This article illuminates (in three parts) the psychoanalytic background of Gestalt therapy. In the first part (the first half of which is printed here), the biographies of the founders are enriched by previously unpublished facts. The German—Jewish context of some of F. Perls's positions is discussed in a separate chapter. The thorough appraisal of Freud's approach by the founders of Gestalt therapy and their dialectical understanding of psychoanalysis served as a basis for a revision of the drive theory and the theory of the self.

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