Roots VII Conference « Gestalt and Social Activism » – April 2016 in Mati,Greece

Roots VII Conference

organisé par le GISC Gestalt International Study Center, Cape Cod

Gestalt and Social Activism, Roots & Branches

April 7, 2016 – April 10, 2016

Location: Mati, Greece

 » This is the seventh 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. Roots VI took place in Belfast, Ireland, hosted by Gestalt Centre Belfast. « 

Roots VII will take place in Mati, Greece, in April 2016.

 » Gestalt practitioners, whether therapists, coaches, consultants or educators, have long had a deep and shared commitment to changing the world we live in.

This commitment to social activism has deep roots, beginning with Fritz and Laura Perls in Berlin. Even before the Perls’ arrived in New York such people as Paul Goodman and Elliot Shapiro were already acknowledged as influential social activists. Both Goodman and Shapiro were members of the original training group which became the founding members of The New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy. They were joined there later by such people as George Dennison (First Street School) and Patrick Kelley (New York Street Gangs) and many others, amongst them active supporters of the LGBT community up to the present.

As the Gestalt approach spread througout the world, impacting the environment became a fundamental, though usually underacknowledeged value wherever Gestalt institutes were founded and Gestalt practitioners lived and practised.

For example, Paul Goodman was a leader amongst those protesting the war in Vietnam, and his book Growing Up Absurd influenced a whole generation of social activists. Our Children Are Dying, Net Hentoff’s account of the work of Eliot Shapiro, a trade union activist and superintendent in the New York school system is as much an account of social activism as it is about education.

Deeply imbedded in their work is the belief that rather than changing individuals in order to change society, working with change within society will support and maintain change in individuals.

At this conference we hope to honor this commitment by sharing and discussing our work. We invite you to join like-minded Gestalt practitioners in sharing our thoughts, practices and projects to influence the world in which we live and work, and which our children and grandchildren will inherit. « 

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