Laura Perls was a German-born psychotherapist who, together with her husband Frederick Perls, founded the Gestalt therapy approach. While Frederick Perls is often credited with developing Gestalt therapy, Laura played a significant role in its development and helped to shape the field of psychotherapy as we know it today.
Early Life and Education
Laura Perls was born in 1905 in Königsberg, Germany. She was raised in a middle-class Jewish family and grew up in an intellectual and artistic environment. Laura had an early interest in psychology, and she studied philosophy and psychology at the University of Frankfurt. There, she was introduced to the ideas of phenomenology, a philosophical approach that emphasized the importance of subjective experience.
Meeting and Collaborating with Frederick Perls
While studying in Frankfurt, Laura met Frederick Perls. The two began a romantic relationship and later married. Frederick had also studied under phenomenologists, and together the couple began to develop their own approach to psychotherapy. You can read more about Frederick in an earlier article written about him.
Work of Laura Perls in Developing Gestalt Therapy
Laura played a significant role in the development of Gestalt therapy, alongside her husband. The approach was based on the idea that individuals must take responsibility for their own thoughts and emotions, and that they should live in the present moment. Gestalt therapy also emphasized the importance of direct experience, rather than simply talking about past experiences.
Real creativeness, in my experience, is inextricably linked with the awareness of mortality-Laura Perls – Gestalt Therapy Now
Laura and Frederick Perls established the first Gestalt therapy institute in New York in the 1950s, and they began training therapists in their approach. Laura was known for her warm and empathetic demeanor, which helped her to establish strong connections with her clients. She often worked with couples, helping them to improve their relationships by developing greater awareness and understanding of one another.
Laura Perls’ Legacy and Impact on Psychotherapy
Laura Perls had a lasting impact on the field of psychotherapy. Her contributions to the development of Gestalt therapy helped to shape the approach as we know it today. She believed that psychotherapy should be an interactive process between therapist and client, with both parties taking an active role in the therapeutic process.
Laura also believed that therapy should focus on the individual’s current experiences and perceptions, rather than simply delving into past events. Her approach emphasized the importance of the present moment, and she believed that individuals could make positive changes in their lives by taking responsibility for their own thoughts and emotions.
Laura Perls was a pioneering psychotherapist who helped to develop the Gestalt therapy approach. Her contributions to the field of psychotherapy have had a lasting impact, and her ideas continue to be used by therapists around the world today. She believed that individuals could make positive changes in their lives by taking responsibility for their own experiences and living in the present moment. By working to develop greater awareness and understanding of oneself, you can improve your relationships with others and find greater fulfillment in life.