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Anil Thomas

Master NLP Practitioner & Gestalt Therapist

What is the origin of the term ‘gestalt’?

“Gestalt” as a concept was introduced by German philosopher Christian Von Ehrenfels in 1890. The term “gestalt” is abstracted from “ungestalt” (German word for ‘deformity’), which is why there is still no exact translation for “gestalt”. According to Webster’s dictionary, gestalt means “something that is made of many parts and yet is somehow more than or different from the combination of its parts”. It is commonly defined as a ‘form, or ‘shape’, a ‘unified whole’ or ‘configuration’. It was later founded as a school of psychology by Max Wertheimer, Kurt Koffka, and Wolfgang Köhler in 1912.

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