Roots VI Conference Gestalting Groups: Roots & Branches


Roots VI Conference

Gestalting Groups: Roots and Branches

Presented by GISC in cooperation with Gestalt Centre Belfast
This is the sixth Roots Conference. Beginning in Paris in 2003 with « The European Roots of Gestalt Therapy » conference, and continuing with Roots II in Antwerp, 2005, in Rome in 2007, Budapest in 2009, and Bommersvik, Sweden, in 2012, these conferences have provided an opportunity to focus on Gestalt therapy theory, its roots, development and the rich diversity of its application. The theme of Roots VI is Gestalting Groups: Roots & Branches.

Roots VI will take place in Belfast, Ireland, convened by GISC and hosted by Gestalt Centre Belfast.

Groups have been a fundamental part of the Gestalt approach since its inception. Fritz Perls was one of the first therapists to do therapy « live in front of a group » – later called the « Greek amphitheater. » As it developed as a specific approach to therapy it was then nicknamed the « broken wagon wheel. » The therapist would work one-on-one with each individual, using the group as communal support.

Yet our approach to groups and their application has always been much more diverse. In the opening presentations, our intention is to describe the early roots of Gestalt with groups before moving into the use of groups in Gestalt training.

We have invited people to present on various aspects of groups, from small to large groups, psychotherapy, supervision, teams, leader led, leaderless, growth, project oriented, etc. See complete topics descriptions on our web page.   Learn more here.


Roots VI will feature sixteen presenters representing ten different countries.  Presenters and topics include:

Astrid Alemany Dusendschön, France: From Intra-Personal (One-on-One) to Interpersonal to Group Level Working: Possibilities and Limits of Different Postures of a Group Animator/ Therapist, Recognizing Them and Their Effects on Group Work 

Jack Aylward, USA: The Clinical, Social, and Political Impact of Paul Goodman on Gestalt Therapy Theory as Reflected in his Contributions to the 1951 ‘Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality’

Talia Bar-Yoseph Levine, UK: Business Families – The Beauty and The Complexity.

Philip Brownell, Bermuda: The Concept of the ‘Body of Christ’ in Christian Groups: The Model in Theory and Practice

Simon Cavicchia, UK: Senior Team Dialogue – Facilitating the Emergence of Leadership in Complex and Uncertain Times

Marie Anne Chidia, England: Working with Multi-Disciplinary Teams: Gestalt and Team Coaching

Seán Gaffney, Sweden: History of Gestalt with Groups Theory

Joëlle Gartner, Ireland: Becoming and Being a Group in a Society in Conflict

Barry Gruenberg, USA: Leading through Uncertainty: A Gestalt-based Approach to Developing Groups of Leaders at Microsoft

Gaie Houston, England: Interpretation, Fantasy and the Group

Mike McElwee, USA: Integrating Gestalt into Pre-existing Complexity-based Organization Change Practices

Joe Melnick, USA: History of the Practice of Gestalt with Groups

Frans Meulmeester, Netherlands: Cancer in Perspective: a Counseling Group for Cancer Patients

Konstantin Pavlov, EEGI, Saint-Petersburg, Russia: Groups &  Society Dynamics in Post-Soviet Lands: The « Insider’s » Perspective

Chantelle Wyley and Shanil Haricharan, South Africa: Forces for Change and Forces for Sameness: Reflections On Consulting in the South African Public Service and Working with Groupings Around Traditional Culture, Liberation Culture, and Organisational Culture

Yianna Yiamarelou, Greece: Relational themes in Group Supervision: Expectation, Obsession, Impasse

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