Fritz

Fritz

Fritz

Fritz

Excerpt

My occupation is psychiatry and my formal training has included psychoanalysis. I had always assumed that analytic treatment was the last word in therapy: the point beyond which advancement was impossible. It was untenable to continue holding that belief after my training, however, when I began to witness the casualties of the "cure" as well as the successes. These casualties included therapists as well as patients--people who were capable of articulating intricate conceptualizations of their own and others' behavior, yet seemed pale imitations of human beings. Passion, drama, courage, wit, and audacity seemed lacking in healer and sufferer alike.

It was both a surprise and a delight to meet Fritz Perls in the winter of 1968 and to become familiar with his work. His approach (which was then untaught at the universities, hospitals, or analytic training center I attended) toward curing people of their preoccupations was both brilliant and yet phenomenally simple, since it worked, primarily, by focusing attention on the present moment. When one can fully tune in to the here and now, the mind has no room to record yesterday's recriminations or tomorrow's potential travails. Moreover, Fritz dared to display emotions I had felt--feelings that seemed to be denied among many other professionals I trained with.

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