Our Mission

The Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia (GTIP) was founded upon shared core beliefs of Gestalt Therapy theory.

The GTIP Faculty share the view that Gestalt Therapy theory is: a philosophy, a theory of human function and interaction, a theory of therapeutic practice, and an ethic of responsible contact.

The Faculty see Gestalt Therapy philosophy as an orientation of living that applies to individuals, groups, and institutions.

We believe that the characteristics that make Gestalt Therapy unique are the following:
It is a field-theoretical holistic orientation, which sees the individual as an integration of mind-body-spirit, in the  process of contact with, and creative adjustment to his environment.

  • It respects the individual's defenses as the process of creative adjustment.
  • It defines health as the ability to experience vividly in the present.
  • It employs present-centered awareness as a means of integrating a person's history, present experience, and movement into the future.
  • It supports growth as a process of individuation, conflict, and integration on an individual, dyadic, and community level.
  • It is an interaction that comprises both therapist and client.
  • It is a cross-cultural, internationally employed therapy.
  • It is inherently ethical and respectful of the client.
  • It is dedicated to social change, reflecting progressive roots.

The training program is designed to enable the trainees to understand Gestalt Therapy theory and philosophy and to practice Gestalt Therapy from a base in their own experience. It is a program in which learning happens by doing and experiencing as well as by reading, discussing, and reflecting. It employs the ethic embodied in our core beliefs of the theory of Gestalt Therapy. 

The Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia is strengthened and its programs are enriched through the differences of individual style and interests of the Faculty. The program provides opportunities for Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, Graduates, and Trainees to share their expertise and interests with others. The principal faculty members bring their special theoretical interests to their teachings. Among those interests are: shame and scapegoating, conflict resolution, dealing with bigotry, contact and mutuality, dreamwork, grief and loss, spirituality, forgiveness, and humor.

We seek to promote Gestalt Therapy as a force in the world by providing excellence in training, by offering faculty presentations, by cosponsoring workshops and conferences, by encouraging all within the Gestalt Therapy community to attend workshops and conferences, and by stimulating contributions to Gestalt Therapy literature.