Tin Soldiers on Jerusalem Beach

By Amia Lieblich | Go to book overview

Overview of Gestalt Therapy

Gestalt therapy is a name for a philosophy, a psychological theory, and a therapeutic technique based on the contribution of Fritz Perls.* Since its main forte is doing rather than talking about, many of the available theoretical formulations of this approach lack clarity, and the best way to fully comprehend Gestalt therapy is through the experiential mode. Though reading the records of the sessions to be presented in Part II of the book is some way to experience Gestalt therapy, albeit vicariously, and is thus, from what would be assumedly the opinion of Fritz Perls, preferable to an attempt to describe the approach in any systematic manner, some readers may profit from an overview of the assumptions, aims, and techniques that underlie the present work.

Recently, there has been a growing number of books and papers that provides comprehensive explications of Gestalt therapy. Since the focus of the present book is on Israel rather than on therapy or psychological theory, the following section on Gestalt therapy is merely a shorthand presentation.

Gestalt is a German word meaning "whole" or "configuration." It was used by Perls to convey his belief that people are total organisms functioning as wholes; that there is no sense in dividing mind from body, consciousness from unconsciousness, knowing from feeling, etc. According to German Gestalt psychology, the gestalt as a whole is more than the sum total of its

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*
The references to the books upon which this review is based are listed in the suggested reading section at the end of the book. This review stems also from my personal training in Gestalt therapy with Dr. James S. Simkin.

-11-

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Tin Soldiers on Jerusalem Beach
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Part 1 - VVhen Cannons Are Stilled, Let Voices Be Heard 1
  • Six Wars 3
  • On War and Sanity 7
  • Overview of Gestalt Therapy 11
  • The Groups 18
  • Reactions 21
  • Tin Soldiers on Jerusalem Beach 24
  • Part 2 - The Unfinished Business of War in Israel 25
  • War as a Symbol 27
  • On Freedom and Country 46
  • Reminders of the Holocaust 75
  • War and the Family 95
  • Early Effects of the War 116
  • The Wheelchair Group of 1974__ 143
  • New Group, Old War 160
  • The Shadow of War 193
  • Part 3 - Peacetime Conversations About War 205
  • The Women 261
  • About the Book 289
  • Recommended Readings 305
  • About the Author *
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