Back to top

gestalt theory

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.

Definition extracted with permission from Simon, Fritz, et al, Family Process, Inc.: Language of Family Therapy: A Systemic Vocabulary and Source Book (Family Process Press Series)