Information & History
GTILA is a membership organization whose mission is to advance and promote the exchange of knowledge and expertise regarding the field of gestalt therapy among its members, with the professional community, and with the community at large.
The purpose of GTILA includes:
- Promoting the application of gestalt therapy principles;
- Promoting a dialogue on gestalt therapy theory within the gestalt therapy community;
- Promoting a dialogue between gestalt therapy and other theories;
- Functioning as a catalyst for community building and as a support network for its members;
- Promoting quality of standards concerning the clinical application of gestalt therapy.
GTILA presents a series of salons which provide an opportunity to learn about some aspect of Gestalt Therapy in a relaxed, informal setting. Salons are free and participants may receive CEUs for a minimal fee. All people interested in Gestalt Therapy are welcome to attend Salons. GTILA does not discriminate in its education or membership activities based on race, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law.
GTILA maintains the Arnold R. Beisser, M.D. Scholarship Fund, a philanthropic program to support trainees who have enrolled for gestalt therapy training and can demonstrate financial need. In addition, GTILA hosts a variety of social events for the Gestalt community and publishes a yearly directory of its members.
History of GTILA
The Gestalt Therapy Institute of Los Angeles (GTILA) is a community of gestalt therapists that was established in 1969 by Frederick S. Perls, M.D., James Simkin, Ph.D. and others for the purposes of promoting the development, application, and competent practice of Gestalt Therapy. For over 30 years, GTILA also provided an ongoing “hands on” gestalt therapy training program in Los Angeles for mental health professionals.
GTILA now functions as a membership organization whose mission is to advance and promote the exchange of information and expertise regarding the field of gestalt therapy among its members, with the professional community, and with the community at large.
What is Relational Gestalt Therapy?
From Awareness, Dialogue, and Process, preface to the German edition, by Gary Yontef
“Relational Gestalt Therapy considers the therapeutic relationship crucial and focuses on the causes of disruptions in the relationship and on the effects of these disruptions.
There has been an increasing recognition of the power of the relational aspects of therapeutic work in promoting growth, healing severe disturbances, but also for inhibiting growth and even harming patients. While contact is the basic unit of relationship, i.e., contacting establishes relationship, the relationship also shapes contact. The impact on the patient of the therapist’s attitude, behavior, and meta-messages is just now beginning to get the attention it needs. There is now an established Gestalt therapy shame literature that calls attention to iatrogenic triggering and enhancement of shame in psychotherapy and in training.
Relational Gestalt therapy has moved to an attitude that includes more support, more emphasis on kindness and compassion in therapy, and that combines sustained empathic inquiry with crisp, clear, and relevant awareness focusing. It has moved beyond the confrontation, catharsis, and drama emphasis of the 1960’s and 1970’s. It has moved beyond the more camouflaged shaming by therapists who are insensitive to their shame-triggering attitudes and behaviors.
In Gestalt therapy theory the essential nature of self is relational. The self is defined as the interaction of person and environment; self is the “system of contacts necessary for adjustment in the difficult field…Self …is not itself isolated from the environment; …it belongs to both, environment and organism (Perls, Hefferline, and Goodman, p. 151).”
© 2017 GTILA
Gestalt Therapy Institute of Los Angeles | PO Box 175 - Lomita, CA 90717 | firstname.lastname@example.org