Back to top


Wolfgang Köhler defined a "gestalt" as a unit or whole that stands out against its environment or background. The distinguishable elements of a gestalt are interdependent and, in their unified context, take on properties that cannot be ascribed to any single element but only to the configuration of the gestalt as a whole. This definition, which lays the foundation for gestalt theory and psychology, is almost identical to the concepts of system and structure in family therapy.*