Book of the Month – December 2016

Our December Book of the Month is Timeless Experience: Laura Perls’s Unpublished Notebooks and Literary Texts 1946-1985, edited by Nancy Amendt-Lyon.

9781443888899.jpgFor years, psychotherapists have known that Laura Perls was actively involved in the development of what today is known as Gestalt therapy. Her professional publications are succinct and appreciated, but they are not numerous. The present volume, comprising Laura Perls’s heretofore unpublished writing, including journal entries, letters, poems, translations, short stories, and drafts for lectures and publications, offers a very personal perspective on one of the founders of Gestalt therapy. The extensive interview that Daniel Rosenblatt conducted with Laura Perls in 1972, published here for the first time in English, complements her literary texts, and provides valuable background information. The rich cultural background from which Laura Perls benefited and the authors whose works inspired her resonate in her literary texts, a treasure chest of personal reflections during the decades of her life from 1946 to 1985. In addition, a general overview of her life is provided, her theoretical and practical contributions to the origins and development of Gestalt therapy are described, and her legacy to the field of Gestalt therapy is elucidated.

To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page.

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMDEC16 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 3rd January 2017.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:


How moving it is to enter Laura Perls’s intimate world and discover her essays, short stories, thoughts, poetry! And what a gift from her editor to give us such a precise and detailed context to Laura’s writings. This book is a treasure: we learn more about the history, theory and practice of Gestalt therapy, and its essence and aesthetics are revealed more brightly.”

—Jean-Marie Robine; Institut Français de Gestalt-thérapie


“Laura Perls’s published writings reflected her psychotherapeutic work, but never—until now—the colors of the rainbow that was Laura, the person. This book is a parting of the clouds that illuminates a hidden land of her creativity, artistic depth, humanity, thoughtfulness, kindness, vulnerability, and mischievousness. Those of us trained by her will find in her emerging personhood support for what we learned from her. Those who want to know more about the history of Gestalt therapy will find documents that anchor our history in the life of a brilliant founder—intellect, artist, friend, and mother. Nancy Amendt-Lyon has done us all a great service.”

—Dan Bloom; Past President of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy


I found this book—devoted to understanding and elucidating the diaries of Laura Perls—fascinating. Amendt-Lyon has taken a lifetime of Laura’s writings—many personal and previously unpublished—and woven them into a wider narrative that encapsulates the therapeutic and cultural environment in which Laura lived. Consequently, we get to know Laura, not only as a creative, talented, and respectful therapist and theoretician, but also as a vulnerable, passionate, and multidimensional woman ahead of her times. It is a must-read, not only for Gestaltists, but for anyone who might enjoy a captivating biography.”

—Joseph Melnick; Founding Editor of the Gestalt Review; Co-Chair of the Cape Cod Training Program, GISC


“Timeless Experience: Laura Perls’s Unpublished Notebooks and Literary Texts, 1946–1985 is a tour de force, giving the reader a comprehensive look into a woman of extraordinary depth, courage and expertise, and who offered unique contributions to the field of psychotherapy. Professionals in the world of therapy—particularly Gestalt therapy—know well of Laura’s expert contributions (working individually in a group setting, emphasizing personal support and contact, highlighting differences between wanting and needing, etc.). Much less is known about her personal history: fleeing from the Nazis, her creativity both in writing poetry and prose, playing music, dance, her personal struggles with anxiety, health issues, intimate relationships, Judaism, or her political fervor. Nancy Amendt-Lyon has done a masterful job of bringing Laura Perls to life by revealing the more delicate aspects of her world, her musings, her unpolished thoughts, and her compassion for others. Bravo!”

—Rita F. Resnick, PhD; Faculty Chair, Gestalt Associates Training Los Angeles


Here is a story of commitment between three women, starting with a daughter’s dream and ending in a precious book on the founder of Gestalt therapy, Laura Perls. A talented Gestalt therapist and eloquent writer herself, Amendt-Lyon’s editing and annotations allow the beauty of her former teacher’s ability as both clinician and author to explode with color and three-dimensionality. This book is a must! This is not only the transcription of Laura’s notebooks; it is a comprehensive, vibrant narrative of her theoretical, clinical, and aesthetic legacy, a whole that well describes the everlasting implicit value of Gestalt therapy.”

—Margherita Spagnuolo Lobb; Istituto di Gestalt HCC Italy


“Passed on to us from Laura Perls’s own daughter, Renate, we are invited to have intimate insights into Laura’s legacy, her captivating account of the beginnings of Gestalt therapy, her work as a therapist, writer, and poet. Credit must be given to Nancy Amendt-Lyon for her tremendous effort to bring this into an easily accessible form, a source of inspiration for generations of Gestalt therapists to come.”

—Beatrix Wimmer; President-Elect of the European Association for Gestalt Therapy; Vice-President of the Austrian Association for Gestalt Therapy


 

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