We have monthly weekend training -- this weekend is special as Laura Perls is coming to work with us.
By the time Laura arrived we were full of stories, anecdotes and perceptions about her.
It was like a string that was attached to Laura's eyes was pulling me towards her.
"Please," she said, "Tell me, tell me about your childhood, how did you grow up? She smiled quietly and said, "Please, now show me how you were growing up, but tell me your story with your body, your movements." I found myself slowly slouching on the floor and going into a foetal position, then slowly going on my hands and feet all fours and then standing up. When I was thirteen, fourteen I started with the Lowelin system, which was connected with Rudolph Steiner....
I am a third year student of Gestalt therapy at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto.
" Without any hesitation I began telling her about being born the first month the World War II started and my family fleeing from Eastern Europe, and the bombs, and my mother's fears and my father's death. Laura looked at me carefully, following every move I made then when I stood up on my two feet she said: "I notice that in your growing up you missed one step." "Oh? "Yes, you missed the crawling stage you are a young man in a great hurry." You can slow down now," she said, "there is no more war, no need to rush." That small piece of work with Laura was extremely significant for me. I move with grace, slow when need be, crawl when necessary and run when I want to. I found out later that what they actually did to a great extent were Yoga and Zen techniques. Actually in South Africa, there was one of the Lowelin people, and we worked in my garden twice a week." My fondest memories of Laura came after my first three day workshop with her in 1974, sponsored by the Los Angeles Institute. to San Diego where Division 29 of APA was having a conference, so I eagerly volunteered to drive her but worried that my small car might be uncomfortable for her. When I met her in the coffee shop, she began giggling and said, "See that young man over there? " During our drive, Laura was very warm and friendly, and showed genuine interest in my studies and my life.
My existence was like fighting a war a war with myself with little satisfaction and a lot of fear. I have a purpose, a direction, and a peaceful, successful life. I was 25 years old and a doctoral student living in San Diego. She encouraged me to be a Gestalt therapist, telling me she liked the insights I contributed during the group.
This is what makes life livable and incidentally makes therapy possible.... I know the whole classical literature, all the symphonies, which I had played four hands with my mother, long before I heard an orchestra... Laura was sitting directly across from me in the center seat of a comfortable couch with her shoeless feet extended on top of two big pillows.
Gestalt therapy, with its emphasis on immediate awareness and involvement, offers a method for developing the necessary support for a self-continuing creative adjustment which is the only way of coping with the experience of dying and, therefore, of living."I started to play the piano when I was five. A small woman of 81, her short hair brushed away from her face.