Abstract

The field perspective in Gestalt therapy remains a rich source of controversy and challenge in outlining and articulating a theory of practice. In teaching Gestalt therapy, particularly the field perspective, it is useful to find examples of the principles that direct and support practice, as well as enhance and expand theory. Latner (2008) presents the field as an inspiring, evocative idea, suggesting that when a term such as field perspective has a “connotative richness,” we can best define it by searching for examples that “speak to us” (p. 27). He offers as an illustration how he is inspired by Dogen, a Zen Buddhist teacher writing a thousand years ago, and how he intuitively understands a field universe through Dogen's work (p. 25). In similar fashion, William Wordsworth (1770–1850) and Martin Buber speak with a connotative richness of emergent creation and paradoxical agency, two principles of field theory recently described in the literature (O'Neill & Gaffney, 2008). This article is an experiment in reaching out for just such connotative richness–an intuitive understanding of emergent creation and paradoxical agency–to find an articulation of these principles in ways that speak to Gestalt practitioners.

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