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Embodied Relational Intimacy: A Neurobiological-Gestalt Integration of Couples and Sex Therapy – Presenter: Stella Resnick @ Home of Perry and Robin Gunther
Oct 4 @ 8:15 pm – 10:30 pm

Embodied relational intimacy is a wordless communication between intimates that is conveyed through eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice, and empathetic gestures that is at the very root of trust and affection between mates. Likewise, when playfully eroticized, this embodied quality of connection provides the essence of arousal between lovers.

This presentation will begin with a brief review of the neurobiological evidence in support of Gestalt practice with special emphasis on relationship and sexual issues. I will show the profound interplay between love and sex from early childhood programing to adult intimate relationships. We will then explore several methods for integrating a body-based Gestalt experiential focus with breath work and emotional-sensual-sexual healing in couples therapy. Finally, we end with several body-based exercises and experiments that can be utilized with couples during a session and at home.

Stella Resnick, PhD is a clinical psychologist and AASECT-certified sex therapist and clinical supervisor in private practice in Beverly Hills, CA specializing in couples and sex therapy. She co-leads an annual couples’ retreat with her husband at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA and also runs yearly training programs there in her Full-Spectrum Gestalt (FSG) approach integrating couples and sex therapy. Stella’s most recent book is The Heart of Desire: Keys to the Pleasures of Love (2012). She can be reached through her website at

Anarchy and Gestalt: A Proposal for Radical Practice – Presenter: Jack Aylward @ Chelsea Studios
Nov 11 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

One of the more unique aspects of gestalt therapy theory can be found in its ability to address, not only the psychological problems presented by those seeking our help, but also in the healing of those social and political maladies contributing to such. The basis for such uniqueness can be found in Paul Goodman’s anarchistic philosophical contributions to our theory. The discussion will center around the gestalt concepts of self-formation and organismic self-regulation and their therapeutic, social, and political implications. It will also include a series of guided imagery exercises focused on the possibilities available of integrating such concepts into one’s practice in providing our clients with the tools for both personal and social change. Given the growing political and emotional upheavals arising throughout the world, gestalt’s holistic orientation is needed now more than ever.

The Environment of Trauma – Presenter: Lee Zevy @ Chelsea Studios
Dec 10 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Somatic Experiencing – Presenter: Matthew Whaley @ Chelsea Studios
Jan 17 @ 8:15 pm – 10:30 pm
His Social Activist Program at the Relational Center in LA – Presenter: Mark Fairfield @ Chelsea Studios
Jan 31 @ 8:15 pm – 10:30 pm
Embodied Space and Embodied Field: Further Inquiries into Art and Gestalt – Presenter: Perry Gunther @ Chelsea Studios
Feb 25 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Space is the medium of painting. It is the matrix that confers meaning to all manner of painting. If we examine how space is embodied, then a deeper understanding of art as embodiment unfolds. Comparing embodied space to the idea of the field is quite illuminating because as space is the medium of art, field is the medium of Gestalt. This presentation was generated as result of writing a foreword for Sean Gaffney’s Las Meninas Suite, a series of poems based on Velazquez’ painting “Las Meninas”. The painting is a work of perplexing and confounding space that the gestalt therapist Gaffney penetrates through poetry. The painting depicts a large room, a six-sided interior. In that respect, it is much like the room occupied for this presentation, or for that matter an office where gestalt therapy is conducted. Attendees to this presentation are encouraged to look at a reproduction of Velazquez’ Las Meninas.

Essentially, this presentation is about space. What space is and how we experience space. It’s about the kind of space that occurs in painting, it is virtual space that provides a context that differentiates one artists view of the world from another’s. It is similar to the way each of us inhabits our own space. In my last presentation, “Meeting Art at the Contact Boundary”, I suggested that for an artist, space, and the gestalt concept of field, are strongly proximate. Even though a painting might be bounded in a window like frame it is not like a baseball field any more than field theory is about a baseball field. Space goes beyond dimension and does not have a physical boundary.

Just as my previous presentation was inspired and informed by an artist’s point of view, this one is that as well. However here I am also inspired by the poetry of Sean Gaffney writing about Velásquez painting “Las Medinas”. How Sean and I met and how I was commissioned to write a foreword for his poems has been described within the covers of Gaffney’s “The Las Meninas Suite –Nine Reflections in Poetry on a Painting, Two Painters and a Dog.”. As I reviewed the poems, it became clear to me that Gafney’s experience of the painting was informed by Gestalt Therapy and how he experiences the world with gestalt therapist’s eyes. Taking poetry into the painting is a way of slowing things down. Going slowly is a good way to spend time looking at the world, looking at paintings and looking at clients.

There will be three sections to this presentation:

  • The first, “Looking at space (incompossible): Some thoughts and concepts about space, phenomenologically through an artist’s experience.
  • Second. “A journey into Las Meninas with The Las Meninas Suite”: Virtual space and real space (not incompossible). Focusing on “near- far”; the painter Velazquez, Nieto on the stairs, King Philip in the mirror.
  • Third. Embodied contact “near –far”: Heightening our awareness of space in meeting with the other. A didactic activity.

Perry Gunther MFA, LP is a practicing artist as well as a Gestalt therapist. He has exhibited work in New York City as well as in Europe. He also was a professor of art and art history before beginning his studies in Gestalt Therapy. In that capacity, he taught drawing sculpture painting and design at Cleveland State University, Hunter College and Cooper Union. Currently he lectures about art and Gestalt. In 20016 Gunther gave a talk at the AAGT EAGT Conference in Sicily entitled “Meeting Art at the Contact Boundary”, an evaluation of parallel currents in art and gestalt.

NYIGT 65th Anniversary Symposium @ First Presbyterian Church
Mar 3 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

One Day Symposium: Dinner/Dance to Follow

Somatic Experiencing – Presenter: Judith Beerman Zeligson (Denmark) @ Chelsea Studios
Apr 15 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Judith Beermann Zeligson Somatic Experiencing®-practitioner, Gestalt psychotherapist & supervisor, Mindfulness & meditation instructor, family therapist, B.A. Social Science.

Her 40 years of running a private practice also includes 25 years at the faculty of Gestalt Academy of Scandinavia, developing Leadership Training programs as well as addressing Collective Wounds by supervising 12 years at Red Ross Centre for Rehabilitation of traumatised refugees, conducting Peace Workshops and initiating and running “Children with scars without wounds” – a project for offspring’s of Holocaust survivors and the Resistance movement from WW II.

Judith has a unique capacity to discover the innate resources of the individual and reach the core where we dare to see our own patterns. With a sense of humour and clarity of mind and speech, she integrates theory and practice. Participants are invited to explore what shapes their present life – and experience that transformation is possible as one dares to be with what is – and opens to receive a new experience.

She has assisted Diane Poole Heller in several Dare trainings in Denmark as well as being the coordinator when her 2-year attachment training SATE (somatic attachment therapy) was introduced in Denmark. She is now certified to teach the DARE / SATE training.

DATE TBD – The Hidden Self: A Gestalt Look at Schizoid Adaptations – Presenter: Elinor Greenberg @ Chelsea Studios
May 13 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Date TBD

DATE TBA – Embodiment and Gestalt – Presenter: Michael Clemens @ Chelsea Studios
Jun 10 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Date TBA

The Aesthetic Relational Knowledge: a field oriented definition of awareness – Presenter: Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb @ Chelsea Studios
Aug 8 @ 8:15 pm – 10:30 pm

Since its origins, Awareness has been intended as a knowledge of the field, more than of a single person. With the concept of AER, I’ve developed tools, which are clearly field oriented, for the Gestalt therapist to concentrate of this crucial competence. Participants will have the opportunity to experience these tools and dialogue at the end.

Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb, Director of the Istituto di Gestalt HCC Italy (Siracusa, Palermo, Milan), with English spoken programs for Gestalt therapists. Full Member of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy (NYIGT), Past-President of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT) and of other Psychotherapy and GT Associations (SIPG; FIAP; FISIG). She is Editor in chief of the Journal Quaderni di Gestalt, and of the International Gestalt Therapy Book Series. Her most recent book The Now-for-Next in Psychotherapy. Gestalt Therapy Recounted in Post Modern Society (2013) is available in English and other 6 languages. More on