Frederick Perls

BY Layne Sheridan 2022-10-10 Modified date: 2022-10-10


The founder of Gestalt therapy is Frederick Perls (1893–1970). Gestalt therapy aims to close up any emotional gaps in you so that you can come together as a complete person. Perls thinks that the rejected, disowned aspects of the Self are contained in dreams. In a dream, each person and every item is a representation of a different aspect of the dreamer. You are the hurricane, you are the assailant, you are the broken-down car, you are the bridge, and you are the stale book. Perls disputes the idea that dreams are a form of a shared symbolic language. He thinks that every dream is special to the person who has it.

Perls asserts that it's crucial to act out your dream in the present tense and retell it to yourself in order to figure out which part of yourself is being disowned. It's crucial to express the feelings that each and every element of your dream—even inanimate objects—evoked. Take on the roles of the various people and things in the dream as you reenact it. Express your feelings toward the dream object by starting a conversation with it. You might be able to acknowledge and realize feelings that you might have overlooked or buried if you assume a different role and reenact your dream. A real-life manifestation of your dream.

Instead of focusing on what was, what could have been, or on explanations and interpretations, gestalt therapy focuses on what is happening and what is being felt in the present. The interaction of the Self with the outside world is a key component of Gestalt therapy.

According to Perls, people frequently have fragmented personalities. You can integrate your opposing personality traits by working with your dreams. Your worries will vanish as a result, and you'll feel happier as a result.

Perls contends that every person must realize their full potential in order to thrive. What Freud attempted to do, which was to build a bridge between the unconscious and the conscious, was insufficient. In order to become a complete person, you must identify any personality gaps and fill them.

According to Perls, the mind has three different levels of awareness: awareness of oneself, awareness of the outside world, and a middle level of fantasy. You lose touch with the outside world and yourself if you get too engrossed in this intermediate level. This zone of illusion in the middle was first identified by Freud, who postulated that individuals who were trapped in it were dealing with psychological complexes.

While Perls thought that integrating your view of yourself with your view of the world is the best way to avoid getting stuck in a fantasy zone, Freud thought that you had to deal with a psychological complex directly in order to avoid getting stuck in one.

According to Perls, living in the past or future is what causes anxiety. When you are preoccupied with what has already occurred or what might happen in the future as opposed to the present, you start to feel anxious. Your issues will be resolved if you keep your attention on the here and now.

Perls contends that accepting the real and rejecting the irrational is the only way to come to terms with who you are and discover your place in the universe. The illusions you have given yourself to believe in must be destroyed.

Perls says it might feel like you are waking up from a dark place when you let go of all the fantasies and illusions you have amassed. Satori, a sudden flash of enlightenment in Zen Buddhism, is a concept that this is similar to.

Perls claims that the process of waking up from a dream is analogous to the process of awakening from an illusionary world that you have created for yourself into a world of truth.

When you are dreaming, you take everything that happens there as reality. You don't realize the dream wasn't real until you've woken up, and even then, you only understand its significance in relation to the world you now find yourself in.

According to Perls, every image in your dreams contains a reflection of you. Each component of a dream represents an aspect of your personality. You have to put all these pieces together to become a complete, whole person. An approach to starting to put the pieces of your personality together is to put the pieces of the dream together.

Because you have been denying some aspects of your personality, Perls claims that analyzing your dreams can be a way to identify issues that you have not been dealing with.

Perls rejected the notion of trying to decipher the meaning of a dream's symbols, which is a traditional method of dream interpretation. He believed that acting out the roles of each character and each object in the dream would help you better understand who you are. You might act out the part of the man and the part of the stairs in a dream about a man climbing stairs, for instance (pretending that stairs can talk).

By approaching your dream in this manner, you can start to reconcile conflicting aspects of your personality and then get rid of the delusions you've created. You'll be able to solve your life's issues if you get rid of these illusions.

Additionally, Perls thought this dream analysis method could encourage spontaneity and creativity.


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