The Fractured World: The Gestalt of the Situated Self

February 12, 2023 @ 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
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Dan BloomPresenter: Dan Bloom


Wars. COVID. Fires. Floods. Autocracies and hate. Our world is fractured. Our earth is ablaze. We find ourselves dispossessed from our own homes – exiles in a land that was once familiar to us. We are haunted by terrors of the visible and barely visible, the present and barely present, and the nightmares of an accelerated future that is too quickly imminent. We are dislocated – thrown out of our place, out of our time. Can contemporary Gestalt therapy respond to the cries of persons alive in this world?

Of course it can.

This presentation will describe a contemporary relational and post-dialogical Gestalt therapy that responds to our being in this “uncanny” world. I will present the life-world and the situation in terms of the exiled self, the other, the alien, and the responsivity of contacting as existential-phenomenological dimensions of our field-emergent self model.

With these conceptual constructs included in our clinical phenomenology, the process of contacting becomes the articulation of our being-in-the-world-with-others and our means to soften the fractures of our phenomenal world. This perspective facilitates our being available to the clinical suffering in our practices.

The presentation will begin with an outline of these ideas. It will follow with small and large group experiments and discussions that are intended to concretize these ideas in an embodied way. I will facilitate the presentation in terms of the group-as-a-whole.


Dan Bloom, JD, LCSW (, is a psychotherapist, supervisor, clinical trainer, and writer in New York City. He studied with Laura Perls, Isadore From, and Richard Kitzler. Dan teaches at the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy, and is guest and adjunct faculty at Gestalt therapy institutes worldwide. He has spoken and given workshops at many international conferences. He leads webinars in Gestalt therapy and phenomenology. He is a past president and a Fellow of NYIGT and a past president of IAAGT. He is a member of EAGT. Dan is a co-founder of the International Study Group on Field-Emergent Self and Therapy ( He is an associate editor of the Gestalt Review, a book review editor of Quaderni di Gestalt, and a member of the Scientific Board of the Gestalt Therapy Book Series. Dan is widely published.