Abstract

Existentialism is one root for Gestalt therapy. Jean-Paul Sartre is sometimes called “the pope of existentialism.” Could Sartre's theory have been an inspiration to Paul Goodman and Laura and Fritz Perls in the founding of Gestalt therapy? How might contemporary Gestaltists feed their practice by reading this philosopher?

After a brief history, the author develops several founding themes of existentialism and shows their similarities. He also evokes several ways they diverge.

In his conclusion, the author, dreaming of an encounter between Goodman, Perls and Sartre, imagines a pastiche of No Exit (Huis Clos), a play in which three characters are locked in a sitting room for eternity.

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