Relying on Kurt Lewin’s defintion of groups, and on Goodman’s concept of freely fluctuating leadership as a natural function of groups, the author describes a new model for group diagnosis and therapy. Basic principles of this model are the aesthetics of contact and the development of intentionalities for contact among group members. Synchronic and diachronic criteria are described. Synchronic criteria allow the aesthetic observation of groups in the here and now (that is, the vital presence of each member, the flexibility of spontaneous group leadership, the capacity to accept the novelty and diversity of group members). Diachronic criteria give the therapist a sense of the developmental meaning of what group members say or feel (five stages of becoming a group and separating from it). Given the coherence of this model with Gestalt therapy’s epistemology, it can be easily used in training programs and applied to relevant contexts such as organizational consulting.
Keywords: Leadership, group therapy, esthetics of contact, group phases, group consulting.