The emergence and satisfaction of physiological needs such as hunger or thirst in the service of homeostasis has served as the paradigmatic example for organismic self-regulation within Gestalt therapy theory. It is argued that this metaphor is a poor model of organismic self-regulation; it obscures not only differences between separable processes of homeostatic and equilibrative regulation, but also differences between physiological and psychological needs. This, in turn, has led to the failure to recognize the developmental nature of psychological needs. Kegan's model of self-development is presented as an illustration of a developmentally sensitive approach.

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