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contact cycle

-fundamental concept in Gestalt, developed by Goodman in his Theory of the Self. He distinguishes four main stages to every action: - fore-contact, contacting, final contact, post-contact (or withdrawal). This cycle has been developed and amended by various writers, notably Zinker, Polster, Katzeff, Smith, Salathe, Ginger, etc. Katzeff identifies seven stages: sensation, awareness, mobilisation, action, contact, satisfaction, withdrawal. Ginger identifies five: fore-contact, engaging (engagement), contact, disengaging (desengagement), assimilation. Interruptions or disturbances to the natural progression round the cycle are often called 'resistances'.

Definition excerpted with permission from Ginger, Serge International Glossary of Gestalt Psychotherapy (Seven languages including English. Order from FORGE at 183 rue Lecourbe; 75015 Paris, France) Paperback 1995.

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