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Business Meeting
Jan 27 @ 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm


The Business Meeting will now be virtual. You can email to receive a Zoom invitation for the video call.

Gestalt in an Age of Resistance: Supporting Justice Movements – Presenter: Mark Fairfield @ The Home of Perry and Robin Gunther
Jan 31 @ 8:15 pm – 10:30 pm

Mark Fairfield will offer a presentation on a demonstration project —an initiative hosted by The Relational Center in Los Angeles — that combines a public health prevention model, a community organizing tradition, and social capital metrics in a culture-building strategy which has been adopted by several contemporary social movements. The discussion will trace significant lines of influence back to Gestalt theory and values and the political and social critique underlying them. The presentation will also explore opportunities for mental health professionals to exert more influence within the health care system and its various institutions.
Mark Fairfield is the Founder and Executive Director of The Relational Center, a grassroots nonprofit in Los Angeles. Mark is a longtime community organizer, organizational consultant, Gestalt trainer, author and teacher. After completing his graduate studies at Columbia University in the 90s, he took various leadership positions in the AIDS movement for over a decade.  In addition to overseeing The Relational Center, Mark consults with other non-profit boards and management teams, offering strategic planning facilitation, leadership development and support for culture shift.

Hate in the Field: A Dialogue @ Chelsea Studios
Feb 25 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Since the election of 2016 and the rise of Donald Trump, the larger field has been colored with hateful rhetoric. In light of this emergence, how does hate impact the socio-cultural-relational field? Hate is an emotion that can be expressed in a healthy or unhealthy way. It can also be the basis of a belief system that creates division and maintains generations of ignorance, violence, and oppression. Throughout the world, hate has permeated the human race. Is hate inherent in the human species? What is our role as therapists in light of hateful feelings? How do we handle our own hateful feelings or those of our clients? These questions and other important ideas about hate as a social-psychological phenomenon will be explored in this talk.

Andy Lapides, MSW, LCSW, BCD, is a gestalt-trained psychotherapist in private practice in Morristown, New Jersey. Andy trained at the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy & Training from 2005 to 2008. He went on to train in modern psychoanalysis at The Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis in Livingston, New Jersey, from 2009 to 2012 and The Center for Group Studies from 2012 to 2014.

NYIGT 65th Anniversary Symposium @ The LGBTQ Center
Mar 3 @ 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Creatively alive and radically evolving

A one-day symposium & evening celebration! Honoring NYIGT’s 65th Anniversary 1952-2017

The New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy (NYIGT) is the original gestalt therapy institute, founded by Laura and
Fritz Perls in 1952. Having evolved from its roots in pyschoanalysis, gestalt therapy has been and remains a dynamic
force in pyschotherapy. Gestalt Therapy’s commitment to dialogue, its focus on the here and now, and other core concepts
were harbingers of changes that would eventually manifest in a range of pyschodynamic pyschotherapies. NYIGT remains an
instrumental voice in the development of gestalt therapy and is a meaningful presence in the lives of gestalt practitioners
and clients the world over.

NYIGT is dedicated to gestalt therapy’s ongoing emergence and development. Stimulated by theme-centered panelists, symposium participants will explore the Institute’s journey as a teaching and learning community. Attendees will be invited to address figures they notice forming in the immediate field and to engage in dialogue that actively co-creates gestalt therapy’s growing edge in 2018 and beyond.

This celebration is open to gestalt therapy practitioners and trainees, therapists from other orientations, educators, artists, friends and all who are interested. NYIGT is committed to learning from one another!

Buy tickets today!

Is A Gestalt An Organic Unit Or Not? – An Invitation To A Gestalt Diagnostic Flowchart And Navigation Tool In The Field – Presenter: Judith Beerman Zeligson (Denmark) @ Chelsea Studios
Apr 15 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The impact from meeting with people from many walks of life and ages – and the frustration over static diagnostic models not compatible with a Gestalt perspective – fueled me to develop a dynamic diagnostic navigation model that supports dialogue and mutual influence. FAMA (Scandinavian short for Field Analysis with Awareness) is based on two major influences:

Allowing the preciousness of the present moment as well as awareness of the constant organising and reorganising of the field in chaotic, polarised, flexible or integrating ways. The flowchart suggests a willingness to alternate between symmetric and asymmetric responsibility as part of the role. Thus interaction and interventions may be designed to respond to the relevant need in the field, be it short or long-term processes.

The flowchart is an expression of my life and work experiences and found its shape about 10 years ago. The aim is to fill 3 needs: To be a guiding map in the gestalt training, to enable a dialogue outside the gestalt environment, to acknowledge a growing number of a “new type of clients” needing more support and a firm structure held in the relation.

The visual easy to grasp format and the dynamism of the flowchart will be introduced. How to navigate in the 4 field is illustrated by exercises with focus on the most important of the 12 gates: awareness of the role, the body, the activation level of the nervous system and attachment styles.

Perls, Hefferline, Goodman published Gestalt therapy (1951).Half a century later neuroscience confirms our focus on figure / ground formation and awareness! We are invited to work with awareness of the complex brain & nervous system responses fueling the organismic self-regulation. Thus we can approach unfinished, fixed gestalt, frozen in body & mind, in a way the founders only could dream of.

As I learned to tune into and gently cooperate with our nervous system and its deep influence on our capacity to perceive, stay aware of and participate in the present moment, my gestalt practice and life has found new depths with an increased understanding of how survival patterns, developmental issues and traumas can keep us stuck in past – or expand from chaos to spirituality. Thus adding the nervous system as a gate in the chart reminds us of our innate capacity to return to balance and embrace more facets of life.

Certified Gestalt therapist and supervisor – Certified Somatic Experiencing ® -Practitioner
Certified Somatic Attachment Trainer Diane Poole Heller-Certified Mindfulness instructor – B.A Social Science.

40 years in the field of psychotherapy, supervision and training include 25 years at the faculty of Gestalt Academy of Scandinavia, developing Existential Leadership training.

Moreover addressing collective wounds by 12 years of supervising at Red Cross Centre for Rehabilitation of traumatized refugees, initiating: “Children with scars without wounds“-an ongoing project for offspring’s of the Resistance movement from WW II and survivors of Holocaust as well as conducting Peace Workshops for the public. Deeply influenced by long-term spiritual practice within the Diamond Approach and Buddhistic teaching. Jewish roots and Buddhistic wings!

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.


The Hidden Self: A Gestalt Look at Schizoid Adaptations – Presenter: Elinor Greenberg @ The National Opera Center
May 19 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This presentation is intended as an introduction to the diagnosis and treatment of what are commonly called Schizoid Personality Disorders. From a Gestalt therapy point of view, “Schizoid Personality Disorder” can be reconceptualized as a series of creative adjustments to an early traumatic childhood situation that created the deep-seated belief that true intimacy with other people is inherently unsafe.

Individuals who have made Schizoid adaptations can be difficult to recognize because they believe that it is dangerous to show other people their true Self. They fear that doing so will allow others to enslave them, appropriate what is theirs, or use them as tools. They use distancing defenses, fantasy, and dissociation to deal with their interpersonal fears and their porous interpersonal boundaries.

Because these clients rarely cause other people difficulties, their suffering often goes unnoticed and unaddressed. Because their basic defense pattern involves hiding whatever is truly meaningful to them, most therapists are ill-prepared to recognize that their client has Schizoid issues and needs a modification of their usual therapeutic approach.

In this presentation I will use my concept of the Interpersonal Gestalt to help participants understand what is figural for these clients during interpersonal relationship and how to recognize this in session. There will be experiential exercises that allow us to experiment with “Thinking Schizoid.” We will also look at subtle ways that Gestalt therapists can modify their usual way of working so as to be more effective with clients who have profound Schizoid issues.

Elinor Greenberg
Elinor Greenberg, PhD, is a psychologist and Gestalt therapy trainer who specializes in teaching the diagnosis and treatment of Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid adaptations. She is on the faculty of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy and the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training. Elinor is an Associate Editor of Gestalt Review. She is a former faculty member of The Masterson Institute, a post-graduate training institute for Personality Disorders. Dr. Greenberg writes an online blog for Psychology Today called “Understanding Narcissism” and is the author of the book: Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations: The Search for Love, Admiration, and Safety.

Embodied Contexts: Relationships Between Our Embodiment and the Present Field – Presenter: Michael Clemmens @ NEW VENUE - The LGBTQ Center
Jun 16 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Our present experience is embedded in differing contexts, or embodied fields. We emerge and are drawn to creatively adjust our self in this relationship between our body as figure in the ground of the presence of others and the physical world. In this workshop, we will discuss and explore the relationship between our own sense of selves and the multiple dances we are engaged in, from in utero, to parents, families, culture and the actual land when stand upon.

My intention is to help us attend to our body/self in relation, sometimes pre-personal and often inarticulate. We will attempt to develop a somatic intelligence to describe this inter-relatedness between our self and other.

Please note the change in venue:
The LGBTQ Center
208 West 13th St. Room 302

Michael Clemmens, PhD is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Pittsburgh, PA working with individuals and couples. He is a faculty member at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland and Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He travels nationally and internationally teaching and offering experiential learning opportunities. He is the author of Getting Beyond Sobriety: Clinical Approaches to Long Term Recovery published by Gestalt Press and the article “Culture and Body”, “Gestalt therapy as an Embodied Relation Dialogue” and the editor of the soon to be published book Embodied Relational Gestalt, to be published by Gestalt Press.

Business Meeting
Jun 27 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The Aesthetic Relational Knowledge: a field oriented definition of awareness – Presenter: Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb @ National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis
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

Sep 12 @ 8:15 pm – 10:30 pm
Looming Figures On Shaky Ground: This Era’s Authoritarianism In Our Lives And Practice @ The North Star Fund
Oct 28 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Speakers: Susan Gregory And Adam Weitz

Gestalt therapy emerged in a socio-political field which, in many ways, reflects the one we are living in now.

Our society is hitting mark after mark on its apparent path toward authoritarianism. History has shown us that democracy is not a given for any society. We need only to study the past to see that this is true. We need to name present trends rather than shy away from them.

A decades long series of changes has culminated in figures forming of charismatic madmen, including Donald Trump, who, with associates, denigrate science, and try to reshape governments to undermine justice systems, educational institutions, immigration systems, journalism and media, and facts. As an institute, we need to pay attention to these developing phenomena.

Racism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny and anti-Semitism are shamelessly being expressed. For those of us who seek to diminish those things, it is very scary these days.

Our wishes for this afternoon are

-to make space for institute members and friends to be together with what is in these  difficult times;               

-to support one another in being with what is and not becoming frozen;

-to look at the ways Gestalt therapy, given its history, may be either unsuited or particularly suited to meet the challenges of the present moment;

-to examine the ways we as a society, and as individuals within it, are primed and vulnerable to becoming subjects rather than remaining citizens.

How do we strengthen ourselves?

Please come and participate in the conversation, October 28th 2-5pm.

@ The North Star Fund
520 8th Avenue, Suite 1800

A Gestalt Therapy Approach To Mortality @ NPAP
Nov 17 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

NOTE: We will be starting precisely at 2. 

The New York Institute At 65: Experiences Of Our Community @ The North Star Fund
Dec 16 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Speaker: Perry Klepner

Inspired by the 65th Birthday celebration this presentation will explore member’s community experience. The ties that bind and build community include common/different interests, values, shared personal/institute experience, mutual support, generosity, care, concern and love. Areas to be explored may include: how these are part of our NYIGT teaching-learning community; our expectations, and needs for community; the forces/constraints of the field involved in shaping member’s voices and participation; the How and What of our contact; and how our being in community relates to the theory/practice of GT which at its core was created to integrate what is desensitized and alienated, and excitement and growth in living.
Can a new figure/ground of community present opportunities for discovering something new is possible, i.e., growth? 
This presentation will be conducted with didactic and experiential segments using small and large group interactions. It will utilize participants emerging experience to explore, experiment, hypothesize members’ and dynamic processes of the NYIGT community, who we have been, are, intend to be here/ now.
Gloria And Fritz: After 54 Years What Can They Teach Us? @ The North Star Fund
Jan 26 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Speaker: James Battaglia

The movie, Three Approaches to Psychotherapy (TAP), widely known as The Gloria Films, was shot in 1964 and released in 1965. In each of the three sections of the movie, Gloria Szymanski, age 30, encounters one of the three eminent   psychotherapy theorists of the day: Albert Ellis, Carl Rogers and Fritz Perls. TAP was conceived as an educational tool and for over five decades has been the first (and sometimes only) introduction to gestalt therapy (GT) for generations of college students. 

During his encounter with Szymanski, Perls demonstrates an approach that is very different from the gestalt therapy practiced today. Over the years, Perls’s interaction with Szymanski has been met with mixed reviews.

During this presentation, attendees will view the Perls and Szymanski encounter in Three Approaches to Psychotherapy and have the opportunity to  participate in a discussion and share their responses. Questions which may be considered during the discussion include:  Did Perls’s work in the film accurately reflect GT as it was practiced in the mid-1960s?  Are GT’s strengths amply demonstrated?  Are there aspects of Perls’s interaction with Szymanski that he might have handled differently?  What perceptions of GT might the film support? How has GT evolved since the film was made?  What does the future hold for The Gloria Films

The presentation will include an experiential exercise. 

Phenomenology In The Art Experience From A Gestalt Therapy Perspective @ NPAP
Feb 9 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Speaker: Rebekah Windmiller

This presentation will explore a phenomenological approach to the process of creative experience and the creations that are formed out of this process. A primary concept is a movement away from interpretation of the creative image and a step toward bringing images to life as a rich presence through which a multiplicity of meanings can be brought forth. Further concepts include: phenomenology and what that means in a creative process; making contact with sensory experience; using what I call a “low skill/high sensitivity” attitude as it pertains to aesthetics; imagination as ground for image/figure formation; and play as a field experience supporting surprise and new growth. The discussion will be followed by an intermodal arts experience which may include movement, visual art and poetry allowing participants to embody these concepts. The presentation closes with time for the group to reflect, share experiences and discuss clinical applications.
“The Remembrance Of Things Present”
Mar 23 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Speaker: Sylvia Crocker

Relational Development In Gestalt Group Therapy @ The Northstar Fund
Apr 28 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Presenter: Peter Cole

Date: Sunday, April, 28th 2019
Time: 4:00 – 7:00pm
Place: The Northstar Fund
520 8th Ave, Suite 1800
New York, NY

Peter Cole will present methodological and theoretical contributions he has been developing in his practice of gestalt therapy in an interactive group format. There will be lecture, demonstration work, and time for all attendees to discuss and process our experience together. Topics will include:

  • Relational Development in gestalt group therapy
  • The Self Activating Dimension & the Intimately Connected Dimensions of Relational Development
  • Working with Rupture and Repair in the gestalt group
  • Working with the “Affective Current” and “Affective Processing” in gestalt group therapy.
  • Embracing diversity and “all the voices of the field”
  • “The Shadow of the Leader” a model of working with “shadow” or “background” aspects gestalt group leadership that can be difficult to bring into dialogue and awareness.
  • Working with the group-as-a-whole and various group roles (Emotional Leader, Scapegoat Leader and Defiant Leader) in gestalt groups

Peter Cole, LCSW is a long-time Gestalt Therapy trainer in Berkeley California. Along with his wife Daisy Reese, he leads the Sierra Institute for Contemporary Gestalt Therapy. He is a certified gestalt therapist with the Pacific Gestalt Institute and a certified group therapist with American Group Psychotherapy Assoc. He serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry with the University of California Davis School of Medicine. He serves on the Editorial Board of Gestalt Review, and is Guest Editing an upcoming edition of Gestalt Review with a variety of articles on Group Therapy. Appearing in that issue of Gestalt Review will be an article, co-written with NYIGT members Bud Feder, Jack Aylward and Charlie Bowman titled “Four Reflections on a Gestalt Peer Consultation Group”, which may well be the last work Bud Feder wrote for publication. Peter has served on the board of AAGT in various roles including treasurer over the years.

Peter is the author, with his wife, Daisy Reese of New Directions in Gestalt Group Therapy: Relational Ground, Authentic Self, (NY: Routledge, 2018).

Polarities and Dualities @ NPAP
May 18 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Presenter: Joe Lay
May 18, 2019
Time: 2pm-5pm
Place: NPAP
40 West 13th St
New York, NY
Polarities, Dualities, and False Splits are through-out our culture and ever-present in our day to day lives. In this workshop a goal is to recognize and appreciate these ever-present ways of organizing our experience. Our further aim will be to recognize the limitations of polarities and dualities and how they become fixed in our experience. With some luck and vulnerability, we hope to make this process a present, vivid experience that supports excitement and growth.
Joe began his study of Gestalt psychotherapy in 1972 when he first moved to New York. The NYIGT community became his professional home (except for a few years away to complete a PhD in clinical psychology). In his chosen community, Joe was strongly influenced by the intellectual rigor, wit, sharp debate and warm support of Laura Perls, Isadore From, and primarily Richard Kitzler and the fellow members of the Wednesday Seminar. Joe has previously served as president of the NY Institute as well as president of the Manhattan Psychological Association. His continuing primary interests include community building, political activism, couples therapy, group therapy, psychotherapy theory, Daoist philosophy, and Buddhist philosophy. In 2010 Joe moved to Phoenix, Arizona with his partner where he continues to practice and teach Gestalt theory.
End Of Year Business Meeting
Jun 23 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
NYIGT Business Meeting @ To Be Announced
Sep 25 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm