A thousand plastic flowers don’t make a desert bloom. A thousand empty faces don’t fill an empty room.

Fritz Perls (1893 – 1970) was a noted German-born psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and psychotherapist.

He was a Jew born in Germany, who developed absolutely new approach in psychotherapy.

Perls coined the term ‘Gestalt therapy’ to identify the form of psychotherapy that he developed with his wife, Laura Perls, in the 1940s and 1950s. 

The core of his therapy process is enhanced awareness of sensation, perception, bodily feelings, emotion, and behavior, in the present moment.

Relationship is emphasized, along with contact between the self, its environment, and the other.

You cannot achieve happiness. Happiness happens and is a transitory stage. Imagine how happy I felt when I got relief from bladder pressure. How long did that happiness last?

I do my thing and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I. And if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.

Learning is the discovery that something is possible.

Nobody can stand truth if it is told to him. Truth can be tolerated only if you discover it yourself because then, the pride of discovery makes the truth palatable.

Don’t push the river, it flows by itself.

Man transcends himself only via his true nature, not through ambition and artificial goals.

To mature means to take responsibility for your life, to be on your own. Psychoanalysis fosters the infantile state by considering that the past is responsible for the illness.

The only difference between the wise man and the fool is that the wise man knows he is playing.

Our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency of our self-esteem. If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge.

Anxiety is excitement without breathing.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.

It feels much nobler to feel guilty than resentful, and it takes more courage to express resentment than guilt. With expressing guilt you expect to pacify your opponent; with expressing resentment you might stir up hostility in him.

Pain is meant to wake us up… Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it.

The body knows everything. We know very little. Intuition is the body’s intelligence.

It’s very rare for people to be able to talk and listen. Very few listen without speaking.

The fact that we live our lives using such a low percentage of our potentialities is because we’re not willing to accept ourselves as we are.

If you refuse to recall your dreams, what you’re really doing is denying your own existence.

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.

Gestalt Therapy Verbatim