Fritz Perls

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Fritz Perls (1893-1971) was a psychiatrist and, with his wife Laura Perls, the inventor of gestalt psychology.

He first mentioned Sigmund Freud in 1913, received his medical degree in 1925, and, while not a student of Freud, went through seven years of personal psychoanalysis: "Started seven years of useless couch life. Felt I was stupid. Finally, Wilhelm Reich, then still sane, made some sense. Also Karen Horney, whom I loved."[1]

Gestalt therapy

In 1950, he first used the term gestalt.

Esalen and humanistic psychology

He joined the Esalen Institute in 1960: "What the Bauhaus was in Germany for the creation of a new style in architecture and the arts, Esalen is as a practical center of the third wave of humanistic psychology."


  1. Fritz Perls, A Life Chronology