Skulls and Skeletons: The Dead and the Living as Support for Contacting

November 17, 2019 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
North Star Fund
520 8th Ave #1800
New York NY 10018
Skulls and Skeletons: The Dead and the Living as Support for Contacting @ North Star Fund

Presenter: Dan Bloom

Skulls and skeletons. We live in a graveyard. Our experiences die into the past underfoot. The ground covering our dead-past is the earth under our feet. This is the landscape of our experiential world. It is from these skulls and skeletons that the living-present emerges and the to-be-born future buds. We can reach back and draw life from the dead-past and celebrate it into the living-present. Or we can be frightened or be overtaken by its ghosts and goblins.

Contacting, the process of experience, is supported by this ground. Yet the aesthetic of contacting can have strained or darkened qualities when it is haunted by the past. But contacting is free and vivid when the dead-past is uncovered into the living-present. Each bright moment of unencumbered contacting reflects the living-past and to-be-born-future in its aesthetic.

With a mixture of didactics, experiential exercise, and group process, this workshop will explore these themes in terms of everyday living and clinical practice. It will consider the dead- and living-past as well as the to-be-born future – and also in the context of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy. The field, phenomenal, relational, and aesthetic dimensions of Gestalt therapy will be reflected throughout the workshop.



Dan Bloom, JD, LCSW ( is a psychotherapist and clinical trainer/supervisor with a private practice in New York City and online. He studied with Laura Perls, Isadore From, and Richard Kitzler at the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy, where Dan served as president for four years. He is a fellow of the Institute. He is also adjunct faculty at Gestalt Associates of New York, the Gestalt Center of New York, and the Center for Somatic Studies, international faculty at Instituto Humanista de Psicotherapia Gestalt, Mexico City, Mexico, faculty at the Gestalt Training Institute of Malta, and guest trainer at Istituto di Gestalt HCC, Syracuse, Italy. In addition, Dan presents workshops at international conferences and Gestalt therapy residentials. He leads online seminars in the theory/practice of contemporary Gestalt therapy and clinical phenomenology. He is a member of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy, a past president and member of the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy, and a member of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. He is an associate editor of Gestalt Review, a book review editor of Quaderni di Gestalt, and a member of the Scientific Board of the Gestalt therapy book series published by FrancoAngeli. He co-edited Continuity and Change: Gestalt Therapy Now and New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy: Selected Essays from the 21st Century. Dan’s writings are widely published and have been translated into more than seven languages.