macaluso M.A. (2018). Intenzionalità e spontaneità nell’azione terapeutica gestaltica. Quaderni di Gestalt, XXXI, 1: 33-57., DOI: 10.3280/GEST2018-001004
  16. Parlett M. (1991). Reflections on Field Theory. The British Gestalt Journal, 1: 68-91.
  17. Penrose R. (1992). La mente nuova dell’imperatore. La mente, i computer e le leggi della fisica. Milano: Rizzoli (ed. or.: The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and The Laws of Physics. Oxford, UK: OUP, 1989).
  18. Perls F. (1995). L’Io, la fame, l’aggressività, Milano: FrancoAngeli (ed. or.: Ego, Hunger and Aggression: A Revision of Freud’s Theory and Method. London, UK: G. Allen&Unwin, 1947; New York, NY: Random Hause, 1969).
  19. Perls F.S., Hefferline R.F., Goodman P. (1997). Teoria e pratica della terapia della Gestalt. Vitalità e accrescimento nella personalità umana. Roma: Astrolabio (ed. or.: Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality. New York, NY: The Gestalt Journal Press, 1951; 1994).
  20. Philippson P.A. (2017). Topics in Gestalt Therapy 1: Revisiting the Field. Kindle book -- Manchester Gestalt Centre.
  21. Robine J.-M. (2006). Il rivelarsi del sé nel contatto. Milano: FrancoAngeli (ed. or.: Plis et Déplis du Self. Bordeaux: Institut Français de Gestalt-Thérapie, 1977).
  22. Rossi S. (2020). Psicoterapie della Gestalt. Come la sensibilità percettiva modula il setting terapeutico. Milano: FrancoAngeli.
  23. Sabbadini S.A. (2015). Pellegrinaggi verso il vuoto. Ripensare la realtà attraverso la fisica quantistica. Torino: Lindau.
  24. Spagnuolo Lobb M. (2011). Il now-for-nextin psicoterapia. La psicoterapia della Gestalt raccontata nella società post-moderna. Milano: FrancoAngeli.
  25. Spagnuolo Lobb M. (2017). La conoscenza relazionale estetica del campo. Per uno sviluppo del concetto di consapevolezza in psicoterapia della Gestalt e nella clinica contemporanea. Quaderni di Gestalt, XXX, 1: 17-33., DOI: 10.3280/GEST2017-001003
  26. Spagnuolo Lobb M. (2019). The Paradigm of Reciprocity: How to Radically Respect Spontaneity in Clinical Practice. Gestalt Review, 23, 3: 234-254.
  27. Spagnuolo Lobb M., Cavaleri P.A. (2013). Teoria del campo. In: Nardone G., Salvini A. (a cura di), Dizionario Internazionale di Psicoterapia. Milano: Garzanti.
  28. Staemmler F.M. (2006). A Babylonian Confusion? On the Uses and Meanings of the Term “Field”. British Gestalt Journal, 15, 2: 64-83.
  29. Stern D.N. (2005). Il momento presente. Milano: Raffaello Cortina (ed. or.: The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004).

Mercurio Albino Macaluso, The Concept of "Field" in Gestalt Therapy: Developments and Implications in "QUADERNI DI GESTALT" 1/2020, pp. 57-73, DOI:10.3280/GEST2020-001005


FrancoAngeli is a member of Publishers International Linking Association a not for profit orgasnization wich runs the CrossRef service, enabing links to and from online scholarly content