Gestalt therapy is an effective and powerful relational therapy that helps clients raise their awareness about how they are in the world so they can self-regulate and move towards health.

Gestalt therapy is also synonymous with the ’empty chair’ technique made famous by Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy. However Gestalt therapy is much more than this technique and has a rich tradition and evolution to become the modern relational psychotherapy it is today.

So we spoke with world-renowned Gestalt therapists Drs. Bob and Rita Resnick from Gestalt Therapy Training Associates Los Angeles (GATLA) about what Gestalt therapy is and why it is such an effective therapeutic approach for working with individuals and couples.

In this interview Bob and Rita discuss:

  • What Gestalt therapy is about and how it works
  • Why Gestalt therapy became synonymous with the empty chair technique
  • What is character and how it is formed
  • How Gestalt therapy works with interruptions to self-regulation in the present
  • What Gestalt therapy has that other theories and methodologies lack
  • The relevance of Gestalt therapy today in a culture of governments and consumers expecting effective outcomes in limited sessions
  • The biggest mistakes people, including therapists, make about understanding Gestalt therapy

 Links and resources mentioned in this episode

About Bob and Rita

Bob and Rita ResnickRita F. Resnick, Ph.D. psychotherapist, has been Faculty Chair of GATLA’s European Summer Residential Training Programs since 1991.  She is core faculty of both the Couples Therapy and Individual Psychotherapy training programs.  In addition to her private practice, Rita is providing training in Couples and Individual therapy to psychotherapists and allied professionals in the Los Angeles, Seattle, Australia, Europe and Asia. Rita has written a chapter in the recent book Catch the Message, Fecova, A. and Levin, J. highlighting important women in Gestalt therapy. Rita’s style is clear, empowering, thoughtful and caring.  The Resnicks are frequently happily married. Click here to email Rita.
Robert W. Resnick, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, has been a Gestalt Therapist and Couples Therapist for over 50 years and an international trainer for over 45 years. Trained (1965-1970) and personally certified by examination (1969) by Drs. Fritz Perls and Jim Simkin, he was chosen by Fritz Perls to introduce Gestalt Therapy to Europe to in 1969.  He has been doing training worldwide many times each year now for the past 45 years in addition to ongoing training programs in Los Angles and Seattle. Bob’s style is warm and engaging and he speaks with clarity and humor.  And yes, the Resnicks are frequently happily married. Click here to email Bob or visit the website at