The American Journal of Psychoanalysis

Self-control and responsibility: Interfacing gestalt and behavioral frameworks

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Gestalt psychotherapyResearchExpert opinionEnglish
Journal Article - Paid access


Compares Gestalt therapy with cognitive-behavioral methods of treatment. The ultimate goal of both is to maximize self-control and the ability of clients to solve their own problems. This requires that clients become aware of their situation and develop the capacity to influence environmental factors. It is argued that behavioristic definitions of awareness limit the usefulness of this concept in understanding the person–environment interaction by overemphasizing external events at the expense of internal perceptual, cognitive, and emotional processes. In contrast, Gestalt therapists define awareness as a totality formed by related processes of sensing, contact, Gestalt formation, and excitement. It is concluded that the Gestalt approach is better for understanding and predicting behavior.

APA citation

Groman, W., Nelson, W., & Davidson, K. (1980). Self-control and responsibility: Interfacing gestalt and behavioral frameworks. The American Journal Of Psychoanalysis, 40(1), 33-42.