“Tiger! Tiger! Burning Bright” — Aesthetic Values as Clinical Values in Gestalt Therapy

  • Daniel J. Bloom


The aesthetic is central to Gestalt therapy.Its particular organization of sensation includes - without being limited to - the experience of beauty itself. This same aesthetic attitude that creates art and appreciates beauty accounts for life’s harmonies and rhythms. Aesthetic qualities animate the lifework of an artist as well as the quotidian events of ordinary life. The theory and practice of Gestalt therapy is infused with these qualities. It is no accident that the first and most comprehensive elaboration of Gestalt therapy theory was written by Paul Goodman, whose efforts in creative literature (fiction and poetry) were as ambitious as his works in psychology and social theory. His collaboration with Frederick Perls is the coming together of European psychoanalysis, phenomenology, Gestalt psychology, and existentialism with the American pragmatism of William James, George Herbert Mead, and John Dewey (Richard Kitzler, “Three Lectures”, article in preparation).


Gestalt Psychology Aesthetic Quality Creative Literature Aesthetic Criterion American Pragmatism 
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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2003

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  • Daniel J. Bloom

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