Toward a Gestalt Therapeutic Concept for Promoting Creative Process

  • Nancy Amendt-Lyon


Merely encouraging play and artistic production as a therapist, or working with a patient who exhibits exceptional artistic talents, does not adequately define creativity within the therapeutic relationship. A more appropriate definition of this type of creativity must include interpersonal aspects, such as the daring, creative interaction, or that which happens in the no man’s land between us. This implies venturing beyond self-expression as an end in itself and entering the dynamics of the fertile complexity within the therapeutic relationship. Creative interchange can best be encouraged in Gestalt therapy when those involved in the therapeutic process are productively curious and willing to experiment; as a consequence, the chances for optimal results with the givens of the situation are much higher. Drawing from my experience as a therapist, I have realized that achieving this goal implies the use of precisely those individually designed experiments that both take the uniqueness of each patient into account and require the therapist to dare to take creative leaps. My aim is to make a passionate plea for the spontaneous development of “custom-made” interventions that risk articulating something novel, unexpected, or outright eccentric, be it in individual, couples, or group therapy. Only these unique “experiments”, born out of the process of the therapeutic relationship, can stimulate the liveliness, innovation, and meaningfulness necessary to call them creative in the Gestalt therapeutic sense of the word.


Creative Process Therapeutic Relationship Creative Expression Gestalt Theory Productive Thinking 


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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2003

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  • Nancy Amendt-Lyon

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