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.
-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'.