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“Gaystalt”: Working in the Fluidity of Gender and Sexuality @ NPAP
Mar 8 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
“Gaystalt”: Working in the Fluidity of Gender and Sexuality @ NPAP

Presenter: Lee Zevy

The workshop will begin with a paper creating the ground for the current revolution in the LGBTQIA community in regard to how gender choices are currently evolving and their fluid relation to sexuality. In particular, what does it mean for Gestalt therapists to remain open to working with the creativity of these changes while at the same time helping clients to examine the relational, familial, and psychological underpinnings of individual choice? The workshop will also utilize an experiment in which participants can take on various roles where they get to experience the shifting possibilities available in the community and then discuss in pairs and the whole group what this means therapeutically.


Lee Zevy is one of the founders of Identity House, a walk-in peer counseling and psychotherapy community mental health center for the LGBTQIA community in New York City, which began in 1971. After completing her training at the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy, where she is now a fellow, she became the clinical director of Identity House for many years and still does supervising and training there. In addition to becoming president of NYIGT twice, she teaches, supervises, writes, and publishes on the theory and practice of Gestalt therapy. Her current interest is how the fluidity of gender and sexuality today is moving to change the discourse of society around these topics.

Sexuality and Aggression: The Figure/Background Relationship Between Pain and Pleasure @ To Be Announced
Apr 19 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Sexuality and Aggression: The Figure/Background Relationship Between Pain and Pleasure @ To Be Announced

Presenter: Mariano Pizzimenti (Italy)

A new orientation for couples therapy, working with sexual disorder, and other contexts where confrontation is important but dangerous and difficult.

With “sexual aggressiveness,” we define the experience in which aggression and sexuality can be combined with each other in a figure/ground relationship, which is not polarizing nor based on antithesis. It is the situation in which love and destruction, as well as hunger and sexuality, can simultaneously coexist. 

Sexual aggression is an evolutionary behavior and concept, which comes from experiencing that I can attack and destroy resting on a background of love, desire, and creativity. I can desire, love, and create while maintaining the ability to attack and eventually destroy what I do not need and/or damages me in the relationship with another person. Aggression and sexuality come together in a figure/ground relationship, in which one can stay in the foreground while the other feeds and limits it from the background.

After a short introduction, we will experience how to nourish the background with care, pleasure, erotism, and intimacy, while in the foreground, there will be aggressivity, clarity, and even separation. In accordance with the interest of the participants, we will experience this special kind of figure/background relationship in a couples session and/or group session, entering also in the field of sexual disorder.

The different experiments will be influenced by the group, and I hope that in the context of NYIGT, we will be able to build new experiences.


Mariano Pizzimenti is a psychologist and psychotherapist, and the founder and director of the Gestalt School of Turin. He was trained in Gestalt therapy by Isha Larry Bloomberg and Robert Hall. He began his activity as a therapist in 1981 and has since practiced and taught Gestalt therapy in Italy, Germany, Scotland, and Ireland. Mariano is also the past president of FISIG (Federazione Italiana Scuole e Istituti di Gestalt). In addition, he is the author of the book Aggression and Sexuality: The Figure/Background Relationship Between Pleasure and Pain.

The Loving Gaze – Novelty, Excitement, and Growth: A Relational and Existential Phenomenological Perspective @ To Be Announced
May 16 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
The Loving Gaze – Novelty, Excitement, and Growth: A Relational and Existential Phenomenological Perspective @ To Be Announced

Presenter: Yaqui Andrés Martínez Ph.D (Mexico)*

When we reflect on the theme of love, we commonly refer to the various erotic-affective phenomena that arise in a couple’s relationship, or we think of love only as an emotional experience. In The Loving Gaze, we will reflect and share from a phenomenological-existential and relational proposal about love as an experience that goes beyond emotions and that transcends a couple’s relationship, to speak of it as a way of being-with-the-other, a posture that can enrich the Gestalt therapeutic relationship. We will try to reflect from our personal experience, as Plato suggests in the dialogue in his Symposium.


My name is Yaqui Andrés Martínez Ph.D. I live in Mexico City with my wife and our two cats. In my therapeutic practice, my work style is a mixture of a Gestalt relational approach and the existential-phenomenological model.

I’m a clinical psychologist, with an M.A. and a Ph.D. in humanistic psychotherapy and a major in Gestalt therapy.

I have also completed doctoral studies in philosophy with a major in psychotherapy.

I’ve been a teacher for more than 20 years at the Instituto Humanista de Psicoterapia Gestalt (Humanistic Institute for Gestalt Psychotherapy) in Mexico.

I founded the Círculo de Estudios en Terapia Existencial (Circle of Studies on Existential Therapy) in Mexico, 18 years ago, where I coordinate a master’s degree in existential therapy.

I’ve been a teacher at several universities and institutes in Mexico and other countries.

Nowadays, I’m studying electric guitar and enjoy listening to music very much.

*Please note: Yaqui Andrés Martínez Ph.D will be offering a special workshop on Sunday, May 17; details to follow.