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self

- in Gestalt, this word does not denote a well-defined entity (unlike, for example, the ego, in Psychoanalysis), but a process: what happens at the contact boundary between the organism and its environment, enabling creative adjustments to occur. So, in certain circumstances, (e.g. in moments of confluence), the self may grow smaller. Goodman elaborated The Theory of the Self (Ch. 8) 35 years ago, working from Perls' notes.

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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